The associate buyer is responsible for all duties of a buyer but under the guidance of a senior buyer in the same department. The purpose of the role of associate buyer is to effectively act as buyer of a specific category while gaining a greater understanding of the buyer role. The associate buyer is engaged in purchasing and distributing retail merchandise. The associate buyer is responsible for the financial performance of a specific merchandise area including sales, margin, inventory turn, and gmroi. This position includes planning assortments, negotiation with suppliers, and working collaboratively across channels within the company. Excellent communication and collaborative skills are essential. The associate buyer must be able to influence direct reports, and business partners in a positive manner to achieve company financial goals. The associate buyer must build strong relationships with external suppliers and internal business partners.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.
Prepares and issues purchase orders and change notices.
Analyzes market and delivery conditions to determine present and future merchandise availability and prepares market analysis reports.
Financial/unit planning – working with the Financial Planners, Divisional Merchandise Manager and Senior Buyer/Buyer on sales plans for the year.
Collaborate with senior buyer/buyer, assortment planner/financial planner and merchandiser to ensure appropriate product lines are assorted, bought and distributed to the stores.
Responsible to develop and manage the vendor structure within respective buying area. Oversee, communicate, and negotiate terms, shipping, and product selection with supplier base to ensure optimal product selection is achieved.
The associate buyer is responsible to maintain EOM documents, keeping information timely and accurate according to current business trends.
The associate buyer is responsible to manage aged inventory within acceptable levels/goals determined yearly.
The associate buyer is responsible to negotiate all marketing proposals with their suppliers, ensuring follow through by the suppliers. Collaboration and planning of quarterly marketing for respective area, and meeting deadlines is required.
Analyze historical product performance and current business trends to support seasonal merchandise/assortment planning. Identify risk and opportunities by category, and manage processes to meet risk inventory and fulfillment goals.
Attend major shows and vendor meetings throughout the year as appropriate ensuring product lines are current, and to capitalize on new trends and/or products.
Communicate with field representatives, including district managers and regional managers as needed. Listen actively to geographic/demographic requests and address as appropriate.
Meet/Exceed store visit requirements as determined on a quarterly/yearly basis. Shop competitor locations consistently to stay on top of product trends in their locations.
Protect the company’s assets and financial information by ensuring the accuracy and effectiveness of internal control procedures, and informing management and/or appropriate officials of potential fraud risk.
Work closely with merchandiser and /or assortment planner (when applicable) to teach, coach and train competency of financial documents, marketing planning, assortment planning, as well as negotiation skills.
Bachelor's degree (B. A.) from four-year College or university; or three to five years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience preferred