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Assistant Buyer

Job ID 23372 Closing Date 28/01/2022 08:01 Location London Contract Full time Hours 40 Contract Type Regular Salary and Benefits Competetive

We are looking for an experienced Assistant Buyer to join the Beauty Team.

Key accountabilities and measures

  • Support the Buyer by displaying a clear understanding of M&S’ customer, ensuring the segments and demographics needs are understood and put at the heart of the product offer developed
  • Support the Buyer working with Design to interpret and adapt to market trends and direction, ensuring that the conceptual range developed is differentiating and targeted to the needs of the customer
  • Work with the Buyer to analyse historical sales in line with trends and design direction to manage product mix parameters including price architecture, colour balance, shape and margin to deliver a highly commercial and balanced range
  • Promote and support the collaboration with Sourcing Offices globally to help develop appropriate supply routes enabling the Department to react to trade, as well as negotiating the best prices and lead times with supplier to achieve the gross margin buying target
  • Contribute as an active member of the Buying team to work within a commercially focussed culture
  • To support the Buyer with the co-ordination and development of product Tech Packs, working with Design, Technology and Sourcing Offices to achieve better hit rates and taking accountability to ensure Tech Packs are delivered complete and on time to minimise sampling lead times
  • To work with the Buyer to manage the departmental critical path (including supporting approvals), providing guidance and direction to junior members of the Buying team as well as other participants in the buying and product development process. To own and drive the production critical path.
  • Manage BAAs to ensure efficient product & sample management across the buying floor in order to meet all H&S regulations. Support BAA training and development to help upskill teams.
  • To actively participate in coordinating and presenting the range for sign-off and effectively managing systemic elements of the buying process, ensuring the timely completion of relevant systemic approvals and processes
  • To demonstrate good knowledge of the Departmental finished goods and materials supply base and support processes to ensure M&S’ scale and buying power is fully leveraged
  • To work with Buyer in setting and delivering the strategy for the department
  • To develop strong working relationships with, and understanding of, external roles such as merchandising, technical, design as well as building networks across the wider structure

 Key skills

  • Relevant buying experience with a major retailer
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to motivate junior members of the team and communicate with Global Sourcing Offices and influence internal and external stakeholders
  • Experience of cost price negotiations and global sourcing
  • Experience in developing a comprehensive product range including marketing and packaging which satisfies all customers’ future requirements
  • Understanding of the concepts of brand strategy and knowledge of the current competitive marketplace
  • Good understanding of global retail marketplace with the ability to identify relevant product trends
  • Basic understanding of Merchandise Planning & ability to understand M&S Buying systems End to End and manage systems accountabilities for the Department
  • Critical Path Management
  • Highly organised and self-motivated, accustomed to leading by example and taking the initiative
  • Proactive in agreeing to take on Buyer responsibilities
  • Role model for BAAs and strong interpersonal skills, capable of managing vertically and laterally
  • Knowledge of materials used and understanding of material supply base
  • A digital and global mind-set that supports the growth of international and online business


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