This week Mark Goodwin, a consultant at Freedom Recruitment’s buying and merchandising division, tells you how to land a job as an outerwear buyer.
“Buying is extremely competitive and in order to get on to the buying ladder candidates should aim to achieve a high level degree within a product or design-related subject. Internships and work placements within a buying office also help to build a solid foundation for career in buying.
A degree provides a solid grounding in the theory of buying and allows them to specialise on the technical aspect of outerwear materials, but on the job training and interning provides a hands-on, realistic approach on what to expect.
A BA (Hons) in Buying provides candidates with a great advantage, as courses ordinarily offer a year’s industry experience. Securing a BAA [buyer’s admin assistant] role with a well recognised retailer also provides strong training from day one.
Candidates will need to demonstrate a progressive career path that has specialised in outerwear buying. They will need to have fully owned the buying process, have extensive supply base insight and developed their technical knowledge.
Employers look for solid experience in outerwear buying with proven success and the ability to create a commercial outerwear range. Natural affinity to product, strong people management and negotiation skills are required, as well as being results driven and ambitious.
As an outerwear buyer, knowledge of materials is key, as is developing a strong supplier base. The fit of the product is also crucial, so technicality and a strong eye for detail is a must.
Candidates can expect full autonomy in developing their own range, a team of juniors to manage and develop a progressive career path and a well deserved salary and benefits package from this role.
Salaries for this type of position range from £40,000 to £60,000 plus package depending on the level of experience.”