form a talk out of the blue during my todays lunch, I try to figure out what is the role of a retail fashion buyer and which responsibilities are running with this job.
if you are intersted take a ride and read my thoughts about what we buyers should bring along. An insight from my understanding what makes a difference to this job.
the fashion world is fast-paced and very diverse. behind the travel hustle and market bustle for the shop floor lies a hard-working industry of professionals to ensure everything runs smooth and in time for the consumer. one of the most important roles in this process is the position of the fashion buyer – the individual ultimately in charge of making sure products reach the shelves of stores, not only in time but evidently more the perfectly right product for the right mood of its consumer at the time the purchase is done.
from my point of view the fashion buyer is more than just a purchaser, before the necessary decisions can be made over which products should be stocked in store, I am engaged months before in research and analysis of consumer trends and behaviors. often not only some months ahead, we can also name it more or less a full year up in front. after finding the right buying strategy, decisions must be made on budgets, time scales and where to source the products intended for the right performance inside my store. every buyer who wants to be successful must have excellent mathematical skills, a creative approach to problem solving and be able to drive a hard bargain with suppliers.
the most important responsibilities of a fashion buyer, at least I guess so:
1. planning and strategy
what I said, the job in buying begins with PLANNING – identifying and analyzing consumer trends and patterns which might work for the next seasons demand of consumers in the end. as a buyer you must not only be able to analyze the outcome of research but also use the date and information to predict future trends and for casts as though of cause results.
current society trends and culture events are playing a big part in consumer behavior, so one of my most important aim is to keep up to date with the latest news and research not only in fashion business and life style current trends also observe general influences of the way society will be developing and will be living in the future moments. which means once the sourced information is analyzed, I try to be aware and reflect future needs, future identity and the future budget of first my business and second and finally in the end as well the knowledge and for seen indication of how my consumers react in this fields and tend to behave.
after identifying which brand I want to be hung for the next seasons on my sales floors, the meeting with suppliers to agree on price and purchase conditions are evidently important. I have to travel extensively – often “leere kilometer” – attending trade shows, markets and fairs, meeting wholesalers and visiting other similar stores, during this time. perfect negotiation skills are the most important and crucial, to ensure related to the estimated spent budget, product quantities must be sufficient in the end, and also I do not need a over stock.
3. purchase and delivery
of cause you might think this procedure ends with the purchase of the right quantity of the “right in time must have brand” and that was the DEAL – but sorry the job does not end here! once acquired, the merchandise must be delivered to my sell out spots, my store – inked, bauernmarkt 15. my role also includes to oversea the shipping, the right stock must finally make it to the right place during the estimated and confirmed delivery window.
4. management and presentation
of cause it is all about how the merchandise hit the stores and how new products are introduced. typical “during challenges” is the monitoring of stock levels, analyzing again the purchase trends of the current “momentum” consumer. Me and my team we are the one who must engage in consumer feedback – the most important is the TALKING to the end consumer, what they liked or did not like about certain products. its all about the right FEEDBACK at the right time.
creativity and a loads of energy are mostly important traits for the role of a fashion buyer. the everyday requirements to think outside the box – getting around restrictions and challenges – using network and skills to maintain relationships across the fashion business – not only the suppliers – the more the consume driven fashion industry. these days one more major aspect is highly important: promote the identity – in my case – of my store, my store´s philosophy – what it is about and most important of all, deliver sales results for my store.
so – you see – out of a discussion of the blue about buying, this short introduction of our daily business came along – so its not only about having dinner in Paris ;-)