Retail Buyer – Job Description

Retail buyers work alongside merchandisers to pick the right products for display and sale in-store.

It’s a job where initiative is important, as you’ll be choosing which new products to buy and which existing products to stick with or ditch, finding suppliers, negotiating on product price and delivery times, controlling stock, keeping an eye on customer trends so your store doesn’t get left behind and pitching ideas to management.

As you might have guessed, the ability to multi-task and communicate are vital requirements of the buyer’s job, as is flexibility, creativity, commercial awareness and an ability to see future trends early. Oh, and you’ll need to have a real passion for retail.

A relevant retail, fashion or business degree will certainly not harm your chances of landing a buyer’s job. But it’s not the be-all and end-all. Many retail jobs are taken by people who’ve worked their way up the ladder from the lowest rung.

Whether you’re fully qualified or not, gaining relevant work experience shows you’re both keen and serious.

Browse our current vacancies in:

Sales, Retail and Business Development


British Retail Consortium
A trade association, representing members of the retail industry, which provides an array of information and holds a number of events for retail industry professionals.

Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply
A professional body aimed at improving the ‘art and science’ of procurement and supply chain management. They offer a number of qualifications and support for professional development.

National Skills Academy for Retail
A training resource for members of the retail industry, they offer a number of courses for all aspects of sales and retail practice.

Retail Therapy Magazine
A digital magazine resource full of news and information for those either interested or involved in the retail industry.

Retail Week
An online magazine which brings you the latest news in the world of retail.

Simon Thompson

Simon Thompson is CEO of Simon is a recruitment professional that pioneers the usage of video in recruitment and fully committed to helping young people find employment.