Project Description

Merchandise Product Development

Merchandise product development focuses on creating products, from initial concept to final purchase. It begins with identifying a trend and the consumer segment to be served. Once that groundwork has been established, the process continues through costing, marketing, the production cycle and selection of delivery channels. As the development, production, and sourcing of all products becomes more complex, the demand for people in this field is expected to increase.

Because sourcing is now a global process, people in the field must expand their knowledge beyond the technical aspects of their specific job. If you choose this field, you must be knowledgeable about trends and trend forecasting, consumer market analysis, current technology, global sourcing for materials and production capacity. You’ll need to understand multi-channel retailing including traditional brick-and-mortar retail outlets, specialty stores, catalogs and e-commerce.

Careers in Merchandise Product Development

Sourcing Manager

As a sourcing manager, you will work closely with the merchandiser/designer to design and produce products for your specific customer—anything from furniture to a pair of jeans. You will coordinate with designers of products and textiles, factories, agents, freight forwarders and logistics providers.

  • Key to Success: Your key to success will be your effective communication skills, critical thinking and problem solving ability, plus the ability to work in multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural teams. The global aspect of all production and sourcing of materials requires you to understand a variety of cultures and business practices.

  • Average Annual Salary: $97,000

Professional Profiles

Ilse Metchek
California Fashion Association