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Introduction to Merchandising

This course explores the role of a Fashion Merchandiser within a central buying office, working for a multiple retailer, department store or e-commerce business. The different components involved in successful merchandising are explained and practical merchandising exercises used to develop basic skills. The programme is suitable for people with shop floor experience and those new to the subject of merchandising.

The course will include:

  • Sales forecasting
  • Range planning
  • Seasonal calendars
  • Margin and mark-up
  • Promotions and markdowns
  • Job roles and responsibilities

On successful completion of this course you can progress to the Intermediate Merchandising 3 day course.

Find out more about the life of a Merchandiser here.

This course provides an introduction to the role of a Fashion Merchandiser within a central buying office, working for a multiple retailer, department store or E-commerce business.

Course Content:

The course is delivered by experienced tutors who are industry experts in the field of merchandising. It is designed for people who would like a taster before attending a full-time course or for people working in the retail industry who would like to find out more about another area in fashion retail or as a way of enhancing current skills. The following aspects of merchandising are covered:

  • Role of the Merchandiser - Key responsibilities of the Merchandiser and Allocator within the retail organisation, key skills required, aims and objectives
  • Sales Forecasting and Range Plans - Strategy, analysis, planning, implementation, product hierarchy, store groupings, option planning and forecasting
  • Seasonal Calendars - Selecting the assortment for a season, constants and variables and seasonal calculations
  • Sourcing and Costing - Supply chain management, elements of product cost, the suppliers costs and cost sheets
  • Margin and Mark-Up - Calculating a selling price, margin principles, mark-ups, hidden costs and margin improvement
  • In Season Allocation - Stock management, EPOS system, reporting and the WSSI
  • Promotion and Markdowns - Planning and forecasting markdowns, calculating a markdown and estimating the effectiveness of a markdown

Over 18 years of age, beginner.

In preparation for the course arrange to visit and compare some of the different retail areas in London including, Bond Street, Oxford Street and Westfield (White City or Stratford).

Please Bring:

• Pen and notebook
• Calculator

3 Days: 10.00am - 4.30pm (including lunch break)

Start Dates:

Monday 7th October - Wednesday 9th October 2019

£419 incl. VAT

Payment Options:
Cheque, visa debit or credit card, bank transfer, online or over the phone, cash, company invoice

Full payment of the course fees must be received prior to commencement of the course. Your place on the course cannot be guaranteed until full payment is received. All fees stated are inclusive of VAT.

2. METHODS OF PAYMENT (excluding late applications)
Fees can be paid by credit card, debit card, cash or online. Payment by cheque is also accepted except in the two weeks prior to the course start date and please make all cheques payable to FRA Enterprises Ltd. Fees can be paid by cash if payment is made in person. Please see paragraph 20. Payments by bank electronic transfer or Banker’s Draft are acceptable. Our bank details are available on request. If your company is paying for the course fees and would prefer to be invoiced, please write to us on your company's headed paper and send a company purchase order with your booking form.

We cannot accept bookings from students under 18 years of age.

The course fee includes the cost of basic materials which will be provided. Please see the course description on our website for details of the additional materials which you will need, if applicable. Failure to bring the required materials will delay your progress on the courses


If there are places available on acourse we will accept bookings right up until the course commences and require payment in full on confirmation. If you apply within 5 working days of the course commencing we cannot guarantee that your booking will be confirmed. Late applicants will usually have their place on the course confirmed by email. If, however, you have not received confirmation within 24 hours of your application it is your responsibility to check the status of your booking which can be done by contacting the Short Course Office on 0203 040 2884.

Please note that courses have minimum attendance levels and may be cancelled if too few bookings are received. We reserve the right to amend or cancel courses. If we cancel a course we shall endeavour to give you at least one week's notice and you will have the option of transferring to another course or of having a full refund of the fees which we will return to you within three weeks. We will not be liable for any losses (including, but not limited to, travel and accommodation costs) arising as a consequence of any modification or cancellation of courses or time-tabling constraints as set out above beyond the cost of the course fee.

If you wish to cancel your place on a course your request should be made via email to If your written request is received more than one month prior to the course start date, you will be entitled to a full refund, less an administrative charge of £30 to cover our costs. If your written request is received within one month of the course start date you will not be entitled to a refund unless a replacement student can be found for your place. If a replacement student is found prior to the course start date, you will be entitled to a full refund, less an administrative charge of £30.

If you are unable to attend a course you are permitted to transfer your place to a substitute student up to one week before the start date. We must be notified via email of the substitute student's name and there is a £30 administration charge for each substitution. Substitutions cannot be accepted after the course has started.

You can transfer to another course up to one month prior to the course start date. There is a £30 administration charge for each transferral. Students can transfer a maximum of twice.

Non-attendance of classes due to illness or for personal/professional reasons does not provide the right to refunds, extra tuition or a transfer.

If a class is postponed for reasons for which we are responsible, including staff illness, we will make every reasonable effort to reschedule the class or to add the missed hours onto the remaining course classes. We apologise for this inconvenience and urge you to ring us on 0203 040 2884 if you have any concerns.

