Merchandising Principles and Practice

Course Fee R799.00

What this course is about?

This course is focused on introducing students to the vital and exciting function of retail merchandising. Retailers everywhere today, rely heavily on merchandisers, to ensure that their products are always presented as attractive and accessible as possible to customers on the shopfloor, and at the point of sale. Merchandising fulfils many vital functions in a retail store – but its primary function is to maximise the retailer’s sales.

Introduction to Merchandising covers all the essential principles and practices of the retail merchandising function, and its critically important role within the retail industry. It also shows how merchandising can open doors for you into other related jobs in retail and marketing! The material is presented in a conversational, practical way, with fun, stimulating exercises and illustrations throughout – to make this course come alive for you!

Who should be doing this course?

This course was designed especially for school leavers and young adults; who would like to enter the dynamic world of retailing, or the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (”FMCG”) marketing industry – but, who has had no formal training or experience in this field, and don’t really know where to start.   

Learning outcomes

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Explain the nature of merchandising and the important role that merchandisers fulfil in the retail and FMCG sector
  • Explain the duties and responsibilities of merchandisers
  • Identify employment opportunities for merchandisers in the retail sector
  • Get introduced to the basic techniques and tools of merchandising
  • Become familiar with the basic principles of displaying merchandise
  • See the link between a retailer’s marketing and promotion mix, retail sales promotion, merchandising, and sales
  • Understand how to build winning promotional displays
  • Explain how to use promotional signage correctly
  • Understand and explain basic safety and housekeeping principles when merchandising. Identify and understand the most common causes of workplace accidents, incidents and emergencies and how to avoid or respond to these
  • Explain the importance of stock rotation when merchandising
  • Understand and explain what stock shrinkage is
  • Identify and explain the enabling factors for stock shrinkage
  • Explain how stock shrinkage affects retailers and other stakeholders
  • Explain how stock shrinkage can be prevented or limited when merchandising


Your course is mark is calculated using the average mark obtained in each of the Chapter tests. In order to pass this course, you must obtain a final course mark of at least 50%. This means that even if you fail a few of the chapter tests, if your test marks in the other chapter tests are high enough you will still be able to pass the course. Good Luck!

Study at your own pace!

We’ve created our courses to suit your busy life! The duration of this course is based on a student guide where one 300 – 500 word article is read per day, and the assessment is done on a separate day after the relevant articles have been reviewed. But you can do the course in your own time and at your own pace. If you choose to do two readings per day, it will take you half of the estimated time, four readings per day means doing the course in a quarter of the time etc. We leave that decision up to you!

In the 5 chapters of this course you'll be covering the following areas:

CHAPTER 1 What is Merchandising and How does it Help Retailers?
CHAPTER 2 Merchandising Tools and Techniques
CHAPTER 3 How to Display Merchandise Creatively and Correctly
CHAPTER 4 Safety and Housekeeping Principles
CHAPTER 5 Managing and Safeguarding Stock when Merchandising

Ras Smit


I am a registered education and training professional with more than fifteen years’ worth of experience as lecturer, facilitator, course designer, published author and registered assessor of nationally accredited qualifications, skills training programmes and curricula in marketing management, retail management and operations, customer relationship management, business management, and selling skills to corporate companies and educational institutions in the public and private sectors. In addition, I have more than ten years’ worth of direct experience as Sales and Marketing consultant in a number of industries; with a record of success, numerous successful projects and loyal clients. This direct experience of the business world has always been an essential part of my teaching and writing approach. In short – my mission is to make the course come alive for you! I hold a Master's degree in Marketing (M.Comm, UP) and a B-Tech degree in Adult Education (TUT), among other qualifications and certifications.

Not sure if this is the right course for you?

Let one of your career counselors help you make the right choice.

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