AREAS OF EXPERTISE: • Strong negotiation skills • Ability to seek out and identify new brands and trends • Excellent knowledge of all Microsoft packages including Excel, PowerPoint and Work • Increasing intake margins • Comprehensive analytical skills • Managing and developing junior staff members and working as a cohesive team • Great attention to detail • Developing and maintaining strong supplier relationships • Controlling stock levels and minimising average departmental covers • Ability to make decisions in high pressure environments • Proactive trading in season • Creativity • Confident in presenting to senior management and the wider team • Driving department performance through a passion to exceed targets
Currently I am the Junior Buyer reporting into the Head of Buying and responsible for purchasing Branded Accessories in all 56 bricks & mortar stores and online as well as supporting the franchise stores in Abu Dhabi and Nanjing. The area for which I am buying encompasses all non-apparel products, with 53 premium brands across Core and Seasonal including Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Paul Smith, Armani and Calvin Klein. The nature of the role is extremely fast paced and therefore it is imperative that I support the Senior Buyer and effectively manage my Buying Assistants so as to ensure deadlines are met. Working as part of a large team I use my trend knowledge, head office and shop floor experience to maximise sales whilst always keeping customer expectations and satisfaction at the forefront of my mind. Maintaining and improving relationships both externally and internally is essential to the success that as a team we have enjoyed and continue to achieve. I work closely with the merchandising team to manage and trade the OTB which currently stands at £28m per season, ensuring stock arrives into store and online at the optimum time, furthermore exceeding customer expectations. I was solely responsible for purchasing in AW16 as I covered the Senior Buyers maternity leave. For this season at week 47 (pre sale) the department sales stood at £20.4m, had achieved a growth of +9% LFL with stock -2% and a department average sell thru of 73%. Strong negotiation skills are essential in the role; from agreeing supplier terms to in-season trading and sale buys whilst ensuring that this is in line with the brand and departmental strategy. With accessories in particular having a strong performance within Menswear we have set ourselves a 5 year plan of increasing from a 20% to 30% of the total sales mix for the category whilst reducing stocks by 17% in order to decrease covers. In order to attain this goal it is important to grow our current brands sales as well as attract and identify new brands. As trend and customer profiles and trends transpose it is essential to adjust with them. With this in mind for SS18 I introduced Vilebrequin, Northface, Moschino, Versace and Stighlorgan into the brand portfolio, all of which we have already placed repeat orders. A large focus of the JB position is marketing; whereby an active part is played in securing window space, promotion through online and social channels as well in-store brand activity and display.
As a Buying Assistant my main responsibilities were maintaining the critical path and order raising. Other important aspects of the role were effective sample management, reviewing and presenting back regarding competitor activity on a weekly basis, resolving distribution centre, stock receipting issues and calling in LC:M and Milan Fashion Week tickets. As I progressed I would assist the Assistant Buyer/Senior Buyer at appointments and I also personally bought a selection of the contemporary t-shirt brands.
As part of my BSc I took advantage of the year in industry, working for HoF in the Guildford branch. Primarily my duties included day to day running of the floor, organising and managing up to 35 staff members in peak trade, analysing sales figures and seeking opportunities to grow sales as well assisting with visual merchandising. A large focus of the role was to create and maintain a large team to provide excellent customer service. This role required having an overall knowledge of past and present clothing lines, displaying the items where they would create maximum profit.
Whilst working for the D2 group I was accountable for a wide assortment of responsibilities, namely training and helping with the employment process of new staff, organising work schedules, calculation of profit/loss margin of weekly POS, auditing. Other components key to the position were organising menswear floor staff, placement of clothing lines in store, management and booking of deliveries as well as orchestration of sale and promotional driving products.
University of Surrey Student of the Year nominee