Buying and Merchandising Manager

North East

Competitive Salary


Job purpose – to develop the buying and merchandising strategy and manage the buying and merchandising team.  To analyse sales and website performance data and identify opportunities to maximise sales and profitability through strategic planning, stock turnover, open to buy and buying margins.

Roles and responsibilities:


  • To be responsible for developing, sourcing and delivering a commercially focused range, whilst driving profit, enhancing the brand position and delivering ‘buying excellence’.
  • Drive regular departmental product reviews, ensuring coordination across categories in terms of price, quality, themes, looks and colour palettes.
  • Responsibility for ensuring that the product reflects the brand strategy and that the range development is without gaps or duplication.
  • Responsibility for developing and maintaining an in depth, customer focused knowledge of varying markets and trends.
  • To track purchase orders, spend versus open to buy across all categories.
  • To formulate the seasonal plan to determine the number of releases, the appropriate level of stock and the right mix of categories.
  • Establish a key relationship with the Managing Director in order to actively develop brand ‘handwriting’ and communicate key product direction and trends.

Business Strategy and Performance

  • Ensure that the requisite structures, systems and procedures are in place to implement the agreed strategies.
  • To be responsible for developing the buying and merchandising strategy of the company in conjunction with the Managing Director and Finance Manager.
  • To work closely with the creative and marketing managers to develop and support product launches, seasonal offers and promotions.
  • To work closely with the buying team to plan balanced product ranges and to maximise sales and profit potential.
  • To work directly with suppliers, particularly with product development and financial costings.
  • Work with the buyers to analyse supply base, in order to identify risks and opportunities and to develop solutions and/or make recommendations as appropriate.
  • To consolidate data into spreadsheets and present weekly on the KPI’s on stock, sales and margins with recommendations to increase business performance.
  • To recommend solutions for liquidating terminal stock.

Financial Management

  • To work with the merchandiser to analyse sales and website data on a weekly basis using historic and real time data.
  • To forecast sales, margins and profitability based on trading events.
  • To forecast sales reflecting current trading issues and open to buy and recommend buying budget need.
  • To liaise with the finance department on monthly actual sales and review company plans versus company performance.
  • To react to trade on an ongoing basis to maximise sales and limit risk to the business.
  • Working with the finance manager to prepare, agree and manage the annual budget.
  • To participate in business forecasting meetings.

People Management and Leadership

  • Leading, managing and motivating the team to achieve all company KPI’s.
  • To manage the Buying and Merchandising team and ensure adequate cover at all times.
  • To be responsible for the training of buying and merchandising staff.
  • Analyse trading patterns and take responsibility for communicating findings to the team.
  • To liaise with the finance department on compiling reports of statistics as required.
  • To support Directors and be part of the Senior Management Team and attend trading and other meetings as requested.
  • To perform any other duties typical of the post when required.

Person specification

  • Strong experience as a buying manager/leader of multi product categories within the value sector.
  • The ideal candidate needs to already be operating at management level and have a career history in buying and merchandising.
  • Critical path management and margin optimisation.
  • Knowledge of fabrics, garment construction and manufacturing methods.
  • Negotiation/influencing skills.
  • Experience in budget and project management with the ability to see things through to completion.
  • A positive, can-do approach, one that wants to test new things and seeks continual improvement.
  • Effective people management, team building and strong communication skills.
  • Confident presentation skills and excellent attention to detail.
  • Your will be a commercially astute and confident decision maker, communicating with impact across all levels.
  • You will work well with change, being able to quickly adapt and work with pace.
  • You will have an entrepreneurial spirit with proven track record of creating a business and buying strategy in a dynamic environment.