What Does a Merchandise Coordinator Do?

Kathy Heydasch

Many of the products available in stores are there as a result of the efforts of a merchandise coordinator. A person in this job works with retailers to position products in stores, count inventory, rotate stock, or many other duties. Jobs in this field often require experience in the retail industry. A merchandise coordinator must have a great eye for product placement as well as a devotion to impeccable customer service.

Coordinators oversee various tasks, including shipping and receiving.
Coordinators oversee various tasks, including shipping and receiving.

Large manufacturers use these coordinators to serve as the liaison with their customers, which can be any retail outlet. For example, a merchandise coordinator for a line of baked goods might have several grocery stores in a certain territory as customers. The coordinator might be responsible for placing orders for depleted inventory, ensuring only fresh goods are in place, arranging a product display that is appealing to the eye of the shopper, or putting a coupon dispenser in front of the product.

Merchandise coordinators work with retail stores to get products distributed in the best way possible.
Merchandise coordinators work with retail stores to get products distributed in the best way possible.

Merchandise coordinators work at the direction of the manufacturer, who usually offers them some training about the product they are selling. People in this position must know price points and be familiar with point-of-purchase displays. They also work with the cooperation of the managers at the various retail outlets. For this reason, it is important the coordinator have excellent communication and organization skills.

Retail displays are designed to get attention from passing customers.
Retail displays are designed to get attention from passing customers.

The work schedule for a merchandise coordinator can sometimes be at odd hours, like evenings and weekends. This is because stores prefer to keep their aisles clear during peak shopping hours. These coordinators might be mistaken for traditional stock clerks at times, opening boxes and arranging displays on store shelves or in store aisles at off-peak times.

Merchandise coordinators may monitor a company's products to see where the best market for them is.
Merchandise coordinators may monitor a company's products to see where the best market for them is.

The job of a merchandise coordinator usually requires some travel to and from the various customer locations, but it may be possible to have a job that requires no overnight travel. This is because the coordinator is typically assigned a district, or territory, in which to work. Then he or she is responsible for the merchandise at all the retail outlets within that geographic location.

A merchandise coordinator may work for several grocery stores within a specific territory.
A merchandise coordinator may work for several grocery stores within a specific territory.

In an increasingly online retail world, merchandise coordinators may benefit from adapting their skills to a cyber environment. Although not a traditional expectation of the job requirements, the coordinator might work with online retailers as well. He or she may provide copy and photographs of products for sale, re-stock an online retailer's products, or coordinate drop shipments from online orders.

Jobs as a merchandise coordinator often require experience in the retail industry.
Jobs as a merchandise coordinator often require experience in the retail industry.

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