An Insider’s Story – Womenswear Buyer

What is your job?

Womenswear Buyer for a UK retailer

How did you get into it?

Following a Sociology degree BSc I used my analytical skills in the role of a stock allocator in the merchandising function.  After 6 months I applied and interviewed for the role of a BAA (Buyers Administration Assistant) and internally transferred to the buying team.

What do you enjoy about it?

I love the variety of challenges in my job; analysing sales and planning the future ranges, learning about our customers likes and dislikes, fitting garments with the technical team, sourcing fabric, working with the design team on new garment designs, colours and prints, competitive shopping. Supplier strategy; balancing supplier business and profit margin taking into consideration global economic factors, visiting factories in India, China and Europe.

What do you wish you had known before you entered your industry?

At times it is a stressful, female dominated industry!  Juggling work and home life can be tricky.

Top tips for someone wanting to start out in your sector

Nowadays a related degree is essential…retail or design.  Work experience or work placements are a great way to learn about different retailers and show proactivity.  Regardless of degree or relevant work experience you start at the bottom and work your way up!