Associate Buyer (141 views)

New York City
October 15, 2018

The main function of the Associate Buyer is to buy for and merchandise the assigned categories, to provide the best assortment plan possible, to maximize sales and profitability, and to support all efforts with regards to omni channel retail within our corporation.  A love for sports and sneakers is a plus!!


An Associate Buyers must be a leader.  Leaders who have a vision, can develop and communicate a strategy, and can clearly communicate and lead their teammates to deliver the company’s plan for their assigned categories.

Assortment Planning

Develop and maintain a merchandise strategy and assortment plan for each category assigned.  Emphasis should be placed on maximizing sales volume and profitability.  Focus on unique products that make our business distinct, and maximizing the width of assortment that our customers have come to expect and demand.  Capitalize on new growth opportunities.  Support the B&M assortment plans with omni channel assortment plans. Prepare and present seasonal product presentations to senior management.

Omni Channel Merchandise Integration

Our goal is to have merchandise integration with the brick and mortar (B&M) banners for the respective dotcom banner.  To successfully manage the merchandise for omni channel, the Buyer/Associate Buyer must:

  • Clearly understand the omni channel merchandise strategy for each respective B&M banner, and have a thorough understanding of the target customer for each B&M banner.
  • Develop strong relationships and have constant communication with the B&M Buyers and vendor partners.
  • Attend pre-line and final line merchandise presentations for the B&M banner, often times requiring travel to the B&M or vendor offices.
  • Research and analyze assortment plans at the B&M level, overlay those to the Dotcom assortment plan, and determine any gaps.  Then work with the Buyer to determine if those gaps need to be filled, consistent with our omni channel merchandise strategy.
  • Place, manage, and track any necessary Purchase Orders for omni channel integration.

Financial Control

Work closely with the Planners to maintain an open-to-buy forecast in Marketmax to meet and exceed the category’s assigned budget.  Keep inventory within plan.  Keep inventory aging within divisional standards.

Vendor Management

Maintain a professional relationship with all vendors and their sales reps at all times.  Develop and drive vendor initiatives.  Work closely with the vendors to find the best available products and resolve vendor issues.  Identify and maximize special make-up (SMU) opportunities.

Manage vendor negotiations relating to price, terms, and delivery dates. Improve purchase discounts when the opportunity presents itself.  Require correct samples from vendors on time. Help obtain product copy, technical information, and missing UPC codes when needed.  Negotiate and manage Return to Vendor (RTV) efforts when needed.

Trend Identification

Research the market to find the new trends within each category and determine what products will best serve our target customer.  Follow trade and industry insider evaluations.  Do market visits, Internet shopping comparisons, and competitive analysis.  Attend our target customer’s athletic and social events to do market research.  Keep up-to-date on all performance, fashion and competitive trends in the marketplace.

In-Season Management

Work with the Planners to manage the receipt plan in Marketmax on a weekly basis to match the revised sales and margin forecasts.  Initiate and drive strategies that maximize growth opportunities in up-trending categories, and minimize the impact of down-trending categories.  Execute concise and effective liquidation strategies.  Execute timely fill-in’s and cancellations.  Review the Marketing Calendar on a weekly basis.

People Development

Teamwork – Represent and support the department’s initiatives when working with other departments.  Work with the other departments to insure that those initiatives are carried out in the prescribed manner and in the spirit of professional teamwork.  Work with your assigned Planner and Marketing Merchandiser as a team.

Staff Management – Provide goal setting and performance feedback for any direct reports.

Training – Prepare and train direct reports for career advancement.  Develop written succession plans for yourself and your staff.


Ensure departmental processes and records are timely maintained and that the department is in complete compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) requirements throughout each fiscal year.

Serve as new Buyer mentor, training employees on the processes that have proven to be successful and accurate including closeouts, AUV, maintain margin, receipt, sales forecasting, creating and maintaining Open-to-Buys.

Due to the unique nature of our business, it is a requirement that you or your back-up be available to make system updates to ready product for launch in your department.  These required updates may fall on weekends and holidays e.g. Saturday mornings, Christmas day, etc.  Management will, to the extent possible, balance the individual/departments required to make these changes so as not to over impact the group.


Bachelor’s degree along with a minimum of 3 years related experience.

Ideal experience for an Associate Buyer would include retail sales (sales associate, assistant store manager, store manager, DM, etc.), merchandising and merchandise planning.