Study on Merchandising for Improving the Quality of Garments

Study on Merchandising for Improving the Quality of Garments

Jahidul Islam1, Abdur Razzak and Habibur Rahman
Department of Textile Engineering
Northern University Bangladesh
Email: jahiduljahid596@gmail.com1


In the broadest sense, merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products to a retail consumer. At a retail in-store level, merchandising refers to the variety of products available for sale and the display of those products in such a way that it stimulates interest and entices customers to make a purchase. In retail commerce, visual display merchandising means merchandise sales using product design, selection, packaging, pricing, and display that stimulates consumers to spend more. This includes disciplines and discounting, physical presentation of products and displays, and the decisions about which products should be presented to which customers at what time. Merchandising helps to understand the ordinary dating notation for the terms of payment of an invoice. It solves pricing problems including markups and markdowns. It helps to find the net price of an item after single or multiple trade discounts and can calculate a single discount rate that is equivalent to a series of multiple discounts. Further it helps to calculate the amount of cash discount for which a payment qualifies.

Merchandising and its various applications help the world much easier around us and our perception of that world as much as advertising and the media. Merchandising helps the retail outlets and marketers present their products for sale to the consumer, both in form and content. They built a nice partnership by the help of merchandising. In merchandising, field merchandising software has a key role. Field merchandising software is a tool used by some of the most sophisticated retailers and suppliers for in-store execution and retail store audit. It enables retail management to set up clear targets for merchandisers and allows the instant review of task performance, letting managers make better- informed decisions. Field merchandising software solutions allow companies to streamline business processes, saving time and money and making data easier to collect.


1.1 Introduction:
The main role of merchandiser is product development with buyer. Product development means the develop a new design or style. Product development is the very first stage of introduction of new style. The concept of new style or design is developed by fashion designer which is merely a design or sketch on the paper.

Product development is the process where that sketch or design is converted in to a 3D form garment, with all technical and aesthetic approach keeping in mind. The first stage is of organizing the thoughts and collecting images (Mood board) from designer. It captures the mood or flavor of the design project, as well as reflects the target customer, sometimes designs are developed target costumer keeping in mind. The in- depth study and close examination as well as market forecasting of the costumer stimulates the ideas about colors and textures which influence choice of fabrics. Color palette is selected with the important shades and identifying the market and customer taste, historic data from marketing team and salability of the developed product. Methods such as dyeing, printing, applique and manipulating the fabrics convert the stimulated ideas into required textures and drape of the garments. At the stage of developing fabrics for Swatch Board, practicalities of achieving the effects hardly matters whereas innovation is highly demanded. Designing a collection is concerned with decisions of taste, choice and sensitivity and relies on the market forecast by connected with buyer by merchandiser. In present global scenario and fast fashion era product development becomes the business strategy for the whole supply chain of the fashion industry.

Nowadays product development is done at every stage of the fashion industry. Typically product development is done by following institutions. Clothing is always a basic requirement for human beings. Bangladesh is one of the leading producer and exporter of knit RMG products. There are around 5000 garments factories in Bangladesh. The garments factory started to produce and export in the year 1980. Since then it was history and at present nearly 82% of our foreign currency is earned through RMG exports. Over the years the RMG sector achieved great expertise in the area of product development and more than 60 types of garments items are now being produced and exported. Some of the important export destinations are Germany, UK, USA, Japan, Canada, Middle East, Australia, and many other countries in the Globe. An important advantage of our export is the cheapest labor cost. Merchandising is one of the most important aspect and task of garments business activities. Without proper merchandising, the objectives of business will never be fulfilled.

garment merchandiser
Fig: Garment merchandiser

A merchandiser deals with all the activities starting from buyer up the stage of shipment from the Chittagong port. In fact a merchandiser is the controller for all the tasks. Once an order is received, the merchandiser at first calculates all the requirements of raw materials, trims and accessories. He/she need to make complete detail plan of action by which he/she can do the shipment in time. In the factories, the merchandisers makes all the orders for accessories need for an order like; amount of fabric need, amount of sewing thread, amount of button, washing if necessary, amount of carton, amount of polybag, shipment arrangement etc. In a way a merchandiser looks after the progress of the whole garments export business.

1.2 Objectives:
The first stage is of organizing the thoughts and collecting images (Mood board) from designer. It captures the mood or flavor of the design project, as well as reflects the target customer, sometimes designs are developed target costumer keeping in mind. From the buyers point of view the product development is the creating individual style within the line. The typical product development process at buyer’s stage can be given as Product development process starts after market forecast, it is the process of creating each individual style. Gradually the knitwear export became an important export item as compared to all export items particularly the woven items. There are various reasons for better performance of knit sector. The main reason was the support from knitting industries. It may be well appreciated that knitting technology is relatively easier than weaving. The variety product in knitting is also very little as compared to woven product. Due to the supply of knit fabric which is the main raw material of knit garments, the knit export boosted very speedily. As a consequences the contribution of knitwear overcome woven wear in the year 2007-08. In that year the earning from woven and knit export were 36.17% and 38.97% .

