Retail Merchandising Analyst:
A retail merchandising analyst helps maximize the profit potential for a retail store or retail chain. By analyzing inventory risks and opportunities, and implementing inventory allocation strategies, the merchandising analyst improves cash flow and increases profit margins.
A merchandising analyst streamlines the flow of merchandise through a retail outlet by providing the organization with analysis, allocation, and guidance.
Analysis responsibilities include monitoring store category sales, supervising physical inventory, identifying trends, and monitoring the timing and scope of seasonal changes,
Allocation responsibilities include maintaining desired inventory levels and assortments, scheduling deliveries, and overseeing shipping/receiving and warehousing of merchandise. Working directly with suppliers, merchandising analysts develop supply strategies that will minimize stockouts while maximizing inventory turns.
The retail store or organization also looks to the merchandising analyst to provide guidance about selling patterns, the timing of future purchases, and purchasing philosophies.
A blend of merchandising and data analysis experience are desirable for a merchandising analyst. Significant analytical experience and computer proficiency with programs like MS Excel and/or Access are essential. Strong written and verbal communication skills are also necessary. Organization, creative problem-solving, and a continuous improvement mentality are key qualities for success in this career.
A bachelor’s degree in Finance, Accounting, or Economics is preferred. Other degrees or no degree at all are sometimes acceptable with a combination of retail, buying, and allocation experience. A master’s degree is a plus, and may be a prerequisite, depending on the size and scope of the retail operation.
There is a salary range of $30,000 - $90,000 for merchandising analysts. The size and sales volume of the retail operation is a key factor in determining compensation, as well as the scope of responsibilities within the organization. A successful merchandising analyst will often be given senior advisory functions, and receive additional compensation that corresponds with the added responsibilities. The position usually comes with a full benefits package, which often includes merchandise discounts.