Inside NFM: 8 Hours in the Life of a Merchandiser
As merchandisers and administrators at NFM, our goal is to sell furniture – a lot of it. So, how do we create excitement for a certain bedroom set, a sofa or a home entertainment unit? The price, the style, the location of the piece, and the way it is accessorized all play into it. We have to look at these things with a critical eye every day.
One of the objectives is to create a sellable floor. This means the furniture on the floor needs to be in stock, closeouts and floor samples are strategically priced, and the flow and visual appeal of the furniture allows you to envision those pieces in your home…like sugar plums dancing in your head.
Our mornings begin by running the sold report to see what items have been sold and need to be moved off of the floor. We then walk our respective floors with Visual Merchandisers and Display. When we’re walking the floor, we merchandisers look for a variety of things. One is for “holes.” A hole is when you walk by and furniture is, well, it’s missing. It has more than likely been sold and picked up shortly after the transaction was completed. To fill a hole, there are options such as pulling furniture from clearance or even utilizing something from the floor. We also plan our moves for the next day by analyzing what we have in the warehouse and where it would be the best fit on the floor. Our team has adopted Tim Gunn’s famous catchphrase, “Make it work.” It has become our mantra. There are mornings where it feels like we’re playing a gigantic game of Tetris!
We also look at the details such as furniture that needs touched up or replaced. Before the store opens, we ensure the ads are properly tagged and any pertinent information is relayed to the sales team.
We attend sales team meetings to provide an overview of the ads, look for any large scale moves, and answer questions in an open forum with the sales team. Building a rapport with the sales team and sales managers is an integral part of our teamwork.
Once the store opens, Merchandisers typically begin reviewing reports looking for new stock, items out of stock and closeouts. We then write the move sheet for the next day and follow up with the Visual Merchandisers for planning. Our other tasks include markdowns of discontinued stock on the floor, competitive shops against the competition, and competitive price moves.
When you see us on the floor with our clipboards making notes or walking the floor, stop and say hi.