The total export of knitted and woven in 2008-09 was as follows: Knitwear export in the FY 2008-09(July-April) was US$ 5231.01 million Woven export in the FY 2008-09 (July- April) was US$4902.48 million. Therefore the contribution of knitwear in national export increase is 57.82%. The thesis is a brief about ‘Study on merchandising for improving the quality of garments’. It explains how the buying house and buying house merchandisers discharge their day to day activities. The main functions of buying houses have been described, which includes Organogram, working principles and procedures. The documents needs to be processed to confirm an order, test requirements and spec sheets and information commercial Incoterms, also covered. Information about the merchandising process, responsibilities of merchandiser, work flow of merchandiser as merchandiser executes the order also included. Norms, standards and qualities of a merchandiser have also been addressed. Details idea about trims and accessories were also included.


2.1 As a merchandiser product development with global buyer:
From the buyers point of view the product development is the creating individual style within the line. The typical product development process at buyer’s stage can be given as

Product development process starts after market forecast, it is the process of creating each individual style within the line. After the research phase of line development is completed, silhouettes are developed, fabrics and trim selected, prototypes made, and specifications are created. The resulting styles are analyzed to determine manufacturing costs. These steps are all part of the product development phase of the line development process. The first steps of silhouette development and fabric selection are approached in different ways by different designers and companies. Many companies base their lines around fabric and print designs. Their designers start by selecting fabrics and then create silhouettes for those fabrics

They design silhouettes and then select fabrics that are compatible with the silhouettes. Both processes achieve the same end result—unique garment styles.

This type of product development is done either by buyer along with buying house. Product development is the essential part of the line development after market forecast is done. Without product development line cannot be developed. The essential parts of product development are

2.2 Sample development process for product development:
Sampling is one of the main processes in garment manufacturing and it plays vital role in attracting buyers and confirming the order, as the buyers generally places the order once satisfied with the quality and responsiveness of the sampling. It is the most crucial and most important stage of fashion merchandising. Sampling department makes samples on the basis of the specification and requirement by the buyer.

garment industry
Fig: Garment industry

Sampling in merchandising may be defined as “The concept, perception and ideas of fashion designer developed into product samples, in systematic stages of product development, with technical and quality clarity in a development.” Though sampling is a difficult and time bound process, it will help the exporter to get the order from the buyer. Before placing any order to the factory, the buyer wants to know whether the factory is capable of producing the styles with the desired quality levels or not. The samples decide the ability of exporters to deal with any given style of garment. The buyer accesses the capability of exporter only with the help of Samples. If the samples are of good quality naturally the buyers will be willing to place the order to factory. Sampling also work as a bridge between the productions and marketing department, hence it has the influence of both marketing as well as production department. So it is essential that the samples should be innovative and should be manufactured with optimum quality.

2.3 Process Flow Chart of Apparel or Garments Merchandising:

Receiving orders from buyer with details

Developing the sample

Negotiate the price of garments with the Buyer

Receiving the order sheets with confirmation of order

Need to produce buyer requirement sample like Fit sample, Proto sample etc.

Place requisition for bulk fabric

Place requisition for accessories

Create Swatch board for approval

Arrange raw materials and receive it in factory

Check and also listing

Produce pre-production (P.P) Sample with all actual

Arrange Pre-production meeting

Start bulk production

Updating daily production and quality report from factory

Sample sent to testing center which is third party for test

Arrange final inspection


Receive payment from Bank.

2.4 Different types of samples development:
Sampling process varies from buyer to buyer, and type of style as well, but in industry there is particular order of sampling is followed, the stages and purpose of sample may be same but terminology used may be different and it totally depend upon buyer. The typical samples namely described as:

  1. Design development
  2. Proto sample
  3. Fit sample
  4. Ad or photo shoot sample
  5. Sales man sample
  6. Pre- production sample
  7. GPT sample
  8. Size set sample
  9. TOP sample
  10. Wash sample
  11. Shipment sample

These samples are sent to the buyer one after another for approval from the buyer and to proceed further. Apart from these usual steps, sometimes the buyer suggests some changes in the prepared sample, and then incorporating those suggestions makes a counter sample and in it is sent to the buyer for approval. The sampling department helps the merchandising department for finding out fabric consumption per unit garment and thereby helps in the costing of garment.

2.5 Briefs on different samples:

2.5.1 Design development:

  • This is the first sample which is made for any style by most of the buyer.
  • Design development is either done by buyer or factory
  • The main purpose is to take the decision to proceed with the same line or not.

2.5.2 Proto sample:

  • Proto sample is developed at very initial stage and normally order is confirmed to the factory based on proto sample only.
  • Normally, buyer send proto sample request to 2-3 factories.
  • The factory which submits the good quality and optimum price will get confirmation from buyer.
  • Proto sample are normally prepared in similar fabric if actual fabric is not available
  • Substitute Trims can be used on proto.
  • As proto sample is given first time to the factory to buyer, so to develop the proto sample buyer need to provide necessary information along with the proto request. These are: Specification Sheet (Tech Pack), Bill of Material, Development sample (optional), Paper patterns (optional), Sample of novelty trims, Sample of fabric yardage (it may be send by buyer or asked to develop), Details of Print or Embroidery, if any.
  • Factory need to submit at least 4 proto samples (quantity may change buyer to buyer).
  • If buyer does not approve the proto sample, factory needs to submit the 2nd proto sample to get approval.
  • Once proto get approved buyer asks to start working on fit sample.

