Head of Merchandising


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Jeanette B is Head of Merchandising at an office supplies wholesaler, Spicers. She didn't go to university because she chose to stay at home with her mum, who needed help. So she took a job as a merchandising assistant. "The guy that I reported into, who was a bit of a tough cookie, helped me learn a huge amount in a very short space of time and he worked me really hard and at first I thought, 'I can't get through this, I don't understand it.' But actually the harder he pushed me, the harder I wanted to show him that I could do it. He's been a real inspiration in my life and he's part of the reason that I conduct myself in the way that I do today."

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More information about Merchandisers and window dressers

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average salary
The UK average salary is £28,758
average weekly hours
There are 37.5 hours in the average working week
26%  male  74%  female 
The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment


Merchandisers and window dressers replenish stocks of goods in stores, advise retailers on the optimum display of merchandise and create displays of merchandise in shop windows.


Entrants typically possess a professional qualification from the British Design Society, or an approved vocational qualification. Candidates usually require GCSEs/S grades. Degrees and apprenticeships are available, as well as NVQs/SVQs in Visual Merchandising at Levels 1 and 2.


  • Monitors stock movements, considers customer requirements and assists customers in completing orders;
  • Supplies information about the product to the retailer and sales staff and deals with customer enquiries;
  • Consults with advertising and sales staff and advises retailers on the optimal display of a product and of any promotions;
  • Implements plans from display designers or display managers or develops ideas and plans for merchandise display or window dressing;
  • Prepares area for new display, constructs or assembles displays from a variety of materials, and dismantles existing displays and returns merchandise to relevant departments;
  • Provides feedback about displays to senior managers.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries
for this job
Retail trade 10715
Head offices, etc 5510
Advertising, etc 2639
Wholesale trade 2232
Financial services 1441
Food products 716
Printing & recording 690
Specialised construction 663
Other professional 644
Wearing apparel; Leather, etc 475
Employment status

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Jeanette B

Jeanette B Hi, I’m Jeanette B. I’m head of merchandising for Spicers UK. It’s my role and responsibility here at Spicers to develop the product range that we sell to our customers, to decide which manufacturers we purchase product from and we produce a thousand and something page catalogue every year. Every page is reviewed, proofed and presented by my team. On leaving school I had the plan to go and teach and unfortunately, at the time that I left school, my mother was ill so I decided that I wanted to be around and support her so I went to look out in the world of work at something and I joined a business called Viking Direct and I joined their customer service team and there was an internal application open for a merchandising assistant. The guy that I reported into, who was a bit of a tough cookie, helped me learn a huge amount in a very short space of time and he worked me really hard and at first I thought, “I can’t get through this, I don’t understand it.” But actually the harder he pushed me, the harder I wanted to show him that I could do it. He’s been a real inspiration in my life and he’s part of the reason that I conduct myself in the way that I do today. I met a new guy which changed the path of my life for a short space of time and we decided that we were both at a stage in our careers where we felt that we could take a step back without damaging our careers and go travelling for a bit to really open our eyes up to the world. I travelled Africa, South East Asia, the usual route, Australia and New Zealand and the States and then when our brains really needed something to keep us going again, we came back to the UK and at that point I joined Spicers. My favourite experience was visiting Uganda which is a very beautiful country but we visited the mountain gorillas which was just an amazing experience. I just enjoyed moving around and seeing very different things in all places across the world. It gave me a very, very different view as to what goes on outside of my back garden and it’s just given me a basis for knowing a little bit more about what happens around the world and how different people live and how I can and can’t affect some of those things. I initially wanted to be a teacher because I liked the people interaction. I wanted to use some of my skills to help little people learn and develop and grow. I accepted a place in Liverpool to do a teacher training course and because my Mum was so ill at that stage, I took the decision that I needed to support my family. I don’t think it’s effected my career at all, given my circumstances at the time, you know, I took the decision that that wasn’t the right move for me then and I don’t regret it now. You know, I just worked that bit harder to achieve a little bit more. The other person who’s been a real influence in my life is my Mum. I had a fairly difficult upbringing in that my father passed away just before I was born so she decided to give up her role of work and look after me full time so all I’ve ever wanted to do is make her proud so...and I hope I’ve done that. I do hope I’ve done that. If I could, I’d love to be doing what I do today, sitting in an office in Sydney overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House with a wider team of people that I can hope to encourage and learn from me and my actions. I love the interaction with people and want to be able to pass my skills and help people develop in the way that people have offered me. ENDS  

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