A clothing store manager/buyer, employed by a retail business purchases finished goods directly from a manufacturer or a wholesale firm. If you love shopping using someone else’s money a clothing buyer is the job for you. Their aim is to buy high quality, well-made clothing at the lowest cost. Part of a buyer’s job is to determine and select the different suppliers, determine the styles, sizes, colors etc, and the amount and deliver date. Clothing store buyers must know their stock inventory, what turns over quickly, the best domestic and foreign supplies and always be up to date on supply and demand.
A clothing store manager and buyer must understand and predict what will appeal to their customers and the apparels salability, based on the competition, style and cost. A retail buyer has to be an expert in the products, know what merchandise to order months ahead of time and remain within a certain budget. They cannot let their personal tastes affect their buying decisions and must stand behind their purchasing decisions. Although it is a dynamic job, it is often stressful and the hours irregular. In smaller stores a buyer often has more than one position such as manager.
A clothing store buyer that also manages a store has many responsibilities such as receiving the merchandise for their store, pricing and displaying the clothing in a pleasant, appealing manner. Along with hiring/firing, educating and motivating their staff, they also provide customer service. The only person they answer to is the store owner.
Common work activities include:
- Hiring, managing, scheduling and supervising staff.
- Training staff as to customer service protocols and how to manage cash and credit card transaction, use the register or computer terminal, deal with returns and refunds and handle customer complaints.
- Purchasing the clothing or accessories that are to be sold in the clothing store.
- Planning a budget or financial statement for the clothing store and operating within this budget.
- Planning advertising campaigns, seasonal sales, staffing for Christmas shopping and managing the maintenance and up-keep of the store.
- Contracting with various outside vendors and suppliers for cleaning, bookkeeping, tax preparation and repair services as needed.