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A Buyer is responsible for finding and acquiring the right products and stock for retail outlets and their customers
A Buyer is primarily based in the Retail sector and is responsible for finding and acquiring the perfect products for the stores and for their customers. This can be in a range of fields with varying levels of focus, either concentrating on different departments within a retail outlet's remit or be in charge of developing new lines that a retail outlet might be looking to move forward in.
The prime focus of a Buyer is find and acquire products that they think will sell in their outlets and also meet the expectations of the customer and also reflect the brand image of the stores they will be sold in. This requires a lot of understanding of the customer, the brand and where the particular retail outlet sits in the market.
To be a successful Buyer, a graduate needs to have the balance of numerical accuracy for applying what will sell where and for how much as well as having the eye for what customer's will find appealing and improve on the outlet's image. Part of the role is also managing budgets and looking at the margins that they could reap.
The role of a Buyer can be extremely successful and the success of a retailer can hinge on the decisions they make. With this in mind, It is also highly important that potential buyers not only know what will sell but also what is on trend, especially during seasonal times
The average starting salary for a graduate Buyer is £21,239. This is a fantastic starting salary for graduates to be welcomed onto a career path with. The key thing about this figure too, is that, while Buyer is a very vocational position, as their training and competency with the role grows so will there salary.
The Daily Duties of a Buyer
The daily duties of a buyer are very varied as they will be often trying to balance their processes between previous activities, what is currently happening and planning ahead for future operations in their department. Here are some of the duties can expected to be trusted with as a graduate Buyer:
- Analysing the figures - Whether it is sales or stock figures, Buyers need a keen eye for the numbers. This allows them to make decisions on things like products, prices and stock levels.
- Planning ahead - Graduate Buyers always have an eye on the next few seasons. They are able to use data and analysis from previous sales patterns to predict how well they think a future line might do. This requires graduate Buyers to be able to multitask to a highly competent level.
- Trend research - An important aspect of being a graduate Buyer is knowing what is hot. Understanding future trends and what is potentially going to be popular in shops and outlets is key to the success of a buyer. This requires research and analysis of sales figures and wider market trends.
- Working with other departments - Traditionally Buyers work in collaboration with other departments in Retail. Buyers usually operate with Merchandisers and Designers to ensure they are going to be producing great products that will sell and be a success. This requires great team working, deliberation and diplomatic skills.
- Working with Suppliers - Buyers are always in contact with suppliers, whether it is a tannery it Italy or a manufacturing company in China, Buyers are able to negotiate prices, stock volume, time lines and contracts.
The role of a buyer is extremely interesting but demanding and requires graduates to be excellent analysts as well as multitaskers. Graduates should also be aware that this can be an extremely rewarding career with the thrill of seeing their products in public life.
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