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September 10, 2014

The WCIRB frequently receives questions asking how to classify merchandisers. Merchandisers are employed in a variety of industries that sell goods to retailers and are generally assigned based on their employer's overall business operations in California in accordance with the Single Enterprise rule.

Merchandisers are retained by manufacturers, wholesalers and other vendors that sell goods to retailers, especially to large retail chain stores. Typically, merchandisers:

  • Assist existing customers in the display and sale of the vendor's merchandise within the customers' retail stores.
  • Travel to the customers' store locations on a regularly scheduled basis or each time merchandise has been delivered to the store.
  • Assist store employees with stocking the products, setting up seasonal or promotional displays, updating signage, rotating stock, removing outdated, damaged or misplaced merchandise from the display area, and otherwise ensuring that their employer's products are optimally stocked and displayed to promote sales.
  • Take inventory of stock on hand.

Merchandisers do not typically function as outside salespersons and do not typically deliver product to retailers. Separate salespersons and delivery drivers are generally retained for this purpose.

Merchandisers that handle their employer's products as described above are included in the basic classification applicable to their employer. As examples, merchandisers retained by beer distributors are classified as 7392, Beer or Ale Dealers; merchandisers retained by automobile parts distributors are classified as 8046, Stores - automobile accessories; and merchandisers retained by cosmetics manufacturers are classified as 4623, Cosmetic, Personal Care or Perfumery Products Mfg.

Merchandising operations are prevalent in many industries for employers that sell goods to retailers and therefore merchandising operations are not separately classified as they do not constitute Multiple Enterprises for such vendors. In limited cases, an employee with the merchandiser job title may qualify for assignment to Classification 8742(1), Salespersons - Outside, if they are not performing the product handling duties discussed above and otherwise meet the requirements found in the California Workers' Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan1995 at Part 3, Standard Classification System, Section III, General Classification Procedures, Rule 4., Standard Exceptions.