2.5.3 Fit sample:

  • Fit sample is made and send to conform the fit of the garment on live models or on dummy and for approval of construction details.
  • At this stage of sampling, buyer makes sure that factory understands thoroughly the construction and quality details and standards The sample sent mostly in medium and large sizes mentioned by the buyer.
  • The fabric used for fit sample production is the actual fabric which is going to be used for bulk production or sample yardage fabric is used.

2.5.4 Ad or photo shoot sample:

  • In order to promote the new style in the market normally buyer asks for CAD sample for photo shoot.
  • Buyer uses this photo for marketing purpose either on catalogue or various media like, print, TV or websites to see the response of the consumer.
  • This sample mainly sends in medium to large or sizes specified by buyer.

2.5.5 Sales man / Marketing / Showroom sample:

  • The main purpose of salesman sample is to collect the order from the retailers.
  • In Sales man sample actual accessory, actual fabric is used or sample yardage need to be used.
  • This sample also very important stage of sampling as the sales of buyer depends upon this sample presentation, look, feel of fabric is important.
  • The quality of the sample should be up to the mark of the buyer; hence merchandiser should aware and make sure that product development team is well aware about the sample quality parameters.
  • The cost of sample production is given by buyer or sometimes buyer may give 150% of FOB.

2.5.6 Size set sample:

  • The main purpose of size set sample is to check the factory’s capability to make the sample in all sizes.
  • The size set sample should be made in the actual fabric and trims.
  • The samples can be made in the sampling room or actual production floor, as required by the buyer.
  • Bulk cutting of fabric for production should start only after size-set sample get approved.
  • Normally, 1-2 samples (or quantity specified by buyer) of each size need to send to buyer.
  • If sizes are more in number then buyer may ask to skip some sizes, called jump size set sample.

2.5.7 GPT sample (Garment Performance Test):

  • The main purpose of GPT is to perform the physical and chemical testing on garment to ensure the performance of the garment.
  • The tests done on garments are: Shrinkage, Color Fastness, Seam performance etc.
  • Garments for GPT sample can be done along with Size Set sample.
  • Normally, GPT Sample is sent to 3rd party inspection and results are sent to both factory as well as buyer.
  • If same style is having 3-4 different colors then only one color sample is tested completely and other colors samples are tested only with color way test i.e. only color fastness tests are conducted.

2.5.8 Pre- production sample: (PP sample)

  • PP sample is considered to be a contract between the buyer and the factory.
  • It has to be made in original fabric and trims
  • Washing, embroidery and printing should match to actual.
  • PP Sample is the standard for production and bulk production garments should be identical to PP sample.
  • The factory can start the production of bulk garment only after the approval of pre-production sample.
  • PP sample sends in only one size 1-2 samples or specified by buyer.

2.5.9 Wash sample:

  • Wash sample is made and submitted to buyer for assessment of feel and handle of fabric after washing of Denim or shirt washing program, hence either at size set stage or PP stage washing sample is sent to buyer for approval and carry forward of washing program.
  • If sample is not approved or approved with comments, factory needs to submit 2nd sample to get approval.
  • After feel assessment buyer may suggest the changes in washing program.

2.5.10 TOP sample (Top of Production):

  • The top of production is sent to the buyer as soon initial pieces are come out of sewing line with suggestion of QA department.
  • In TOP sample Buyer tries to evaluate the actual manufacturing of the style.
  • Buyer check whether bulk production is as per submitted sample or not. TOP sample also checked by the buyer for the packaging

2.5.11 Shipment sample:

  • Few buyers may ask for the shipment samples which factory needs to pull form the actual shipment and sent to buyer.
  • The main purpose of this sample is to assure buyer about the actual shipment dispatch.

2.6 Product development terms for a merchandiser:
For product development there have some terms for a merchandiser. Now we will discuss about this terms:

Fabric selection: Fabric selection is done based on aesthetics as well as technical demand of the garment. Following things need to consider while selecting the fabric for product development.

Fiber content: Fiber content is most important part for a merchandiser for product development. Generally, a set number of yarns are used for the formation of fabrics. Also, a number of techniques are used for producing fabrics such as weaving, knitting, and felting. The type of fabrics varies by the fibers, the fabric formation techniques, machinery used for producing them, and finishing techniques. Fabrics can also be made differently based on the end-usage. Fiber content refers to the raw material making up the yarns and fabric. It can be natural, such as cotton, wool, linen, alpaca, and other specialty fibers; man-made from natural plant products, such as rayon, acetate, and lyocell; or synthetic from petroleum products, such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, olefin, or spandex. Fiber content is a major contributor to the appearance, comfort, durability, costs, and care characteristics of fabrics. Fibers present in percentages above 1% must be labeled by percentage as a required component of your product’s label. So a good choosen fiber can produce a new good product.

