Guide to the top ten careers in fashion
Crucial to successful trading, merchandisers are responsible for planning stock levels, predicting sales trends and ensuring businesses have the right product, in the right place. A strong merchandising team drives the overall profitability of a fashion business.
Like buying, this is a role with a diverse set of responsibilities. Merchandisers can expect to be tasked with ensuring sufficient stock levels, forecasting with suppliers, planning orders, selecting products and creating strategies to drive sales. Those looking to progress in this field need to be able to crunch the numbers and have a head for data. Merchandisers will need to forecast sales and profits, analyse the previous performance of key styles or categories and create detailed reports. A nose for a bestseller and a razor-sharp understanding of the end consumer are also vital traits for a good merchandiser.
Merchandisers often work closely with different teams across a retail business, particularly with the buying department, so need to have good people skills and be willing to work collaboratively. To rise through the ranks, a good merchandiser will also be a confident communicator and be able to build strong relationships with senior leaders in an organisation.
A merchandising manager or head of merchandising will be expected to lead large teams, so must be able to manage people and inspire their work force.
Salary: Those starting out in merchandising can expect to earn between £20,000 - £30,000. That rises to £40,000 to £50,000 for a merchandising manager.
Head of sustainability
Sustainability has rocketed up retailers’ agendas over the past 12 months, as consumers wake up to the toll the fashion industry is having on the world around them. Finding someone who can spearhead a business’s sustainability strategy is becoming at top priority for many.
This is a leadership role, which requires passion, vision and a strategic outlook. A head of sustainability or chief sustainability officer is responsible for both monitoring and improving a company’s impact on the environment. In the fashion industry, this can mean everything from addressing how much energy stores use, to reducing plastic waste in the supply chain and ensuring the fair treatment of workers across the business.
A head of sustainability is responsible for setting and tracking targets, keeping up to date with environmentally focused legislation that might have an impact on the business and developing new ways to help the business work in a greener, cleaner way.
They need to be an expert in the world of sustainability, with a clear understanding of the latest best practice in this rapidly evolving field. A good chief sustainability officer is curious and always on the lookout for ways to create a better business. He or she must also have their finger on the pulse of which sustainability issues are most pertinent to their specific business. They must also be able to communicate why sustainability is so important and create a compelling business case as to why retailers need to tackle this issue.
Salary: A head of sustainability can expect to earn over £70,000, according to data from Glassdoor.