Zale Corporation

The Role of the Merchant

As a leading specialty retailer of diamonds and other jewelry products in North America, our Merchants play an integral role as they focus on building ideal jewelry assortments, determining the most effective pricing strategies and understanding the most important piece of the retail puzzle: our customers.


Fashion Radar......Stimulating Purchasing Desires!

A good student of the world of fashion and trend evolvement, a Merchant is curious, educated and conversant as to how fashion trends influence a customer choice of relevant purchase. To do this well, one must study, observe and integrate "the sights and sounds' of the fashion world into rational and intuitive decisions that stimulate the purchasing desire of the customer. A Merchant's job is to look around the fashion corner to see what's coming NEXT.

Customer Intimacy......Fulfilling Wishes and Desires!

A Merchant is passionate about studying and understanding a customer's needs, wishes and desires so as to bring forward solutions and fulfillment. By knowing intimately where the customer is today, a Merchant becomes the "purchasing agent", fulfilling a customer wishes and desires by bringing differentiating product (value and quality) to him/her. By blending strong fashion radar with a deep understanding of the customer, a Merchant makes selections that are commercially relevant.

Competitive Intelligence......Winning the Game!

A Merchant studies, understands and integrate competitors' activities and intentions into one's own strategy and execution. This is accomplished through frequent and consistent shopping, patterning, purposeful and strategic interaction with select vendors. Competitors should be defined and can include members within and outside of one's own industry. Always informed and fluent of competitors' intent and actions, a Merchant initiates appropriate actions, proactively or reactively to WIN the Game.

Business Financial Acumen......Combining science and art!

A Merchant is accountable for sales, margin and inventory productivity. A Merchant has to know how to develop line/assortment plans, balancing good, better, best quality and pricing. Focus on a PRODUCT first, supported by PRICE! "Ensembling" is key to productive assortment building. Supporting "Best At", "Big Ideas" and key items are a MUST. Timely clearance, seasonal transitions and "freshness" factors are essential to building a successful business. Driving clarity of presentation (effective plannogramming) is critical to inventory productivity.