Individuals enrolled in merchandising management programs can expect to learn about not only retail, but also business and sales. An associate's degree program in the field provides students with a foundation in retail, business and merchandising principles. Bachelor's degree programs may provide more focus on visual merchandising and advanced merchandising principles or allow students to choose a specialization.
Programs may also require students to get an internship or practicum in the field. Both programs require that a student has a high school diploma or equivalent to be admitted. After graduation, some merchandising managers work for manufacturing companies selling products to retail chains, while others work directly within retail chains.
Associate of Science in Merchandising Management
An associate's degree program in merchandising management primarily teaches individuals how to display products and goods in order to attract customers' attention. It also allows them to specialize in a particular area, such as fashion merchandising or retail merchandising. While enrolled in an associate's degree program in merchandising management, students are required to take introductory courses in basic merchandising and purchasing principles. Some of these include:
- Introduction to merchandising
- Buying and purchasing
- Product coordination
- Display techniques
- Advertising and marketing
- Introduction to sales
Bachelor of Science in Retail Merchandising and Management
Students enrolled in a bachelor's degree program in retail merchandising and management gain an overview of basic business and retail principles and learn about inventory control, purchasing, retail operations management and selling techniques. The classroom lectures that make up a degree program in retail merchandising and management cover the basic principles of retail, economics, business, management and marketing. Some specific courses include:
- Principles of marketing
- Introduction to finance
- Merchandise control
- Planning and scheduling
- Retail promotions and sales
- Human resource management
Popular Career Options
A degree in retail merchandising management can prepare individuals for several positions in the fields of retail, marketing and management. Careers include:
- Retail merchandising manager
- Fashion merchandiser
- Store manager
- Retail buyer
- Visual merchandiser
- Market research director
- Retail operations manager
- Merchandise distributor
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), buyers and purchasing agents (which are related to merchandising managers) could expect to see a 2% growth from 2014-2024, which was less than average. The BLS includes merchandising managers under purchasing managers, and these workers earned a mean salary of $114,130 in May 2015.
For individuals interested in merchandising management, individuals can pursue an associate's or bachelor's degree in a major such as retail merchandising or merchandising management. These programs incorporate fundamental merchandising, marketing, business and purchasing content, and may also allow students to choose fashion as an area of concentration.