Fabric construction: There are three main categories of fabric construction: nonwoven, woven, and knitted. Fabrics can be constructed directly from intertwined fibers, such as felt or modern non- woven fabrics. Fabrics can also be formed from yarns that are then woven or knitted into fabrics.Yarns can be formed from continuous filaments, either naturally, in the case of silk, or extruded from machinery, in the case of man-made fibers. Filament fibers are often very smooth, although texture can be imparted to the fiber to change that. Yarns can also be spun from short fibers, such as with cotton, wool, and linen. Cut lengths of man-made fibers can be used to create a softer texture or to blend with natural fibers.

Very fine yarns such as microfiber yarns, can be created from filament yarns. Yarn diameter, twist, and texture will all affect the characteristics of fabrics made from them.

There are many methods to weave or knit yarns into fabrics. Woven fabrics have sets of yarns interlaced at right angles to each other. The interlacing can vary considerably to create patterns, nap, or textures. Knitted fabrics are made by intermeshing loops of yarn. There are several types of knit with different appearance and characteristics, as well. Fabric construction will influence the aesthetic, functional, and cost qualities of materials and is the third characteristic important to your choice.

2.7 Lap dip approval:
Though this would be an easy task, sometimes big mistakes may occur. The present article will help everyone in dealing with lab dip who works as merchandiser or hope to start career in merchandising. It is to be mentioned that this article is not focused for dye houses or laboratories. They definitely need to know the merchandisers perspective but of course they have many other perspectives.

2.7.1 Importance of lab dip:
Lab dip is small swatch of fabric to define color and its recipe before it goes for bulk dyeing. This is also a master piece for both buyer and manufacturer that give correct source what to be color look like and what is the corresponding dyestuff recipe would be. Lab dip is important because different combination of dyes or different color recipe produces different shades. The dye houses matches their lab dip with buyers’ reference color. Buyers’ reference for color or shade can be anything like a piece of fabric or pantone number. This reference is called standard. Lab dip typically done by size 6×6’’. For each fabrication it needs to do separate lab dip for approval. Fabric or material on which coloration is being done is important and so lab dip fabric has to be same one as the bulk fabric where the final color will appear for garments making. Lab department use their specific reference number on each lab swatch to define the color and recipe. Usually factory use as shade A,B,C,D in 3 to 6 options of color shade .For lab approval better to use minimum four options so that buyer can find exact color which is closer to standard. In the submissions given to buyer the dye houses usually don’t give details recipe but they conserve that information at their end for their further operations.

2.7.2 Lab dip and light source:
Light source is very important to understand shade rightly. Light source its cabinet and viewing angles all are important factors in color matching. The box that contains the light sources and which is facilitating right environment with options of viewing angles for color matching is called light box. Customer or buyer  should rightly mention what light source they prefer for color checking. Usually below light sources are used to match color. Each of the below matching conditions may give different results. D -65 and TL84 is used by most of the buyers. So a good light box is required to match color and shade.

  • Artificial Daylight Fluorescent Lamps (D-65)
  • Tungsten Filament Lamps.
  • Tri Phosphor Fluorescent Lamps (TL84).
  • Ultra violet Black Lamp (UVB).
  • Cool White Fluorescent Lamp (CWF)

Some customer has requirement for spectrometer to match color. Spectrometer is a machine and electrical data to identifying and matching color, tone or hue. This is very costly and not user friendly. Proper expertise is needed for proper use of such equipment.

Usually, buyers consider point of sale lighting condition and point of use lighting condition for color matching. D65 refers to point of use light source while TL84 refers to point of sale light source.

2.7.3 Maintaining Color standard:
Color standard is a piece of fabric or a pantone number provided by buyer to manufacturer for making lab dip. This may be a cut of garment or swatch from buyer’s collection. Buyer selects some colors for each season like summer collection, autumn/winter collection, and winter collection so on. Based on this collection they develop lab discolors to be used for bulk. To get a color collection buyer usually do market survey and follow the color trends of the season. So, all time they may not provide you correct standard for lab dip. Because some time buyer cut the color swatch from best seal garment from his own brand, this will not help you all the way. A finished garment cannot be good standard for lab dip making. Lab dip is not final out of color for a garment. This is standard for dyeing color of fabric but not garment. Final color for garment may be different if it has some washed application or any extra finishing. So, merchandiser or lab concern should aware and must inform customer that final garment swatch is not correct standard for making lab dip. Sometimes Buyer gives pantone number as color standard

2.7.4 Confirm Fabrication before making lab dip:
Fabrication is important because color gets different on different fabrication. So merchandiser or lab in- charge must confirm fabric composition beforehand and its type also. As mentioned above single jersey lab dip cannot be approval for 1×1 fabric type. Similarly, 100% cotton fabric cannot be for cotton/elastane; plain jersey cannot be for slab jersey. Suppose if buyer wants a shade on 100% cotton and giving a shade in mixed fiber then rejecting the lab dip each time for not matching shade. This is actually not for color percentage but for composition. A mixed fiber shade may also vary for its percentage. So before making lab dip, confirm composition. Without confirming the composition if you go for lab dip every time it will be rejected.

