Shoe Buyer Jobs Description (footwear buyers)

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Learn more about shoes.

Start on the Shoe Buyer Career Path.

Become a Shoe Buyer

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 applicants. 

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, and marketing.

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 updated.

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, 

Find a job as a Shoe Buyer.

Learn about the following important categories for a buyer of shoes.

Women's Shoes

Men's Shoes

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 of the fashion industry are welcome to contribute to the job descriptions by using the comment area below.

If you 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 fashion careers.  More specifically, let's education regarding this particular career path.

Please only post educational information or questions specifically relevant to the job of a shoe buyer.
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If you are ready to start your career as a shoe buyer, you are welcome to use the employment search engines.
You may want to also visit the footwear buyer page for more information.

If you are more interested in shopping, you can check the shoe shopper guide section here on Apparel Search.

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