The fast-paced field of consumer merchandising management is all about the buying, promotion and sale of products to the public. This involves understanding how and where goods are made, purchased, distributed and marketed to the customer. Keep reading to learn more about what it takes to have a career in consumer merchandising management.
Consumer merchandising management involves the distribution, promotion and sale of goods to customers. If you enroll in a merchandising management program, you can learn about the organization of the industry, consumer behavior, pricing strategies and inventory control. All of these areas contribute to making goods available to customers where and when they want them. You can pursue various occupations within the consumer and merchandising management arena, such as supply-chain manager, retail manager and marketing manager. Other options include merchandise manager, buyer, and purchasing manager.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median annual salary for purchasing managers in May 2010 was $95,070 (www.bls.gov). Buyers and purchasing agents had a yearly median wage of $54,220 in the same time frame. Overall employment for all three occupations was expected to increase seven percent between 2008 and 2018.
Although a degree is not always required for employment, the BLS does report that the majority of employers prefer to hire someone with at least a bachelor's degree in the merchandising management field. If you aspire to a top level purchasing manager job, a merchandising master's degree is often preferred.
Many types of degrees can be acceptable for employment in this field, such as a degree in business, merchandising management, economics and retail management. For any type of merchandising degree, you can expect to take a variety of classes, including consumer behavior, customer relations management, marketing, accounting, merchandising and product development. Business communication, statistics and computer technology are also often covered.