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How to be an International branded footwear buyer

Advise from Liz Cannon, Consultant at Michael Page Retail.

An international branded buyer will need a range of skills to drive a mix of brands to create a strong blend across price point and product diversity.

Building solid relationships with brands lets you shape a strong range with their support and maximise profit for your department by
negotiating markdown contribution and sale-or-return deals. Trading this way requires strong negotiation skills. Employers look for this as well as strong interpersonal skills, numerical aptitude, determination and drive.

An astute branded buyer will have a thorough knowledge of competitors and fashion brands by regularly competitor shopping. They also attend trade shows and network across the industry. Working up through the ranks of a buying office is advantageous, as is taking a hands-on approach to the product; understanding the price points and where best a brand sits in the market are key attributes of most commercial buyers. A passion for your sector will be reflected in your range.

Buying for countries outside of the UK is also a skill; cultural, seasonal and exchange rate changes must all be considered.

Salaries range from £32,000 to £55,000.

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