2.7.5 Dyestuff and dyeing process used for lab dip preparation:
Dye type is important because each type of dyeing has different recipe. Some time buyer may not tell you the dyeing process but you have to confirm before making the lab dip. Or some time you have to identify the dye type base on your final garment process. If garment has discharge print you must do discharge dye though buyer ask for reactive dye. Suppose you make lab dip in reactive dye and as usual buyer give approval then make fabric but no one was aware of print technique andwhen go for discharge print you see nothing is happening. Because discharge print require discharge dyed fabric. Discharge prints actually burn the fabric color and stay on the place. So by doing reactive dye you cannot achieve discharge print. On the other hand discharge dye a bit costly than normal dye. That means you will do big wrong in calculation and fabric dyeing.

2.7.6 All Over Print (AOP) lab dip; consider light ground:
Many merchandisers do mistake by taking approval on body color for All Over Print (AOP). Actually, for AOP need to consider light ground for lab dip or fabric color. Suppose AOP has five color including ground. If ground is dark color and consider for print it will be wrong. Because AOP cannot be done on dark color. On red color ground not possible to do white print but on white ground red can be done nicely. So, this is good to take always light color or white for AOP. If no light color is found to consider ground for print take white ground for fabric color. In this case total print color will be five and ground color white will not be visible. So, it will affect your price also if you consider four color prints during price negotiation.

2.7.7 Yarn dip and its time:
Yarn dip is same as lab dip just in yarn form, done for yarn dyed fabric. Yarn dye process is very lengthy and not easy to make frequently. So yarn dip also takes little longer time than normal lab dip. If normal lab dip can be done by a week, yarn dip requires minimum two weeks to prepare. Here merchandiser must calculate days from 1st yarn dip submission to approval, revised submission if require altogether 30 days minimum and some time more than this. So make sure to give priority for yarn dip submission and consider maximum time that require for approval.

If Garment has over dye program lab dip has to be done in different form. Over dye lab dip is not exactly same as general lab dip process. As garment has to put in the washing machine for dye and can achieve vintage look the lab dip also require doing in the same process. Big sizes fabric panel sewn both side like a bag keep in the machine and dye it. This panel is used as lab dip for garment over dye and for the next step.

Recently some washing plant established lab machine for development but this is actually not available in Bangladesh.

2.7.8 Foreign Lab dip:
Foreign lab dip means if you are going to buy fabric from foreign country that time you have to take lab dip approval also. To take foreign lab dip approval merchandiser must keep close monitoring. See how foreign lab dip requires time –

  • Merchandiser receive standard from buyer.
  • Then courier the standard to supplier for making lab dip.
  • After that Supplier take minimum two weeks to make it.
  • Send it to merchandiser.
  • Merchandiser reviews it and send to buyer.
  • Buyers receive the lab dip then give comment.
  • If 1st submission is approved that makes easy for bulk.
  • But if not then again start the lab dip cycle and wait for approval.

From the above process we see for foreign lab dip need to get approval at 1stsubmission. If 2nd or 3rd is required definitely all the process will be delayed. So merchandiser must be aware to send correct standard in due date and tell supplier to do lab dip properly. Some time it is suggested to send lab dip directly to buyer from fabric supplier. It will save at least one week on all the process.

2.7.9 How to store Lab dip:
For a merchandiser or lab concern this is very important to keep the lab dip in secure place. The below idea can help to keep it.

  • Keep lab dip inside a plastic bag.
  • Keep away from light.
  • Keep it in secure place away from all kinds of dust.
  • Finally put approved mark on approved shade.

2.7.10 Prints and Embroidery quality:
Merchandiser needs to follow Prints and Embroidery quality. Print and Embroidery is an external ornamental task in garment industry. So merchandiser should have keen knowledge of the difference between all type of embroideries.

2.7.11 Color range:
Fabric color approval is one of the important tasks garments merchandising. It should be done by the garment merchandiser after receiving a garment export order. To approve fabrics color from the buyer, some procedures have to follow. Those procedures have discussed in this article. In the garment manufacturing industry, one of the major issues is to determine the color difference of the same style of clothing pieces. By improving different kinds of color as a merchandiser you can develop a new style or new product. Here we will discuss not only the techniques and methods to determine the color difference but also the reasons behind this difference. From raw materials to processing methods, the final appearance of your textiles depends on a large number of variables that must be carefully monitored to produce the colors buyer want. As such, color quality control is central to product development and manufacturing, helping to ensure that your products are at your level of vision. The following are details of those common problems commonly found in the Textile Dyeing section. The textile industry faces unique challenges when it comes to implementing robust color quality control systems. To understand the color difference, you must know the basic definition of the shadow and the difference in it.

