The purpose of this study was to examine merchandising roles and responsibilities from the perspective of professionals employed in the South African apparel retail industry. Data were collected through semi-structured, individual in-depth interviews. A total of 16 merchandising professionals were recruited to participate in the study. A phenomenological research design was followed. Atlas.ti software was used to analyze the transcribed interviews. The findings showed that merchandising departments in the South African retail tend to employ professionals in four distinct positions of buyers, planners, product developers, and sourcing coordinators. These merchandising roles, that make up the merchandising function, are essential in delivery products which are profitable and will satisfy consumers needs. The four positions also have distinct responsibilities that are organised according to the product lifecycle. Merchandising professionals rely on frequent daily interactions with each other through shared responsibilities and decision-making for some of the stages of the product lifecycle.