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Old 10-12-2011, 07:40 AM
6 posts, read 27,665 times
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Okay I got a job offered for accessory specialist for Forever21.
I'm working for a new boutique as a accessory specialist. It's not sales. It's where i display jeweries, shoes, and etc for the store.

What's next? If I get promote what kind of job comes after that? I think I'm higher rank the the visual merchandising team but lower compare to visual merchandising manager or same level.

The requirement for this job is AA degree in fashion design or merchandising, which I have. But I'm still working on my BA at the moment.
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Old 10-15-2011, 11:35 AM
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I don't know a lot about Forever 21's corporate structure since they're a privately held family company, but typically a visual career path looks like this:

-Store merchandiser (may be an assistant, in charge of one or two depts, or the entire store depending on how big the store is). If your first job is in charge of a few depts, then the next promotion would be to be in charge of the team of visual merchandisers in the store. This position could be called Visual Merch Manager.

-District/Region team-> this promotion would put you in charge of a few stores in a geographic area. You'd be visiting them to make sure they're implementing the seasonal visual statements correctly. Again this office has levels from being in charge of a few district stores to the VP (probably) in charge of a whole region of the country.

-Corporate visual team-> this team works in the corporate headquarters. Their job is to set the visual direction for the whole company. Could be working with buyers and fashion office to identify key items and key looks that need visual "collateral" (graphics, fixtures, signage, etc) developed for them. They produce & develop the "set guides" which tell the stores "in October, color-blocking is the #1 trend and orange is the #1 color. Pull all color-blocking to front of the dept. Use this necklace, these rings, and this bag on the lead mannequin." This dept includes a wide variety of jobs, from entry/level to a Senior VP in charge of all visual for the whole company (corporate team, regional/ district teams, and store merchandisers).

You should always ask in your interviews, "what is the career path for this position". Ask your potential boss "walk me through your career path" and ask them what their next career step will be with the company.
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Old 10-16-2011, 02:26 PM
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You could move into a retail buyer position.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:15 PM
11,671 posts, read 21,236,098 times
Reputation: 10057
Originally Posted by fallingwater View Post
You could move into a retail buyer position.
Very unlikely. More likely if the company has a good buyer training program and has a history of hiring from "the field" (their stores). Right or wrong, most retailers prefer to hire recent graduates from top retail/top universities who have demonstrated retail interest (buying or wholesale intenships, storeline management internships) over experienced people from the field who are already in their company.

Back when I was a trainee at a top luxury dept store, none of the other trainees were from the store-line side. There was one girl who made the cut a few years after me, but she was not the norm. I am now a senior buyer for a major national store and have yet to see any trainees come up from our stores. Only on rare occasions does a trained even come from another part of the company (marketing, etc).

Being a buyer today means managing a multi-million (up to $500M or so at larger companies) business, directing a cross-functional team of upwards of 15 people, and understanding how to pull various financial metrics to make extremely challenging sales and profit plans. Selectiing merchandise is still the most fun part ofthe job, but in today's retail climate, it's not enoughto have a good eye.

Visual merchandising is certainly not a dead-end job; it just probably won't be a launch pad to becoming a buyer. That's why it's extremely important that OP ask about career paths in her interview process.
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Old 03-23-2018, 06:36 AM
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Visual merchandising is the practice in the retail industry of developing floor plans and three-dimensional displays in order to maximize sales. Both goods and services can be displayed to highlight their features and benefits.
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