4.1 The role of a buyer

A buyer is someone who selects and curates the assortment for the retailer. There are 2 kinds of buyers in this industry:


  • Internal buyer that will handle the merchandise/assortment, pricing and distribution for their own brand
  • External buyer that will do all the same things but for a multi-brand retailer.


As a buyer, the main task you will handle is assortment planning – which mainly involves analysing the current inventory, comparison shopping, tracking trend movement, sales forecasting and designing a pricing architecture. Based on these factors, buyers will then proceed to select or buy the season’s assortment that will be dictated by the set open-to-buy (OTB) budget.