Nov

05

Careers in Fashion Merchandising: The Showroom Merchandise Marketing Assistant & the Showroom Manager

by Mani

For independent fashion designers, a fashion showroom is an essential part of their business where the majority of their sales are generated. Showrooms are where buyers visit to browse current designer collections and place orders from showroom representatives. A showroom may house a single fashion designer’s merchandise, or multiple fashion designers’ merchandise. Fashion merchandising colleges prepare students for careers in fashion like a showroom environment. The professional showroom team consists Sales Representatives, also known as an Account Coordinators, Merchandise Marketing Assistants or Showroom Assistants, who are led by the Showroom Manager. Showroom representatives become the face of a fashion line, selling merchandise to buyers and handling retail accounts. Typical job responsibilities of the showroom Merchandise Marketing Assistant might include:

  • Answer phones
  • Filing
  • Order supplies
  • Monitoring purchase orders
  • Sending and receive shipments of new merchandise
  • Confirming and tracking shipping reports to fashion buyers
  • Handling invoices
  • Communicating with stores on selling updates
  • Maintaining up-to-date samples and inventory reports
  • Researching potential stores
  • Keeping the showroom organized and tidy
  • Updating the calendar with trade show and travel dates
  • Staying up-to-date on product knowledge of vendors and merchandise
  • Keeping a current list of customers in system
Interior of Academy Awards Clothing Showrooms where fashion merchandising professionals work in downtown Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of www.academyshowrooms.com.

Interior of Academy Awards Clothing Showrooms where fashion merchandising professionals work in downtown Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of www.academyshowrooms.com.

The Showroom Manager is in charge of managing the team of Merchandise Marketing Assistants, overseeing the organization of designer collections, appointment scheduling with buyers and retail account relationships, cost management and budgeting, and more. Typical duties may include:

Visual Merchandising

  • Managing the merchandise inventory stock and reordering procedures for when inventory drops to a specified level
  • Examining new fashion merchandise to ensure that it is correctly priced and displayed and that it functions as advertised
  • Examining products purchased for resale or received for storage to assess the condition of each product or item
  • Estimating consumer demand and determine the types and amounts of goods to be sold

Sales Management

  • Providing customer service by greeting and assisting fashion buyers, and responding to client inquiries and complaints or concerns
  • Instructing staff on how to handle difficult and complicated sales, or promotions
  • Monitoring sales activities to ensure that customers receive satisfactory service and quality goods
  • Consulting with fashion designers and company team members to develop methods and procedures to increase sales, expand markets, and promote business
  • Keeping records of purchases, sales, and requisitions
  • Planning and coordinating advertising campaigns and sales promotions, and prepare merchandise displays and advertising copy

Personnel Management and Training

  • Delegating specific duties to showroom employee
  • Enforcing safety, health, and security rules
  • Planning and preparing work schedules and keeping records of employees’ work schedules and time cards
  • Hiring, training and evaluating of personnel in sales or marketing establishments, and promoting or firing workers when appropriate

Showroom Operations

  • Directing and supervising employees engaged in sales, inventory-taking, reconciling cash receipts, or in performing customer services for clients
  • Ensuring the cleanliness and organization of the visual appeal of the showroom including shelves and displays
  • Establishing and implementing policies, goals, objectives, and procedures for their department
  • Reviewing inventory and sales records to prepare reports for management and budget departments
  • Planning budgets and authorizing payments and merchandise returns
  • Formulating pricing policies for merchandise, according to profitability requirements
  • Establishing credit policies and operating procedures

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