Basic Concepts of Fashion Merchandising

Concepts of Fashion Merchandising:
After apparel manufacturers produce goods, they sell the items to retail stores who sell them to you, the customer. Retail means the sale of goods in small quantities to consumers. Fashion retailers sell clothes and accessories. They decide what styles, fabrics, colors, and sizes to sell and at what prices. Retailers display, advertise, promote, and sell the items, choosing techniques they hope will entice people to buy. All of this is called fashion merchandising, a critical and exciting component of the fashion industry. Fashion merchandising is part of the huge retail industry that sells goods to consumers. It helps in the promotion of apparel sales. Fashions are sold in stores, as well as through catalogs and the Internet.

fashion merchandising
Fig: Fashion merchandising

Merchandising is a specialized management function within the fashion industry. It includes all the activities beginning from fashion forecasting, design and development of product to retail activity and this also comprises production as well as retail merchandising. Fashion merchandise consists of items of retail merchandise that have ornamental value either with or without having any functional value. It includes predominantly items of apparel because they can all be ornamental as well as functional. The meadow of merchandising exists to service the designer and customer relationship.

Fashion Merchandisers are responsible for selection of materials, liasoning with the production team and meeting market requirements. The job demands knowledge of fashion trends, textures, materials and colors on one hand and understanding of market demand and the production processes on the other.

Basic Tasks in Fashion Merchandising:
Main task of a fashion merchandiser is to transfer products from designer and manufacturer to customer hands. Below tasks are done in fashion merchandising by a fashion merchandiser.

1. Fashion Forecasting:
It demonstrates/directs the apparel industry for new fashion presentation for the forthcoming season, thus it can recognize new fashion concepts, and the retail store’s merchandising approach.

2. Design Development:
The design is created in light of themes utilizing the components of design, namely, color, texture, shape and implementing the principles of fashion such as proportion, balance and harmony. The design development must be practical which collects the current fashion trends and also viable to convert them into a finished garment.

3. Sample Development:
The collection of designs developed by the fashion designers and the designs that have excellent prospects should be selected and taken for sample development process.

4. Product Specification:
The specifications with regard to the particular product or style could be helpful in setting the product specification for the particular style of garment. It will direct the production department in the industry to develop and plan their merchandising activities and production planning and organise the thing for effective and efficient production of the merchandise.

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5. Merchandising Plan or Policy:
It is a long range criterion for fashion buying and selling also for associated activities such as sales promotion. Merchandising plans are planned quite a few months ahead of the selling season.

6. Buying:
It is a very vital task of fashion merchandising because it is the real process of manufacturing the product and displaying it for the sales at retail stores. A buyer’s task consists of both the buying and selling features of retailing.

Career in Fashion Merchandising:
Careers in fashion merchandising are varied. Fashion merchandising offers career possibilities for people with wide-ranging interests and talents. As a fashion merchandising you should keep knowledge on planning, production, promotion and distribution of products in fashion industries to meet consumer demand. You have to able to analyze target markets, designing and using visual communication, and planning and promoting fashion products.

Some of the career paths in Fashion Merchandising are:

  1. Visual merchandising
  2. Fashion buyer
  3. Fashion marketing
  4. Fashion store manager
  5. Showroom manager
  6. Fashion coordinator/director
  7. Account executive


  1. Apparel Manufacturing Technology By T. Karthik, P. Ganesan and D. Gopalakrishnan
  2. Clothing: Fashion, Fabrics and Construction, Fifth Edition by Jeanette Weber
  3. Apparel Merchandising by R. Rathinamoorthy and R. Surjit
  4. Fashion Marketing Management by A. Arunraj and V. Ramesh Babu
  5. Elements of Fashion and Apparel Designing By Puneet Bansal

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