In the fashion retail industry, a buyer is an individual who selects what items will be stocked in the stores. Buyers usually work closely with designers and their designated sales representatives and attend trade fairs, wholesale showrooms and fashion shows to observe the latest trends. They decide which clothes, footwear or accessories go into the store and in what quantity.
Men's clothing buyers are typically thought of as "retail" buyers. However, it is important to keep in mind that the industry has additional "buying" relevant jobs. For example, apparel wholesalers buy from factories. Although buyers have some overlapping responsibilities, their is a big difference between a retail store buyer someone that purchases fabric, trim, or clothing from a factory. One primary difference is that a retail store buyer has to plan for retail assortments, store inventory levels, markdowns, and other exciting retail math equations.
They may work for large department stores, chain stores or smaller boutiques. For smaller independent stores, a buyer may participate in sales as well as promotion, whereas in a major fashion store there may be different levels of seniority such as trainee buyers, assistant buyers, senior buyers and buying managers, buying directors, etc. Decisions about what to stock can greatly affect fashion businesses.
Clothing buyers typically specialize in one type of merchandise such as women's dresses. However, in a smaller retailer, a buyer may buy for a larger, less specialized range such as women's casualwear which may include shirts, skirts, pants, and jackets. The larger the retailer, the more specific the product area is for a buyer. Large companies that have a broad range of products will often have separate buying departments for menswear, womenswear, and childrenswear.
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Do you know who sells to men's clothing buyers? You guessed correct. Men's fashion sales people sell to menswear buyers.
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