We shall not be liable for any failure or delay in the performance, in whole or part, of any or our obligations arising from or attributable to acts, events, omissions or accidents beyond our reasonable control including, but not limited to strikes, lock-outs or other industrial disputes (whether involving our workforce or the workforce of any other party), act of God, war, riot, civil commotion, malicious damage, compliance with any law or governmental order, rule regulation or direction, accident, breakdown of plant or machinery, fire, flood, storm, pandemics, epidemics or other outbreaks of disease or infection, failure in the public supply of electricity, heating, lighting, air conditioning or telecommunications equipment.

As we may need to contact you in the two weeks prior to the course start date, please ensure you include your contact details in the UK when making your booking. Please ensure that your place is confirmed and the course is running before you make any travel arrangements. We do not offer refunds for travel or accommodation costs in accordance with paragraph 7 above.

Students who book onto short courses are not eligible to apply for a Student Visa. We recommend you contact the British Embassy in your own country to check visa requirements before you book your course. If you cannot attend a course because you have not obtained a visa to enter the UK no refund will be offered although we will offer you a transfer (subject to the conditions contained in Clause 10 above) if your visa is delayed.


All classes are taught in English. Applicants whose first language is not English should note that they are required to be proficient in written and spoken English and be able to participate in group discussions and presentations in English. As a guideline we would expect you to have an IELTS score of 4.5 for practical courses and 6.0 for lecture courses.

Normally there are no Friday or Monday classes on bank holiday weekends and published course dates reflect this.

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and to recognise that other students also require support and assistance. If a student becomes persistently disruptive we reserve the right to offer a verbal or written warning and, if this does not resolve the situation, we may, at our discretion, ask the student to leave the course.

On completion of your course, and having attended the 90% or higher, the Fashion Retail Academy will provide you with a certificate of attendance. The name given on the booking form will be the one that appears on the certificate. A certificate of attendance is not a qualification.

If you do not receive your certificate at the end of the course for reasons that we are responsible for we will post certificates free of charge once the register has been returned to us confirming your attendance record. If you do not collect your certificate in class for reasons that we are not responsible for e.g. you miss the last class or leave early, we will post it to you (subject to you attending 70% of the course) but you must supply:

• Self addressed envelope
• First class stamp


If you require to pay for your course in cash, and the amount is over £500, you will be required to provide photo ID (preferably either a driving license or passport) which we will photocopy and attach to your booking form. All cash bookings requiring a refund will be required to bring photographic ID to collect a refund. This will be photocopied (if not already done when booking) when you come to pick up your refund. Please note that cash refunds can only be offered on weekdays between 10am and 4pm with 1 day notice. Please also refer to paragraph 7 above.

Due to copyrights, and to respect other participants, the use of audio and/or visual recording is not permitted during any course.

This website clearly describes the courses being run for FRA Enterprises Ltd. as maintained by Fashion Retail Academy. Every care has been taken to ensure accuracy but changes may have been introduced after publication since it is the policy of Fashion Retail Academy to constantly monitor its course offer as well as the performance and content of individual courses. Whilst every endeavour will be made to provide the courses and services described, FRA Enterprises Ltd reserves the right to make changes as appropriate for reasons of operational efficiency or due to circumstances, including industrial action, beyond its control. All course titles and descriptions are the copyright of FRA Enterprise Ltd at the Fashion Retail Academy. Registered Number 6793904.

Register now

For further information please email or call 0203 040 2884.

Meet The Tutor

Meet The Tutor

Bianca Foley, Buying and Merchandising Tutor.


"I have a BA (hons) in Human Geography from Queen Mary's college University of London. After years of working on the shopfloor on Saturdays and in holidays, my first head office role was as an allocator at BHS progressing from an allocator at BHS, to Planner at Duty Free Shoppers to Merchandise and logistics Director at Kurt Geiger for 9 years.

Completing an MBO, expanding internationally in Italy and France and launching the first e-commerce site at Kurt Geiger was exciting!"



Laura Elder, Introduction to Merchandising, Studied in July 2014.

"I attended the Introduction to Merchandising short course in July 2014. I just wanted to email the FRA to a very big thank you. I really enjoyed the course, it was very informative, everyone was very friendly and I learned so much about Merchandising - it was just what I was looking for! I have also been very fortunate as I have received and accepted a 12 month internship with in Merchandising, which I believe I wouldn’t have got if I hadn’t attended the short course at FRA. I will definitely be recommending the FRA to anyone interested in learning more about fashion retailing."

Career Development

Career Development

Attending an FRA short course and gaining shop floor experience, is a good way to approach looking for a job in head office . Having a passion for retail and researching the brands you would like to work fo,r is also essential. To succeed in buying you will need confidence, enthusiasm, professionalism, passion, commitment, a great eye for product, great people skills, presentation skills, creativity, multi tasking ability and hard work! The buyer’s day starts at 8.30 and will be varied, which is one of the exciting things about working in this field. Attending meetings is a regular part of the buyer’s week, either for trade, range sign offs, strategies, or with suppliers. Building your range, negotiating cost prices and deliveries, preparing for meetings and travelling for inspiration and sourcing ideas, is also a key part of the week. As a buyer you are the lynch pin of the team and will be working closely with your merchandiser, designer and QA.