Hire a Buyer
Buyers handle the planning, selection, and purchase of goods and merchandise sold in retail stores, review the existing inventory, and research new products to ensure that the store retains its competitiveness. Also known as purchasing agents and procurement specialists, they mostly work in large departmental stores or smaller specialty shops. Usually, retail buyers have expertise in specific categories. If working for smaller establishments, they may be required to procure a wide assortment of merchandise-from clothing and shoes to electronic products and food products, among others. These professionals mostly work independently, reporting to the store's management. However, for large-scale businesses, the buyer works in teams where the duties are divided amongst the members. The compensation for the role is lucrative. According to Payscale, the national median salary for retail buyers is $57,000 per year. The job outlook is favorable for individuals who want to make a career in this field.
What the role entails
The role of buyer is crucial to the retail industry since business operations cannot begin without the necessary merchandise. The goal is to make sure that businesses always have adequate stock. This way, companies can deliver value to the customers through high-quality products, facilitating sustainable growth. The duties performed by a buyer vary depending on the type of retail outlet they work in, but the core responsibilities remain unchanged. A buyer is first and foremostly responsible for the research, evaluation, and purchase of quality products for the employer. They are in charge of processing purchase orders, ensuring compliance with the purchase contract, and updating management on the order status. The buyer maintains inventory, takes care of quality assurance, and liaises with inventory teams and management. To determine the best product choices, they have to work with the staff across departments to forecast the business needs and make purchase decisions based on demand. As a retail buyer, they will also have to negotiate with suppliers to secure competitive prices. Other essential duties include creating sales reports, monitoring sales to adjust strategies, and handling customer inquiries and requests. The buyer may also be required to travel domestically or internationally.
Prerequisites of the position
The quality and range of products on the shelves are essential for the success of a retail business. Therefore, the ideal candidate must be a responsible individual who is goal-oriented and detail-oriented. They must have critical thinking skills to make effective purchase decisions and negotiation skills to close orders. Strong communication, interpersonal and organizational skills are also necessary for enduring success. Buyers must also be up to speed with prevalent purchasing best practices. Employers usually seek candidates with a degree in a relevant field and experience in a similar role. Excellent computer skills and proficiency in any of the purchasing software are preferred.