My third week at Macy’s was crazy, but fun! The big focus of the week was merchandising. My fellow intern and I (shown in the accompanying photograph) had the opportunity to shadow the Merchandise Team Manager (MTM) and her team. This was a fun change of pace that provided me with new insight on how merchandise is delivered and arranged in store.
A Day of Merchandising
Our days began at 6:30am, long before the store would be open to the public. We would start with a short team meeting and create a plan of action. This team meeting would include designating tasks such as: sending team members to do markdowns, bringing merchandise on the freight elevator and starting to unload merchandise onto the sales floor. Our focus for a lot of the time was unloading merchandise onto the sales floor. We were prepping for a 4th of July sale, so a lot of merchandise was placed on temporary fixtures, making shopping easier for the customer. We also had the opportunity to unpack a few new lines of product and start to display those on the floor before the Visual Merchandise Team staged a final set up.
A big challenge for the Merchandise team currently is our third floor. Our third floor is under construction because we are adding mattresses into our home assortment. This has required heavy construction and a shift of nearly the entire sales floor. As a team we had to move fixtures and product daily to ensure a comfortable shopping experience, even in the chaos of a big remodel.
While getting merchandise onto the sales floor is a big part of the Merchandise Team’s job, they are also responsible for the placement of sale signs, markdowns and other in-store toppers on displays indicating pricing. The team works diligently to ensure consistent pricing on all merchandise and places signs to ensure the customer is aware of all our current promotions. They are also responsible for inventory of merchandise and making sure that all our new product and replenishments make it onto the sales floor. This is a very important job, one miss mark or failure to display a product could cost the company thousands of dollars.
Planning and More Planning
At the conclusion of our week we sat in on a planning meeting. This meeting is designed to get our Dock Manager, VPSM, Visual Merchandise Team and MTM all on the same page for the upcoming week. Schedules are based around what day new shipments will be arriving in-store and current store needs. It is a good time of reflection for everyone; adjustments to schedules are made if necessary and needs of the business are assessed week by week. This allows everyone to anticipate the workload for the next week and prep their teams.
As our time progressed, we had the opportunity to learn more about RFID technology on merchandise and even create a small sale display in our Ready to Wear department. This week was very enlightening, I had no idea how hard and quickly the Merchandise team has to work! As a Management Intern, I think it was really great background information to have. It gave me a new appreciation for our Merchandise team and all of the hard work they put in daily to ensure our store runs smoothly and efficiently! The team arrives at the store and begins their day long before any customers will be there and even before many of the lights come on! I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the team, even though our time together was short.
Looking for more internship stories? You can follow Jason Knode at REI and Savannah Whitehead’s journey at Nike too! Feel free to follow me on my journey as an intern, but please note the views expressed in this blog are not reflective of my internship sponsor’s views and are that of my own.