Merchandising Director: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

A merchandising director requires little formal education. Learn about the education, job duties, and experience requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

A merchandising director plays an important role in a retail company by overseeing the marketing, branding, and promotion of the company's products. This supervisory position requires strong leadership skills, in addition to creativity and knowledge of market trends. Industry experience is the most important prerequisite to succeed in this profession, but pairing that with a bachelor's degree might be helpful.

Essential Information

Merchandising directors are responsible for increasing customer sales through marketing and promoting products to their target audience. Many directors specialize in e-commerce or visual merchandising. Merchandising directors usually have a lot of job experience in the industry, and this may be more important than formal training. However, an associate's or a bachelor's degree in marketing, business or a related field may be useful.

Required Education No specific requirements, but industry experience is essential; undergraduate degree in a relevant field can be helpful
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 1% (for purchasing managers)
Median Salary (2015)* $108,120 (for purchasing managers)

Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Job Description of a Merchandising Director

Merchandising directors are often employed by retail outlets, fashion shops, entertainment establishments, and wholesale businesses. They are responsible for promoting products and services at various events and activities, such as concerts, exhibits, sports events, parks, retail outlets, and recreational events.

Merchandising Director Job Duties

Their duties include supervising the work of other staff members to ensure productivity and providing assistance as needed. Responsibilities include designing the presentation of products and managing promotions and displays of merchandise. Directors arrange store displays and offer product giveaways or specials discounts. They develop improvement plans, produce monthly reports, and research product implementation. Directors must also assist in pricing, budgeting, and creating profit and loss statements.

Merchandising Director Requirements

Merchandising directors must possess leadership skills, yet still be a team player. Strong verbal and written skills are essential. The ability to multitask and problem solve is also needed. Knowledge of computers and software programs is typically required. Merchandising directors must have the ability to understand current market trends and buying psychology. They must be creative and have a strong understanding of their products.

A formal education may not be required for merchandising directors. Employers typically value experience the most. However, an associate's or a bachelor's degree in business, marketing, merchandising, or visual communications can be beneficial. In a merchandising program, aspiring merchandising directors study marketing, textiles, buying, color theory, and manufacturing.

Salary and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, reported in May 2015 that purchasing managers earned an average salary of $114,130 a year, noting that the median annual salary earned was $108,120. The employment of purchasing managers was expected to grow by only one percent from 2014 to 2024, according to the BLS, which is slower than the national average.

In summary, a marketing director is in charge of ensuring profit and productivity of a company by managing how it markets products to consumers. A background in marketing or business is often helpful, as is extensive experience in similar roles. This career merges creative vision with leadership skills and business acumen.

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