This week Devorah Albert, director at retail recruitment agency Henry Fox, tells you how to become a branded fashion buyer.
“You will need drive, a great knowledge of key trends in order to spot up and coming brands as well as strong negotiation skills. The best form of training for this career is a creative Degree, though a year out in the industry doing a buying internship will enable you to overtake other candidates into an entry level role. There is vast competition within this area of the retail industry as well as a limited number of positions.
You will need to start as a buying assistant and will then progress up the ladder to assistant buyer and then buyer. A career in buying is very product specific so it is important to decide early in your career what product category you want to specialise in, and if you want to go down the ‘branded’ or ‘own buy’ route.
As a branded buyer you’ll be responsible for building relationships with brands, spotting emerging brands to include them within your portfolio ahead of your competitors, and for selecting ranges for your customers. You will also need strong negotiation skills because a branded role is all about gaining exclusive product, a great cost price and a favourable returns policy for your company. You will also need strong people management skills as you will manage a team, good presentation skills, a great eye for product as you will be continually travelling to remain in touch with new designers within the marketplace. This role requires analytical knowledge in order to review sales and calculate ratios and buy quantities before selection meetings.
This is an exciting career choice though requires time and hard work to reach buyer Level. Salaries for this role typically range from £40,000 to £60,000.”