Merchandise Marketing Major: Requirements and Information

Merchandise marketing includes the planning, purchasing and promoting of retail goods such as clothing, furniture or toys. Students studying merchandise marketing at the bachelor's degree level learn about the full production and distribution processes, from development through sales.

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Essential Information

Merchandise marketing major programs incorporate business, marketing and management lessons; they also focus on the use of cutting-edge technology to promote various products. Analytical skills are emphasized in this 4-year program, since marketing professionals must be able to understand and predict consumer behavior and trends. Students are also often called upon to use their creativity to find unique ways to increase business growth.

Prerequisites can often include a high school diploma or GED, although supplemental admission requirements can vary by school. Graduates of these baccalaureate programs are often eligible for managerial positions once they obtain the necessary work experience in retail and marketing. Going on to study towards a master's degree is also an alternate option.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Merchandising and Buying
  • Merchandising Marketing, Sales, and Distribution
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  • Sales Operations

Merchandise Marketing Major

Bachelor's degree merchandise marketing majors take a variety of business courses in addition to completing studies in design and consumer behavior. They also learn about how to craft and distribute a message so that it can effectively maintain and expand a client base. Class topics might include:

  • Marketing strategy
  • Marketing research
  • Retail management
  • Visual merchandising

Popular Career Options

Graduates with a master's degree are prepared to work in a variety of retail careers, with access to upper-tier positions. Specific roles include buyer, merchandiser, store manager, sales support, and retail distributor.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts the field of purchasing managers will see little-to-no change in growth over the 2014-2024 decade, with only a 1% increase in demand. Data from the BLS shows a $108,120 median salary for purchasing managers in May 2015.

Continuing Education Information

Merchandise marketers may pursue additional education via graduate-level program such as a master's degree in marketing or a specialized Master of Business Administration (MBA). In addition to holding a bachelor's degree, MBA programs usually require two years of professional experience for admission. There are also several organizations that sponsor conferences and other educational experiences, such as the Global Market Development Center and the National Association for Retail Marketing Services.

Students looking to study within the field of merchandise marketing can take classes in a bachelor's degree program that offers a merchandise marketing major. By studying areas such as marketing strategy and visual merchandising, students will be prepared for a career as a buyer, among others.

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