So you're looking for a career as a shoe buyer? Well
if the shoe fits
A background of at least three years as a senior buyer,
especially if you have been buying shoes, will give you a leg up (ahem) on
the competition. Working as an assistant shoe buyer, or doing admin work for
a senior buyer (especially in shoes) will put you a step ahead of other
Shoe buyers might also be in charge of purchasing other
accessories, so experience in the area of accessories purchasing could be a
big benefit to you as well.
If you want to gain your footing as a successful shoe
buyer, you will need to stay a step ahead of the fashion trends. Success in
the shoe business depends largely on keeping a close eye on the market and
developing appropriate annual strategies. This includes placing timely and
accurate orders and designing effective promotions. It will be your job to
enter pre-season ordering with the facts and figures, and then order
products that will neither overload nor shortchange any category or product
group. You might work with a risk analyst to accomplish this feat. You also
will be responsible for seeking out new products and for previewing the
latest, greatest shoe trends. You will travel to trade shows, meetings, and
demonstrations in order to find the newest market trends.
The shoe 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 shoe 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,
Shoe buyers have to be familiar enough with visual
merchandising to select items for print catalogs and other promotions. You
may have to work with the merchandising/marketing team to plan pricing and
promotional strategies. You will probably also be the one who shares
promotional strategies with vendors.
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 shoe 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. You will need to keep your contact information organized and
Keeping track of all this requires some basic knowledge
of spreadsheets and databases. If you don't have this experience (although
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 train an
assistant buyer or administrative assistant, to help fill your shoes.
(If you would like more information on what the
requirements are for an assistant buyer, please visit the link to the job
description, which is right here in the Buying/Purchasing Jobs Fashion and
Textile Industry section of our site, ApparelSearch.com.)
Welcome to the shoe 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 shoe 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 shoe 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