dcsimg

Career Story: Gift And Toy Merchandiser For A "Big Box" Bookstore

Gift And Toy Merchandiser For A "Big Box" Bookstore

Job Title: Bookseller, Gift And Game Merchandiser

Type of Company: The company I work for is a national bookstore chain.

Education: BA, Public Relations, UMass-Amherst

Previous Experience: I worked in advertising as a media buyer for a number of advertising agencies when I first started my career. As a media buyer, I would frequently also handle the PR involved in new store openings for some of my retail clients. As the advertising business changed and the number of media jobs dwindled, I decided to pursue a career in a field I loved ... books! I started as a bookseller, and added merchandiser to my role. My previous PR experience has been valuable in helping me coordinate in-store promotions and execute planned merchandising strategies.

Job Tasks: I am a gift and toy merchandiser in a local bookstore; my store is part of a national retail bookstore chain. I am responsible for receiving merchandise which arrives daily in our store and for getting that merchandise out to the sales floor. I follow specific guidelines called 'planograms' for displaying merchandise, as well as creatively setting up some of my own feature displays. I set up planned merchandise promotions for various merchandise lines within my department; those promotions are planned by the Gift Division of the corporate office. Merchandising plans change daily and are accessed through the company computer system. A promotion for a specific product line or featured merchandise theme may last 3-6 weeks, depending on the specific product line or seasonality of the merchandise. Some plans that are executed may be for permanent 're-sets' of a given product line that will remain planned for 6 months to a year.

Merchandise that I'm responsible for includes some of the following: board games, travel games, toys, educational games, puzzles, fine stationery, home & office gifts, bookends, bookmarks, spinner kits, reading aids, writing tools, art supplies, journals, sketchbooks, photo & gift albums, juvenile gift product, picture frames, lap desks, calendars, etc.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that nothing is static. New merchandise arrives daily and rotating promotions among the various gift and toy lines changes constantly. I enjoy the challenge of merchandising and of creatively making room for new product which there's really no room for! I especially enjoy tackling specific tasks which are visually 'completed' at the end of the day. I also relish the freedom I have to complete my work independently and I enjoy the initiative I'm able to demonstrate by what I accomplish.

The worst part of my job is that I work for a 'box store' which allows for little involvement or flexibility on a local level and advancement opportunities are limited.

Job Tips: I would suggest being particularly assertive about cross-training in various areas of the store for which you work. Make your intentions for wanting to advance within the company known quickly, but back that up with a strong work ethic and creativity. Try various retailers and/or merchandising sales opportunities to see what you're best suited for. Always remember that the best managers at all levels are the ones who started on the sales floor.

Additional Thoughts: You should be willing to work nights and weekends if you at least plan to start as a merchandiser before moving into a potential 'corporate' position. Retailing is not a M-F 9-PM job.

Popular Schools offering Sales Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

A degree from CTU connects you to what matters most: powerful professional network, real-world professional faculty and innovative technology. Once you earn your degree you hit the ground running.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Business Development, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Marketing, Master of Business Administration - Marketing
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master
  • Programs: BS - Marketing
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Lower Tuition Cost Than Many Other Universities.  Classes Start Soon.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Push Your Creativity To The Next Level

  • Programs: Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Master of Science (Online)
  • Degrees: Master

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: Graduate Certificate: Marketing, MS in Marketing: Sports Marketing and Media, Master of Business Administration: Marketing
  • Degrees: Certificate, Master

You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.

At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.

  • Programs: MBA - Marketing, Bachelor's (BBA) - Marketing
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor

See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

  • Programs: Associate of Arts in Marketing, Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration/Marketing, MBA Marketing
  • Degrees: Associate, Bachelor, Master

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Marketing - PhD in Bus. Admin., Marketing - D.B.A.
  • Degrees: Doctorate

For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. 

  • Programs: Master of Business Administration, MBA - Marketing
  • Degrees: Master

Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a four-year, private university located in west St. Louis County.

  • Programs: Online Master of Business Administration Marketing Concentration
  • Degrees: Master
Matching School Ads
You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Retail Sales Workers, including:

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104