2.8 Fabric Color Approval Method Followed in Apparel Industry:
In the garments industry, fabrics color can be approved by the buyer by following some procedures, those are pointed out below:

  • Color suggested by the buyer,
  • Lab dip should be done for the buyer’s selected color,
  • Lab dip sent to the buyer for color approval.

Performance characteristics—

  • Wear factors, care requirements, sewing
  • Compatibility and drape.
  • Versatility for use in multiple styles.
  • Price and terms.
  • Availability.
  • Minimum order quantities.

For fabric selection designer visits textile mills, fabric studio, design studio. The Concept of Textile merchandising in textile is not synonymous with merchandising being practiced in consumer product companies. It is much broader in its scope, activities and responsibilities

2.8.1 Proto type development:
After Silhouette is developed, tech pack is developed and development sample are developed. Objective is to see the aesthetic and manufacturing ability of the proposed style.

2.8.2 Trims and accessories development:
Trims include all materials other than fabric used in the garment. For example, most garments have accessories such as threads, buttons, zippers, labels, elastics and miscellaneous items. Quality and quantity of trim and labor required to apply it on garment are directly related to cost of garment.

2.8.3 Thread:
After fabric, thread is another component which needs to be considered for calculating the cost of garments most. The consumption of thread is calculated by IE department. It is dependent upon the type of seam and SPI. While ordering the thread the operation break down and number of sewing M/c for that particular style should be taken in account. Accordingly, number of cones of thread needs to order. In order to calculate thread consumption special software’s are also available which gives the accurate thread consumption.

Sometimes thread can be computed as while preparing the sample, initial weight of thread cone is measured and after preparation of sample again weight measured. The difference of weight gives how much thread is consumed, and converting it into meters will give actual thread consumption for that particular garment. While ordering thread it’s important to consider the wastage, normally which is 10-15%.

2.8.4 Labels:
Several labels are used in garment i.e. main label, care label, content label, the cost of label depends upon make of label i.e. fiber content, printed, jacquard label, size of labels, colors’ used in label, etc. for a unit garment label cost may not play a significant role but in case of mass production it plays vital role. The other factors that are important while ordering the labels are MOQ, order quantity.

2.8.5 Zipper:
Zippers also has several types like metallic zipper, nylon zipper etc. which plays the drastic role in cost of zipper. Merchandiser should be aware of the parameters of zipper for accurate costing and negotiation. MOQ is the parameter which affects the cost of zipper considerably; at certain  MOQ only zipper will get at desired price.

2.8.6 Buttons:
Buttons can be made up of different types, nylon buttons, plastic buttons, acrylic based buttons, wood, shell, metal. Every type of button has its own MOQ decided by manufacturer of button.

2.8.7 Polybags:
The cost of poly bag is highly dependent on thickness, dimension and raw material used. The poly bag ordered in terms of number of pieces. The cost of poly bag is equally important as it give significant difference when we consider the whole order quantity.

2.8.8 Cartons:
Same like poly bag cost of cartons are highly dependent on material used and dimensions. Depending upon these factors cost of cartons is decided, the UOM of cartons generally is number of pieces while cost varies with MOQ. These are procured based on the number of plies, dimensions of the carton and GSM of the paper used to make the carton.

2.8.9 Hand tags:
Hand tags or price tags are used as packing material, the cost of hand tags are dependent upon material used, printing on it, and MOQ.

2.8.10 Shanks and rivets:
Generally, these trims are made up of metallic, the UOM of rivets and shanks is gross and No. of pieces respectively. The cost of shanks and rivets is dependent upon the MOQ and material used.

2.8.11 Hangers:
Hangers are made up of generally hard plastics sometimes wood, the cost of hanger is depend on material used, size, print and color on it. Generally transparent hangers are more costly than colored one.

2.8.12 Taps and Velcro:
Tapes are purchased based on  the width  and  mobilon tapes  are purchased in kg. Thus increase in width by 100% increases the cost by 80%. For satin tapes increase in width by 150% increases the cost by 250%. Another factor that affects cost is MOQ.

Advantages of product development by buyer/ buying specification:

  • Buyer makes the market forecast, hence the understanding of market is better.
  • The recent trends are decided by buyer.
  • The color, prints and patterns are developed by buyer which is based on market forecast.
  • Buyer is totally responsible for the success of developed style.

2.9 Product development by garment manufacturer:
Product development is the business policy of the organization which includes the development of the new designs and styles within the organization. This activity brings the more business to organization, by showing pro-activeness in design development buyer also impress. The role of production merchandiser in this activity is plays very important role. Production merchandiser must keep update to buyer time to time about the product development done by organization.

Motivate the buyer to give the design development to the organization instead of doing themselves. Whenever buyer visits to the organization, presentation of new color, prints, embroidery patterns and desk loom developments is done by production merchandiser. Presentation of new designs developed by PD department. Try to convince the buyer to select the designs from presentation. A very good presentation and convincing ability of production merchandiser brings more business to the organization.

