The UK retail sector is expected to grow by 15% in the next five years. Currently, the electricals market is the strongest performer with a predicted growth of 24%. These figures are all susceptible to economic and consumer trends and that's where retail buying jobs come in.
Buying jobs play a crucial part in helping the sector grow, because let's face it, without buying in the stock we want, retailers aren't going to sell that much.
What do retail buying jobs involve?
Retail buying jobs play a key role in the success of a retail business. Responsible for planning and selecting the merchandise a store will sell to its target customer, buying jobs help keep employers competitive in an ever changing market. Such responsibility often makes for a pressured environment.
Retail buying jobs need to keep up with customer demand, current trends, budgets and store policy. By understanding customer needs, they are able to maximise profit by providing a commercially viable product range.
Typical duties can range from predicting future trends and reacting to change in demand to meeting suppliers and negotiating terms of contract. One of the most popular jobs in buying people try to get into is fashion buying jobs.
Most buying jobs are based in head office, although you will have to work closely with suppliers, and in a small firm, the buyer is often the manager. Once your decision-making skills are honed, you can look forward to career progression to the likes of trading director. Depending on the product, foreign travel often goes with the territory, too.
The current climate
The retail jobs industry is thriving despite gloomy outlooks across the rest of the UK's industries. In fact, the UK's major retailers, including Marks & Spencer, HMV, Sainsbury and Next have all reported much higher figures than expected. This can partly be put down to jobs in buying.
Retail buying jobs are playing a key role in helping to position firms in the best place to thrive in the upturn.
What will employers look for?
Jobs in buying are highly competitive. Prospective employers need to see that you understand how retail performance is affected by external factors. What's more, employers will want to see a real passion for retail and their sector. Experience of working on the shop floor is a great place to start.
Employers like the expertise that comes with all-round experience. If you have progressed from a general retail role you will be particularly favoured. Buying assistant jobs are a great place to start. For example, most people with sought after jobs in fashion buying worked their way up the career ladder.
Employers will also look for candidates who are numerate and analytical, enthusiastic and proactive. The majority also want a graduate with a retail- or business-related degree.
In addition, retail buying jobs require good conversationalists. Supplier relationships are key to the job and employers will favour candidates with negotiating skills and the ability to network and influence people.
At RetailChoice.com, we've loads of jobs in buying for you to discover. Search by location or keyword to find the latest retail buying jobs, or upload your CV and let them come straight to your inbox.
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