Retail buyer: job description
Buying is an important and responsible role within a retailer as profitability can be affected by how successfully the work is undertaken. The buyer can enhance profits by acquiring suitable goods at competitive prices through sensible planning and careful purchasing.
Typical responsibilities include:
- identifying and meeting suitable suppliers/manufacturers
- negotiating prices, quantities and delivery time-scales
- report writing
- financial administration
- managing junior staff
- liaising with other employees about sales performances
Promotional prospects are excellent – progression can be into senior buying roles or into related areas of employment such as marketing, store management or merchandising
Retail buyers are employed by national, regional and online retailers. Buyers normally work within the head office of a company, so the majority of vacancies arise in London and other major cities.
Vacancies are advertised online and in careers services, national newspapers and specialist publications such as Retail Week, The Grocer, Draper's Record (for fashion buying vacancies), and The Retail Appointment as well as their online equivalents.
A qualification in a relevant subject such as business, marketing, mathematics, statistics or management can be helpful. A degree in fashion or textiles is normally necessary for entry into fashion buying. Any work experience will enhance your application, but there are specific placement years and summer internships with buying departments.
- Commercial awareness
- Ability to cope with pressure
- Good teamworking skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Effective organisational skills