2.10 Role of production merchandiser in product development:

  • Product development is become business policy of the organization, as merchandiser is the bridge between buyer and manufacturer, merchandiser can understand the buyer’s know-hows of the market and new development can be done accordingly.
  • Merchandiser not only follows the export order but, he/she must be aware of the new trends in market related to fabric, color, patterns, style, designs etc.
  • Cost calculations are the main role played by the merchandiser. At product development and sampling stage only cost is calculated and quoted to buyer.
  • Merchandiser must insist in-house design studio(if available)or product development team to come up with new ideas and designs and style.
  • At the same time merchandiser should convince buyer to give development to the factory if capacity is available.
  • Merchandiser knows what buyer wants hence at the time buyer visit to factory, merchandiser can present the new developments i.e. desk looms, lab-dips, strike-offs, newly developed design in garment in front of buyer or send to buyers office for selection purpose.
  • Merchandiser must use convincing ability to make sure that buyer will accept some designs.
  • The important role garment of merchandiser plays is follow-up of buyer as well as sampling department to make sure that development should go smoothly.


  • Production merchandiser can control product development process in better way.
  • Pro-activeness of merchandiser can bring the more business to the organization.
  • The cost of product development is lesser when it takes place in manufacturing organization.
  • Manufacturing organization may not charge the cost of product development to the buyer if buyer is regularly giving orders to the organization that is the benefit to the buyer.

2.11 Product development by design studio:
In globalization era product development process is also outsourced by buyer. The typical product development process by design studio can be given.

The process of product development is similar to what buyer is doing but only third party or individual design studio is involved in the process. Buyer asks design studio to develop the new designs, sketches, style and color. Design studio develops designs according to market forecast of buyer, by keeping brand image in mind.

Advantages of the process:

  • Buyer gets the advantage of expertise in design studio.
  • Buyer need not to see the sourcing part for the product development.
  • The risk is transfers to the design studio.
  • With involvement of third party product development sharing of knowledge is happens.
  • The resources can be combined.
  • Increasing the speed of product development process as design studio does that job.
  • Buyer gets the advantage of latest technology in design studio.


3.1 Methodology
Product development is become business policy of the organization, as merchandiser is the bridge between buyer and manufacturer, merchandiser can understand the buyers know-hows of the market and new development can be done accordingly.

Merchandiser not only follows the export order but, he/she must be aware of the new trends in market related to fabric, color, patterns, style, designs etc.

Below you’ll find some ways to improve merchandising performance by virtue of a merchandising software solution.

  • Organize store shelves to make them more appealing to consumers.
  • Maintain proper stock levels to prevent negative impact on sales numbers and brand image.
  • Ensure promotional compliance.
  • Know your customers.

Product merchandising involves all promotional activities used to sell a product. Additionally, because product merchandising refers to both in-store and digital, it includes all promotional activities that take place in a store (such as shelf displays and end caps) and online (such as web design and on-site search).

Take a look at these 7 visual merchandising tips that make the most out of your retail space.

  • Ignite the Imagination with Product Grouping.
  • Engage with All the Senses.
  • Support with Signage.
  • Create Hierarchy.
  • Make Your Store Instagram-Ready.
  • Refresh Displays and Layouts.
  • Communicate Layout.

Large displays set up in prominent locations in high-traffic supermarkets have been shown to increase the rate of sales by as much as 64-fold over the same items sold from their regular shelf locations. My experience, however, shows that more common sales increases are from one-and-a-half to threefold.

Merchandising is an important business activity in a retail store. It revolves around product positioning and visually-pleasing merchandise displays that attract a customer’s attention. Your ability to use planning software and to assess retail trends is key in this area.

There are two types of merchandising companies – retail and wholesale. A retail company is a company that sells products directly to customers, where a wholesale company is a company that buys items in bulk from manufacturers and resells them to retailers or other wholesalers

Types of electronic displays

  • Electroluminescent (ELD) display.
  • Liquid crystal display (LCD) Light-emitting diode (LED) backlit LCD. Thin-film transistor (TFT) LCD.
  • Light-emitting diode (LED) display. OLED display. AMOLED display.
  • Plasma (PDP) display.
  • Quantum dot (QLED) display.

3.2 Lab Dip Approval Process in Apparel Industry:
The lab dip is usually made on a small swatch of fabric, which length and width should be 6”X 6″. The apparel lab test unit uses their sample color, particular reference number or Pantone number for every lab swatch to define the color standard. Generally, garments use their color shade as section wise. An example, shade A, B, C, D in 3 to 6 options of a color shade, but lab approval will be better if use minimum four options, therefore, buyers can find an accurate color which is closer to standard with sample color. Some buyers can be recommended for spectrometer and light box to match color. Spectrometer machine finds out of all electrical data and similar color, tone or hue. But this process is very expensive and not user-friendly. On the other hands, light box has special light sources which provide the right environment with options of viewing angles for color matching and comparing with the sample. There are different types of light box in the market, but most of the buyer recommends D-65 and TL-84 light box for shade matching.

QA process stages

  • Requirements analysis. The cost of fixing a defect found during testing is up to 15 times higher than the cost of preventing one at the requirements design stage.
  • Test planning.
  • Test design.


