What Are Merchandisers and Why Are They Important for Retailers?
Think of your favorite store. What makes it so special?
Is it the products that you buy there? Is it the employees? Is it how easy the store is to navigate so that you can find your favorite things?
If it’s the latter, you can thank the folks who work in merchandising. People in merchandising can be in one of two vital roles; either a merchandiser or a visual merchandising manager.
A merchandiser is someone who works in a retail location and is in charge of putting together the retail display and setting it up on the shelf and making sure product is stocked in the retail display.
On the other hand, a visual merchandising manager is someone at the corporate level. They're the ones responsible for the creative intent of the display are seeks out partners, like IDD, to work with on the manufacturing or build out of those displays.
So if visual merchandising managers are responsible for the ideation and design, why are merchandisers important for retail? It’s simply because merchandisers are the ones who set these displays up. They’re the ones who are taking the time to build the displays, to make sure that they’re stocked with product, and to make sure that remain in good throughout their life on the floor of the store. Merchandisers are really the ones taking care of what that brand has created from a display perspective, and then carrying out the vision in the retail location.
At a higher level, visual merchandising managers assume the responsibility of clearly communicating the brand’s story to the specific vendors working to create displays; they ensure that the designs that vendors come up with align with the brand’s story.
So how does experience in a merchandising position translate across industries? It’s likely that if you’re a merchandiser at any retail store, that kind of experience will translate pretty seamlessly. While the product in the store is different, it’s likely the same process of hanging signage on a retail storefront. The tricky part will comes with understanding different types of store layouts.
The more that you operate as a merchandiser, the more that you learn to understand trends that pertain to the customers, the flow of varying locations, and where certain displays should live in order to provide value for the products being displayed. The only real discrepancy, then, comes with the products themselves; sunglass displays in Dick’s Sporting Goods might be vastly different from a cosmetics display in a Bath and Body Works. If one was to make that drastic of a career change, he or she would have to train to learn more about the different types of display, because the look and feel would likely be quite a bit different.
Enter InStore Design Display. At IDD, how we help is that we include build-out instructions almost all of our displays. Just because merchandisers at the retail level are going to be responsible for putting displays together doesn’t mean they won’t receive assistance.
For example, if a client were to request a scalable header, it would have to be assembled upon delivery, so to make everybody’s jobs easier, included will be step-by-step instructions on how to piece it together with corresponding pictures, so that it’s simple and can’t easily be broken.
Nothing from IDD would be so cumbersome that a client could potentially say “Forget it – We won’t use this.” Unlike the infamous practices of a large-scale furniture retailer (IKEA), where things are sent with missing parts or lackluster instructions, we do our best to make it’s as easy as possible for displays to make it from the loading dock to the store front, fully assembled.
Interested in leveling up your point-of-purchase (POP) marketing with a new display? Download our free guide: The Future of Brick-and-Mortar.