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What does a Retail Buyer do?

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Talent.com talent.com
Answered July 14 2022
Career Expert at Talent.com
Retail Buyers spend their time researching trends, planning product assortment, and analyzing sales data to make recommendations to upper management. They work with vendors to negotiate prices and terms and place orders for merchandise. Retail Buyers also track inventory levels and reorder merchandise as needed. 
As a Retail Buyer, you play a vital role in the success of a retail organization, developing promotional plans and monitoring store performance to ensure the store meets its sales goals. They are responsible for selecting the products that will be sold in the store, guaranteeing enough inventory on hand to meet customer demand, and working closely with vendors to get the best possible prices for the products client's purchase. Retail Buyers may also be responsible for tracking sales data and making recommendations to upper management on improving store performance and usually keep a record of defective products to contact suppliers and ensure quality standards.  
In some cases, a Retail Buyer will attend showcases, seminars, and expositions to learn about new and upcoming products. 

Roles and responsibilities of a Retail Buyer
Here's a non-exhaustive list of everyday tasks Retail Buyers are required to complete: 

  • Select and purchase the merchandise for resale purposes by retail establishments. 
  • Manage accurate stock records to purchase what is necessary for later resale. 
  • Review catalogs to select the best merchandise to purchase. 
  • Operate within the established budget. 
  • Locate, select, and procure merchandise for resale. 
  • Monitor shipping of merchandise to stores.  
  • Determine contract terms and conditions. 
  • Modify purchase orders according to seasonality, availability, and demand.
  • Solve any problems that may arise with the merchandise and/or supplier.  
  • Follow and analyze market trends and studies and liaise with suppliers and other vendors to ensure the quality of products.  
  • Analyze market research and trends to determine consumer demand and potential sales volumes. 
  • Conduct research and evaluate sales numbers and follow competitors' activities. 
  • Introduce new products when they become available.  
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest Marketing and industry trends.  
  • Follow current trends and anticipate changes in the market.  
  • Study the market and anticipate the performance of new products before launching. 
  • Use data collected to analyze and understand the needs and necessities of consumers and how they can be satisfied.  
  • Liaise with suppliers to receive notice of new products;  
  • Check product samples.
  • Request approval by Senior Managers before launching new products. 
  • Liaise with vendors and suppliers.  
  • Meet with suppliers and vendors to discuss purchases, special discounts, and other contracts.
  • Visit factories.  
  • Inspect the quality of purchased products and report any defects to the suppliers.
  • Build a network of vendors and suppliers.  
  • Coordinate with other franchises to ensure that all stores sell the same products.
  • Liaise with the Sales Department to decide if a product should be discontinued.  
  • Communicate with the shipping companies and customs for shipping terms, lead time, and payment methods.