Dhaka, Thursday, 30 June 2022

Corporate tips on merchandising in apparel industry

Corporate tips on merchandising in apparel industry

Ghulam Sumdany Don: The Apparel industry is one of the economic lifelines of the country, but just a few nicks can hamper the efficiency and productivity of the industry significantly. It is a hard fact that the industry has been suffering from a lack of a skilled workforce. Being the trainer for many leading apparel companies like H&M, Li & Fung, Marks & Spencer, R-pac, Epilliyon, Target, and many more, we have seen that, lack of trained employees is one of the main reasons many garment businesses are not thriving in-spite of having an ample amount of opportunity in the sector.

Industry based training is a must for the development of the apparel sector. It is a process of teaching or learning particular skills, knowledge, or attitude on the premises of the enterprise and at the company level.

The importance of corporate training is highly overlooked in our country. We have done different modules of training with different companies. Because, when it comes to the apparel market, there is no one size fits all. For instance, I built a training module for H&M on Leadership sessions because that was the time they were planning to train their existing employees so that they can be prepared to take on bigger roles and responsibilities.

On the other hand, when we conducted a session at Marks & Spencer, it was a two-day long session on ‘Unleash Your True Potential' because they were focused on helping the existing employees brush their inner potential. So, we always cater to the needs of the client, and we understand that depending on time, necessity and goals, different companies would need different training.

I personally believe that merchandising is one of the sales growth commandments and the most valuable in the apparel industry. It is the heart of any apparel company. Since the merchandiser is the link between consumer & supplier, he/she is the person responsible for the perfect execution of the orders. Some tips and tricks might improve the skill and quality to boost up the merchandising at best.

Learning & Skill Development

In an apparel industry, merchandising acts as the middleman of buyer and seller. This position needs qualities like Communication Skills, Decision Making Skills, Management Skills, and Negotiation and Convince Skills. This skill retains the buyers and sellers in the platform. Your efficiency, as a merchandiser, in this skill will help to gain the desired output. There is no alternative to learning if you want to succeed in any respective field. It is the willingness of yours that will enable you to learn and develop the skill required and unleash your utmost potential.

Team Building

Team building events are an integral part of an organization’s overall performance. Taking care to educate, amuse, and enhance relationships within your business holds a heap of advantages. Corporate team building activities are a promising strategy to boost the team from enhanced reliability to encouraging self-improvement. Thus, it can be a key as well to event strategy in any apparel industry.

Internal & External Communication

In a merchandising department, the employer must have to set a hard-working mind, have credible strength, immediate intelligence, controlled observation, diligence, etc. Merchandisers need to be cautious when they are dealing with a buyer. No apparel industry will survive without buyers. That is why satisfying buyers and maintaining a good relationship with them is very important.

Additionally, merchandisers need to communicate with the other departments of the organization. So, they need strong communication skills while communicating and interacting with other departments. Thus, internal communication is valuable as well to make a good relationship with different people and observe all the work on the initial level.


Negotiation is the core skill of a Merchandiser. It is one of the most important qualities of a merchandiser to successfully negotiate with a buyer or supplier. Negotiation is considered a tool for improving business growth in the apparel industry. With this ability, a merchandiser can produce a fruitful request from a purchaser at the right cost and with different terms and conditions autonomously. For reaching an agreement, a buyer or merchant, or supplier must be calm. The function of negotiation is not to defeat the other party but to work for a win-win solution so that both parties can transact business with profit.

Time Management

Time Management is a mechanism by which time is arranged and scheduled between particular tasks. In apparel merchandising, a merchandiser must adhere to the time frame committed with the buyer. He/she must handle the employees, communicate between the manufacturing facility, monitor the progress of production, and get the jobs done simultaneously within the timeline. Hence, the merchandiser must also pursue effective time management to ensure that others comply. A merchandiser often feels like there isn’t sufficient time to get all the work done or find a chance to breathe. It is therefore extremely difficult to avoid a mistake when stress & pressures possess all the work hours.

Experience is the Best Master

Imagine you want to buy an iPhone. But you don’t know how good it actually is for you. Then what would you do? Talk to someone who uses an iPhone. Why? Because he/she has the ‘experience’ of using an iPhone. Based on your requirements, the users can suggest to you whether you should or shouldn’t buy it. Your career path is like the iPhone. The user is like a corporate trainer. Whatever difficulties you are facing, the trainer faced it before or advised clients who went through such issues. They can realize your problem and provide solutions accordingly. This guidance in the platform of merchandise is very important because sometimes a small decision takes precedence for a big change.

To boost-up the productivity level after the pandemic

This pandemic was a great barrier to transportation and caused damage to maximum trades globally. The last year was an economic disaster we all know. The loss needs to get a high return in the upcoming years to maintain stability in the long run. However, an online revolution has taken place in this pandemic, which needs to be used effectively to extract the maximum return.

To understand the organizational growth hacks

As a merchandiser, your post-pandemic tactics and performances will surely have a great impact on the loss. Some focal points for this performance might be better, i.e., decision-making ability, management skills focusing on increasing productivity, updated knowledge about goods, etc. Hence, to drive the desired goal in the right direction, it is essential to understand the organizational growth hacks.Thus, training and development are essential for merchandisers.

(The writer is a professional corporate trainer and Chief Inspirational Officer at Don Sumdany Facilitation & Consultancy)