*_Merchants of chic-istan!_*

In the modern fashion constellation, there are multiple genres of roles which collaborate to create and sustain a successful Brand. Fashion is not only about the glamorous runways, fashion glossies and designing couture; it’s a whole new dimension of creating desirable wants to satisfy the ever demanding creative soul of curious customers.

Merchandising is one such dynamic fashion Branch, which has multifold into a promising field in fashion umbrella. Merchandisers have transformed into a crucial catalyst in the process of finished product reaching the Ultimate user. One of the principle functions of Merchandiser is to ensure delivery of the right quantity finished goods, in right specifications as required by the buyer.

The role of Merchandiser revolves around coordination of planning, purchasing, moving and controlling of materials in optimum manner at minimum cost for the buyer’s buyer. Unlike Marketing, Merchandising is more specific concerning itself with the development, execution and delivery of the product line with its close ties to the market segment.

Merchandising not only is able to adjust but also they formulate market changes.

Depending to the structure and nature of the organization, the job profile of a merchandiser differs in the functionality and responsibility. There is vast scope and great demand for merchandisers in Garment Industry by – Export houses, Buying houses, Retailers / Brand studios, Importers,etc.

Functions of Merchandiser in export house is has to deal with buying houses or buyer directly. His main duties are to correspond with buyer, co-ordinate with various in-house departments like sampling, stores, quality control, etc, to generate purchase orders for accessories, fabrics, etc, to organize inspections, Organizing seller – buyer meets, etc.

Whereas, in buying house, Merchandiser deals with numbers of factories, vendor sourcing and training the appropriate ones as per buyer’s standard, Shipping and scheduling, prevent delays, etc. On other hand in retail organization merchandisers does range selection, estimate sales, vendor selection, Visual Merchandising, pricing decisions, plan stocks, etc.

Thus, we can see how diverse and crucial the function of Merchandiser is in various different organizations. Irrespective of his functions and role, to be successful merchandiser, one must possess traits like excellent Trend forecasting, excellent communication skills, negotiating art, team building, market understanding, co-ordination skills, Technology know-how, etc.

At the outset of globalization, the retail sector has boomed in magnitude and thus, has resulted in whole new career segment in the field of Retailing. This also has majorly revived the importance of efficient and articulate merchandisers, who fiercely catastases the trickle down fashion and make trends accessible for masses.

And, as fashion consciousness penetrates and transforms tinsel towns into trend lands, the demand for affluent team of merchandisers would be always on rise. Once, the there was a merchant of Venice, today is the time where merchandisers coordinates a vernacular vendor to re-create that Venetian Elegance!

Aniket Satnam

Fashion Columnist

Student of BD. Somani

In associate with Raju Bhatia

HOD, Fashion technology

B.D. Somani Institute of Arts and Fashion Technology.

Cuff Parade, Mumbai, MAH, India