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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Merchandise Marketing

Majors Overview May 11, 2014

Merchandise marketing features the purchasing, promotion, and planning of retail goods, such as furniture, toys, or clothing. In Merchandise Marketing bachelor’s degree programs, majors will be taught the full distribution and production processes.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Merchandise Marketing

Students enrolled in Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in Merchandise Marketing are taught lessons in management, marketing, and business. They also learn about the usage of cutting-edge technology in the promotion of a variety of products. The program emphasizes analytical skills, with marketing professionals needing the ability to comprehend and predict consumer trends and performance. However, creativity is expected to be employed by students in finding unique ways of increasing business growth.

Merchandise marketing majors can expect to become adept at making decisions and gain knowledge of general management techniques and every aspect of business operations. Graduates who complete these baccalaureate programs can seek managerial positions after they achieve the prerequisite work experience in marketing and retail.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria at most four-year schools typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma, though supplemental admission criteria may vary from school to school. In some programs, students may have to submit a portfolio, in addition to other materials accompanying the application.


Various business courses combine the coursework in Merchandise Marketing programs with Consumer Behavior and Design programs. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Consumer behavior
•Visual merchandising
•Business ethics
•Marketing research
•Retail management
•Marketing strategy
•Corporate finance

Career Choices

Master’s degree graduates can seek upper-tier positions in various retail outlets. They may choose from career options such as:

•Store manager
•Retail distributor
•Sales support

Job and Wage Outlook

A slower-than-average job growth rate of 7% has been predicted for purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents over the 2010-2020 decade. Wholesale and retail buyers, excluding those who handle farm products, were predicted to enjoy a 9% job growth during the same time (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). In May 2012, buyers and purchasing agents took home an average annual wage of $55,720, while purchasing managers banked an average annual wage of $109,640 during the period (BLS). This illustrates the broad range of wage levels in the profession.

Continuing Education Choices

Merchandise marketers may seek continued education by earning a graduate-level degree such as a specialized Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) or master’s degree in Marketing. Apart from a bachelor’s degree, incoming students to MBA programs usually must have two years of professional work experience before they can get admitted. Other educational experiences and conferences are sponsored by numerous organizations, such as the National Association for Retail Marketing Services and the Global Market Development Center.

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