Merchandising Manager - The Career

Have you ever wondered why you can't resist buying a candy bar right before you check out at the grocery store? That candy bar stand was placed purposefully and with the full intention of pulling in last-minute impulse purchases.

But how do stores know this? How do they know how much of a product to stock, where to stock it, and how best to advertise that product? To answer these and other questions, stores turn to merchandising managers, retail experts who collect store data to make stocking decisions. Read on to discover how merchandising managers identify ways to increase sales at a store.

What do they do?

Merchandising managers determine the best ways to stock, price, and present goods at a store. They study sales figures and inventory levels to decide which products go on sale, and how much of a product to purchase.

Location and Opportunity

According to, companies need merchandising managers in locations throughout the country. These companies are spread throughout, with some of the highest job concentrations in the following areas:

  • New York, NY
  • Houston, TX
  • Chicago, IL
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Atlanta, GA

By staying up to date on consumer purchasing trends, merchandising managers select and purchase the correct number of goods to stock. Taking into account the goods they have in stock and amount of floor space, they plan out product displays and determine the best ways to get consumers interested in those products.

Merchandising managers pay attention to customer demand and coordinate with suppliers to ensure they meet that demand. Typically, merchandising managers work with a variety of other retail professionals, including:


Merchandising managers typically have previous retail experience, and understand how to translate the numbers behind consumer buying behavior into real in-store marketing strategies. Additionally, these individuals must be highly organized, and keep track of multiple performance indicators, such as sales figures, logistics management, and transport and production costs.

Most merchandising managers earn bachelor's degrees in marketing before entering the field, giving them a solid understanding of how to read marketing facts and figures.

Become a Merchandising Manager

Companies assign merchandising managers high-responsibility tasks, and pay them well if they've shown aptitude for the job. Most merchandising managers earn between $85,000 and $98,000 in salary.

If you're interested in learning more about consumer behavior analysis, and how to translate that analysis into boosts in sales, contact schools offering degrees in marketing.