Bachelor of Merchandise Management Degree
Whether they sell cars or clothes, food or power tools, stores are designed to do one thing: make a profit. You can see how retailers use different "hooks" to attract buyers just from seasonal merchandise rotations. Your local sports store, for instance, will feature skis in the winter, fishing poles and baseball equipment in the summer, and football jerseys in the fall.
Between 2008 and 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that merchandising management-related positions will grow at a rate of about 7% nationally (local markets may vary).2
What do Merchandising Managers Do?
Effectively managing merchandise isn't just about visual merchandising—putting up displays in the windows, updating the e-commerce site, or re-designing the catalog. It's also not about holding sales and promotions, such as holiday markdowns or gift giveaways.
Instead, effective merchandise management is a process of planning and analysis that aims to maximize sales and profitability. Merchandising management professionals may forecast customer demand to determine how much inventory of a specific item to buy, best practices for displaying it, and how to deal with merchandise that doesn't sell as quickly as necessary.3 Areas of responsibility can include:
- Customer behavior and buying habits
- Inventory assessment and control
- Pricing strategies
- Shop floor display strategies
- Sales tactics
- Marketing communications
In addition to increasing sales, merchandising management can help businesses gather important marketing data about their customers and about the product lines they feature in their stores. This information can be used to improve product designs, public relations, and store, website, or catalog layout. Many business degree programs offer concentrations in merchandising management through courses that could focus on these unique skills.
Interested in this learning more about pursuing a business bachelor of arts degree in merchandising management? Explore the list of schools below to find the business BA in merchandising management that suits you.
1"Retail Merchandising Management." BizMove.com. Web. 10 Sept. 2010.
2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition,Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos023.htm (visited September 10, 2010).
3Malone, Tim. "How Do You Define Merchandising Management?" Jewelers' Circular Keystone. Reed Elsevier, 6 Jan. 2009. Web. 13 Sept. 2010.
4"Bachelor of Arts Fashion Merchandising Degree." Academy.edu. The International Academy of Design and Technology - Tampa. Web. 9 Sept. 2010.