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How to be a Junior buyer at a high street womenswear retailer

Julie Man, Consultant, buying & merchandising, Fashion & Retail Personnel

Buying is one of the most competitive roles in the fashion industry and pivotal within the head office function. The buyers are responsible for identifying future trends and translating them into commercial product ranges for their customer base.

To secure an entry-level position you will ideally have a fashion-related degree and retail experience in a high street store; a buying work placement and/or internship, which is often unpaid, in a fashion head office is a must.

Starting as a buyer’s admin assistant, you will need to prove yourself as an assistant buyer before being promoted to junior buyer. 

As a junior buyer you will manage more junior members of the team and will often have sole responsibility for your own product area or small department. You will have full autonomy over the creation of a commercial yet fashion-focused range, managing the buying cycle from initial development to sign-off. 

Employers look for an established career at a competitor. Junior buyers need to prove their commercial and fashion awareness as well as negotiation, range building and people skills.

Salaries at junior buyer level range from £28,000 to £32,000.

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