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Merchandise Planning and Management

Merchandise Planning and Management

What you’ll learn to do: Identify the important aspects of merchandise planning and management

Merchandise management and planning are an essential part of successful apparel retailers. Here are a few statistics to consider regarding the size of the apparel market on a global level.

In total the global apparel market is approximately $3 billion dollars, 2% of the world’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product.  How does that break down into categories within the global apparel market?

  • Womenswear:  $621 billion
  • Menswear:  $402 billion
  • Childrenswear:  $186 billion
  • Sports Footwear:  $90 billion
  • Bridalwear:  $57 billion
  • Luxury Goods:  $339 billion

In this module we will explore the important characteristics of Merchandise Management that support this $3B industry.


  • Define merchandise management
  • Describe the characteristics and functions performed within retail buying organizations
  • Differentiate between staple and fashion merchandise buying systems

Merchandise Management

A blue shelf stocked with a variety of jarred spicesMerchandise Management involves understanding and evaluating the consumer’s buying habits to effectively source, plan, display, and stock merchandise. It is a process from beginning (strategy) to end (performance evaluation) that is cyclical in nature and involves individuals at every level of the retail organization.

We discussed some of those key roles and opportunities in retail in the Module 1: Introduction to Retailing, and you most likely thought about where you would and wouldn’t be an ideal fit.

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