Find a job as a
So you're looking for a career as a footwear buyer?
Well if the shoe fits
As with any senior buying position, having a background
of at least three years as a senior buyer, or in footwear, will give you a
leg up (ahem) on the competition. Working as an assistant footwear buyer, or
as doing admin work for a senior buyer, especially a footwear buyer, will
put you a step ahead of other applicants. (If you would like more
information on what the requirements are for an
accessories buyer or
assistant buyer, please visit links
to those descriptions in the Buying/Purchasing Jobs Fashion and Textile
Industry section of our site, ApparelSearch.com.)
It is not unheard of for the job of footwear buyer to
include the purchasing of other accessories, such as handbags, so experience
in the area of accessories purchasing could be helpful as well.
In order to gain your footing as a successful shoe
buyer, you will need to have a knack for seeing the future. In other words,
success in the footwear business depends largely on keeping a close eye on
the market and developing appropriate strategies for the entire calendar
year. This includes both timely and accurate ordering, as well as effective
promotions. It will be your job to enter pre-season ordering with the facts
in hand, and manage to neither overload nor understock products in any
category or product group. You very well may have to work with an inventory
analyst or risk analyst to manage this task. You also will be responsible
for seeking out new products and for previewing the latest, greatest
footwear items and trends out there. It is highly likely that you will find
yourself traveling to trade shows, meetings, and demonstrations in order to
find the newest market trends.
The footwear buyer is responsible for filling the
shelves with an exciting selection based on the directives of your company.
You will walk the line between having a fantastic assortment for your stores
and end consumers and meeting gross sales margins, which you will probably
have helped to determine/project. The ability to interpret numerical data
and make informed decisions from that data is mandatory in order to perform
this part of the job.
Good communication and people skills are also a must.
Although a footwear buyer must possess the ability to handle a large degree
of autonomy and have top-notch organizational skills, you will also need to
have the ability to work well within a team. Your department's strategy is
part of a bigger picture that of the company. You will also have to work
with people in several other departments, including inventory, accounting,
Footwear buyers have to be familiar enough with visual
merchandising to select items for print catalogs and other promotions, if
called upon to do so. You may have to work with the merchandising/marketing
team to plan pricing strategies, as well as promotional ones. Those
communication skills will come in handy here, as the buyer is often the one
who will share the promotional strategies with the vendor.
Interactions with the vendor do not end with sharing
promotional strategies. The ability to handle vendor negotiations with
candor and grace is past of every successful footwear buyer's repertoire.
Payment terms and shipping dates that are in line with your accounting and
inventory departments projections will have to be negotiated with vendors
and suppliers. It helps to keep contact information very up-to-date.
Keeping track of all this requires some basic knowledge
of spreadsheets and databases. If you don't have this experience (although
we at Apparel Search think that if you have made it to a senior buyer
position, you probably do) or simply don't have the time, another aspect of
your job will be to develop and manage (okay, let's just cut to the chase
and say train) an assistant footwear buyer or an administrative
Find a job as a
Footwear Buyer ...
Welcome to the footwear buyer job
description section of the Apparel Search employment
directory. In this section of our guide we present
information relevant to a career as a footwear buyer.
Although for many of our
career descriptions we provide
information that we have developed internally, a large
portion of this
section relies heavily on user input. No one knows a
career path better than someone that has actually worked
in the particular position. Therefore, we welcome
members of the fashion community to submit their
personal experience to this page. Active members
fashion industry are welcome to contribute to the
job descriptions by using the comment area below.
have previously or currently work as a footwear buyer please add your insight
to the community discussion. Educators such as
fashion school teachers and
knowledgeable garment industry veterans are also welcome to
comment. Let's all work together to help educate
the world about various
More specifically, let's education regarding this
particular career path.
Please only post educational
information or questions specifically relevant to the job of a
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If you are ready to start your career as a
footwear buyer, you are welcome to use the