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The role of buyer in retail is to be responsible for choosing goods and merchandising stock to be sold in retail outlets. Many buyers specialise in one area of product type, for example fashion, for example. or home wares or soft drinks.
Buyers need the skills of recognising coming trends and should be able to guess what shoppers might want. Then they need good persuasive communication skills to get their message across.As usual, they will probably begin as an assistant and progress to make trainee or assistant buyer up through the ranks through to deputy buyer. On the merchandising side they will monitor the stock flow, check popularity and try different approaches and report back on this. They will liase with merchandisers, visual display staff,designers and marketers so everyone can watch customer uptake and opinion.
They also need to keep an eye on the competition, play hardball with suppliers on pricing and channel more resources into merchandising that has proved successful in the past. Some will have taken a degree in retail, giving odd skills in influences such as the weather, the news and the state of the economy on shopper buying habits.
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