Merchandising. Defined.

The secret of Merchandising


When you think of Merchandising, what do you imagine?
Window dressing, attractive displays, stacking shelves?

Well, you're not alone.

It turns out that many people think that this type of visual promotion is what I do.

And while that is important to retail, it seems that the other
crucial side of Merchandising is a well-kept secret. 

Shall I let you in on it? 

Tell me more...

Merchandisers plan how to generate sales and profit.
And we all want to profit from what we are selling, right?

In big retail businesses, (think ASOS, H&M or Zara), Merchandisers
work alongside Buyers, analysing sales and trends.

The Buyer selects the products guided by the Merchandiser's shopping list.
The list tells them the amount of money to be spent, on how many lines, and in what quantities.

You can think of them as the Buyer's 'Accountant.'

The shopping list will be created to achieve the plan and satisfy their customers; ensuring products
appear in the right place, at the right time, in the right quantity and at the right price
(click the links to see examples).

No mean feat. 

After the buying phase, the Merchandisers control the delivery of
stock, distribution, and performance during the season.
In this selling phase, they trade their products, plan promotions and
markdowns, to maximise sales and, more importantly, profit.

Making Merchandising relevant to me, you and ASOS.

Think of it as your new BFF.

How to Merchandise like a pro

You can use Merchandising and your Flourish Tool Kit to:

Save you time
Help you analyse & make the right decisions
Help you forward plan
Make YOU more PROFIT

Allowing you to focus on what you love; being creative, making fantastic products, marketing
your brand, delighting customers and making the odd cup of tea in between*.

(*other beverages are available)

Want to use them?



How much money you will take in a specific time.
Most Merchandising plans will break down what you will sell at full price and at discount,
to hit your profit target.
See more about this in our Markdown Insight.


The difference between the amount earned (selling price) and the amount spent to produce your product or service (cost of goods).


Where should I stock my products to potentialise my sales?
Analysing the previous sales and taking into account current trends; such as an increase in online sales; to decide where to allocate stock.

I have two stores selling cushions.
One in London and one in Edinburgh. I also have a website.
I've looked at the sales from last year, and my store in Edinburgh sells more cushions than London.
I only sold 5 cushions online last year, but as my traffic is increasing, so are my sales.

I have decided that of my new line of 100 cushions, I will send 60 to Edinburgh, 25 to London and keep 15 for the website, to maximise the sales.


When should I launch my products?
Ensuring that you have products available when the customer expects to see them and wants to buy them.

I sell knitted hats.
Looking at the sales last year I can see that my knitted hats started selling in September, but didn't go crazy until November, when it got colder.
The shops have them available from August, so I need to have some on my website, but only in small quantities.
The full range of products will launch in November so they look 'new' to the customer at the time they want them.



How many products should I buy or make?
Using sales analysis and current trends to calculate how many products you need to potentialise your sales and minimise any markdown.

I sell sandals.
Last year I bought 150 pairs of white sandals and 100 pairs of blue sandals.
I sold out of the 100 blue sandals after 4 weeks, but I had 20 pairs of white sandals left at the end of the 8 week season.
This year I will buy 200 blue sandals and 130 pairs of white sandals so that I can potentialise my sales and reduce my markdown spend.



What is the right price for my product?
By understanding the pricing principles (see the Pricing Insight for more) and your place in the market, you can price your products correctly.

EXAMPLE: I sell jeans.
The basic style that I sell is similar to other retailers, so I decide this season I want to lower my price to sell a bigger volume.
As I'm online, the customer can't see or touch the product and my sales drop.
I increase the price slightly to give a better perception of value.
Sales increase, as does my profit.
Seems cheap isn't always the best option!