Nicola Wensley Manager, buying and merchandising, Michael Page
A good starting point to get onto the buying ladder is a fashion degree coupled with a placement and/or work experience in a buying office. Design and product knowledge are essential skills, but a good grounding in analysis and retail operations is a bonus. Most buying directors will have worked across different functions with varied retailers and achieved results with product, people and profitability.
The role of a buying director is to lead, develop and deliver a brand strategy to maximise sales, margin and profit according to the brand’s values and heritage. They will require an outstanding eye for product and an instinctive ability to understand the customer.
A successful buying director will need to be an inspirational leader, personable, articulate, dynamic and forward thinking. They will work cross-functionally with counterparts in design, marketing, merchandising, operations, and finance. Strong communication, influencing, and negotiation skills are a must.
The ability to think and work holistically will set the best buying directors apart from their peers.
Typical salaries range from £120,000 to £150,000 and packages can include shares, bonuses and possible equity.