4.1 Result:
From this experiment we have to learn merchandiser importance for improving the qualities of garments. The importance of merchandiser in this activity is plays very important role. merchandiser must keep update to buyer time to time about the product development done by organization.

Motivate the buyer to give the new design development to the organization instead of doing themselves.

4.2 Improve Apparel Product Quality:

  • Communicating the importance of quality, each worker’s role in achieving and maintaining right quality, and expectations of worker performance.
  • Maintaining a clean and dry workplace, including storage rooms and shipping areas.
  • Selecting and utilizing proper equipment for each cutting and assembly step

4.3 The importance of quality in apparel:
Through buyers and retailers quality garments reach to end user located all over the world. No wearers will buy a garment with poor quality and visible defects. So buyers and retailer knowingly do not purchase a product that does not meet the quality requirement.

4.4 Result of Sample:
If I wanted to determine the performance of a product, I might take random samples from production and submit them for testing. The results of the test would be the “sample result”.

Quality Control would establish a “statistical sampling” quantity to check. They can then use that data to predict the quality and deviations from specifications.

4.5 Quality Requirement of a Good Merchandiser:

  • Find out current trends in the market.
  • Do forecasting of upcoming fashion trends (to develop the new style as per the season
  • Product development (Sampling).
  • Develop new product line for a new season

These factors are key to make TNA in apparel industry, merchandisers have to complete their task as per Time and action plan schedule.

  • Got confirmation of an export order.
  • Received master L/C from Buyer.
  • Getting invoice (PI) from fabric, accessories and other suppliers.
  • Opening B/B L/C to fabric supplier.

4.6 Color Standards:
The first step is to define the color standards for the fabric dyeing, which should be used as a frame for the future production. This means that the customer and supplier will set acceptable limits for the color variations. The customer must provide a reference sample to the supplier of the color requested and keep a sample swatch for their future reference.

The piece provided to supplier needs to be as big as possible so it will be easier for the supplier to hit the right color. The color matching will be different if the composition or weight of the provided fabric is different. Please notice that in case of using a Pantone Color Swatch, the printed colors on the paper will look different than on a fabric texture.


5.1 Conclusion:
A merchandiser plays very important role in the apparel industry. From the development of new style to shipment merchandiser can product development with her own maintenance policy. The major role of merchandiser is monitoring an order, first to last. Merchandiser also acts role to maintain accelerate the working execution speed. In garments industry, merchandising department is common. Merchandising department is known as the heart of an apparel industry. Company profit or lose depending on this department. Therefore the responsibilities in this department are very  important. The role of production merchandiser in this activity is plays very important role. Production merchandiser must keep update to buyer time to time about the product development done by organization. Motivate the buyer to give the design development to the organization instead of doing themselves.

Merchandisers are responsible for product appearance and supply in various stores throughout their designated geographic area. By working closely with both suppliers and manufacturers, they make certain that the promotion of specific products and services will increase sales over a period of time. The thesis reported the step by step of the works done by a merchandiser. Some of the important works includes Sample development, apparel costing procedure, and monitoring quality, banking procedure, negotiation with buyer’s or their representative. Apart from this calculation of fabric consumption, thread  consumption and requirements of trims and accessories were also reported in the thesis. It is expected that the works and data given  in the thesis will very helpful for people working in this sector. Though buying houses are facing many problems due to lacking of technical manpower and also for fabric sourcing but it is the time for them to take necessary steps to ensure their better future. Buying houses have to emphasize to build strong relationship with buyers by providing the best price and best quality products for doing business. Buying house needs some training program to strengthen their manpower, which is the key strength of buying house. Buying house act as a buyer to the factory and place order and control the process behalf of the end buyer/importer. Placing order, execute the order in time with perfect quality is the main key work of a buying house. So, Building strong relationship with the buyer as well as manufacturer is also important for a buying house.


  1. Market Access guide to the New and Emerging Market for Bangladesh Woven garments Manufacturers and Exporters, BGMEA Publications, BGMEA and gtz, Only Edition
  2. 6th Bangladesh Knitwear Exhibition Knit Exposition 2012, 25-27 January, 2012, Introducing Bangladesh Knitwear to Japan and Beyond, BKMEA publications
  3. Saiful Islam Tanvir, Md. Kamrul Hasan (2013), “Apparel Merchandising” –the Unsurpassed Instance of Contemporary Business Communication, Information and Knowledge Management, ISSN 2224-5758 (Paper) ISSN 2224-896X (Online), Vol.3, No.7.
  4. Fabrica knit composite Ltd.
  5. Fashion power Bangladesh Ltd.
  7. Kashem, M.A; Garments Merchandising.
  8. Azam, Md. Saiful; Garments Manufacturing Technology.
  9. Faruk, Md. Omar; Garments Production Management.
  10. Boon, Gerand Korel; Technology Transfer in fibers textile and apparel.
  13. Yperen, Michiel van; Corporate Social Responsibility in the Textile, IVAM, pp-42

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