Ever thought about how fashion products reach the shelves of a retail store, how brands know what their customers love, or how a store manages to offer a wide range of designer clothing and re-stock the merchandise well in time? Well, behind all this, there is a fashion buyer who works so hard to ensure everything is in place, customers are satisfied, and business goals are achieved. And there is a lot more to it.
Want to know more about the role of a fashion buyer?
1. Skill Set
Every job requires some skills. No matter what an individual's educational background is and how much work-experience he has, it is these key skills that can help a person become a fashion retail buyer.
- Analytical Skills
- Decision-making skills
- Negotiating skills
- Good research skills
- Leadership Skills
Besides these, one must have an entrepreneurial spirit, eye for detail, ability to understand customers' needs, be open to work in a pressurized and fast-paced environment, and must be good with numbers.
The profile of a fashion buyer is majorly about planning merchandise for a particular season and selecting a range of products that will sell in a retail store. This takes into account various factors like market trends, customer demands, product pricing, quality, and availability, and store's financial budget. Tasks may vary from season to season but typically, these are the responsibilities expected from a fashion buyer throughout the year:
- Analyzing consumer's buying behavior
- Forecasting future trends
- Preparing trend reports
- Planning new range of products and presenting it to the seniors
- Evaluating performance indicators like sales, discounts, etc. on a regular basis
- Creating plans for maintaining stock levels
- Liaising with store personnel to make sure supply meets demand
- Meeting suppliers and negotiating on price points
- Forming healthy relationships with suppliers and wholesalers and pitching new sources for future merchandise
- Finding global sourcing companies when required and coordinating with them throughout the sourcing process
- Taking decisions based on demand and logistics
- Taking part in promotional activities
- Getting feedback from clients
- Training and mentoring junior buyers and other staff
- Participating in trade fairs and events to gather new range of products
- Coordinating with other stakeholders to ensure projects are completed on time
3. Employment Opportunities
Both retailers and manufactures employ professionals who are responsible for buying. They include:
- High-street department stores
- Book shops, gift shops, and craft shops
- Home improvement stores
- Online retailers
- Outlets specializing in products like clothing, shoes, accessories, furnishings, and other goods
- Television shopping channels
Fashion buyer is a vital position in the fashion industry but every buyer isn't successful. It takes a lot of passion and hard work to excel in the field and contribute to the success of a brand. If the products sell, the brand will grow and if they don't, it is the buyer who is held accountable for it.
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