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The University of Southampton

ARTD2089 Product Management: Buying and Merchandising

Module Overview

This module builds upon your introductory knowledge and skills acquired during Part 1 to enable you to examine the retail environment in more detail from the perspective of fashion buyer and fashion merchandiser. You will develop knowledge and understanding of fashion merchandising and fashion buying through a teaching scheme of work from trend analysis, sales planning, range planning and in-store product merchandising. This module is designed to simulate commercial roles with students operating in groups to solve authentic business problems. Students will be provided with lectures to guide research and identify problem solving approaches, but the solutions and proposals are to be primarily student led and negotiated.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• to develop your knowledge of the broad scope between the relationship of design, marketing, buying and merchandising and the contexts in which they operate; • to enable you to effectively source, identify, interpret and employ fashion trend information in response to a project brief; • to develop your ability to evaluate a broad range of approaches to the realisation of solutions to a range of fashion buying and merchandising scenarios; • to enhance your project management skills and demonstrate your ability to work as part of a team.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • how to identify and target a market with a product or range while considering a set of commercial and market criteria and constraints;
  • a range of contextual issues that affect fashion including ethical, cultural and environmental issues;
  • fashion trends and their impact upon product styles and life cycles.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • effectively generate ideas, fashion concepts and proposals individually and collaboratively;
  • apply your knowledge and critical understanding of fashion buying and merchandising to increasingly complex situations;
  • apply independent problem-solving skills within all aspects of a project, including generating ideas and proposing solution.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • effectively present and articulate your ideas through oral, visual and written formats;
  • manage own workload with increasing autonomy;
  • work effectively within a group situation and be able to identify individual strengths and contributions.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate your increasing ability to apply fashion market information and fashion design knowledge and methodologies to the requirements of a project brief;
  • confidently apply a range of extended digital media skills to the production of your work;
  • develop focused and appropriate design concepts and proposals for a defined target market in the production of a proposed range with supporting merchandising figures.


In this key module we will be challenging you to look into the future, and to use your creativity and critical thinking to identify market trends and opportunities and how businesses can harness these emerging opportunities. We will ask you to look at both the near future and to develop your strategic toolkit to deliver long-term future-sighted business strategies aligned to the management of product. This will encapsulate not only consumer trends but also how the buying and product development function will need to evolve to as it tries to not just stay ahead of how the world is changing but to seize opportunities for commercial growth. Trend sense, or intuition, is not something that can be taught, but this module will provide you with some of the tools to enable you to know how to find new ideas and shifts in culture or behaviour as well as how to explore and to extrapolate trends. You will be involved in inspiration and trend workshops and work with students from the marketing pathway in group-working situations. The theories of merchandising methods and how they are applied to retailing will be introduced, as well as the responsibilities of the buyer and merchandiser & visual merchandising, together with methods of determining consumer demand. You will learn about the process of design for fashion, fashion life cycles, current trends and futurology and develop understanding of product development and product management for fashion. Working in ‘group’ situations with students from the marketing pathway, you will develop skills in team working aligned to real industry practice, analysing and translating trend information for the development of a new fashion product or range for a contemporary brand or company. You will be encouraged to apply your critical understanding of fashion issues with an increasing level of autonomy and confidence. Seminars and lectures will provide more advanced contexts and frameworks for discussion and analysis. You are encouraged to identify and select an appropriate range of text-based and electronic library resources and utilise institutional subscription services as appropriate.

Special Features

Fieldwork to fabric fairs / trade shows may be undertaken as part of this module. Group collaborative working with students from the marketing pathway.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Lectures • Seminars • Project briefings • Group tutorials Learning activities include • Lectures • Seminars • Group discussion • Library resources • Subscription resources • Peer group learning

Follow-up work120
External visits16
Preparation for scheduled sessions70
Wider reading or practice40
Practical classes and workshops12
Completion of assessment task90
Total study time450

Resources & Reading list

Evelyn Brannon. ‘Fashion Forecasting’. 

Hines, T. and Bruce, M (eds). Fashion Marketing : Contemporary Issues. 


Jackson & Shaw (2009). Fashion Buying & Merchandising. 


Lancaster & Massingham (2011). Essentials of Marketing Management. 

Journals of Fashion Marketing (accessed via Library link for Emerald Publishing). 

Sue Jenkyns. Fashion Design. 

Philip Kotler. Principles of marketing. 

David Shaw and Dimitri Koumbis. Fashion Buying. 


Simon Seivewright (2007). Research & Design. 

Martin Raymond. The Trend Forecasters Handbook. 

Kim, Fiore, Kim Fashion Trends. Fashion Trends: Analysing and Forecasting. 

Jackson & Shaw. Mastering Fashion Marketing. 



Interim Report


MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated report  (3000 words) 70%
Journal  (500 words) 10%
Portfolio 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated report  (3000 words) 80%
Portfolio 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated report  (3000 words) 80%
Portfolio 20%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Study Trips

Trips related to the module are essential for development and learning. Costs for travel & subsistence within the UK will be part of the teaching schedule and entrance fees to museums. This would be a coach or a train ticket and is normally to London but is extended further in the UK if appropriate. We do where possible arrange group tickets for additional savings that would be offered through the ONLINE booking on Sussed.


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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