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29-01-2006
  76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ETROsexualJ
The go into merchandising and work your way around to the buying office is a good idea. You can go and get a degree in buying (if there are even any offered with that actual title..I know mine is Merchandise Marketing); but, chances are unless you are in a training program/internship you are going to be VERY hardpressed to just search on Monster or open up WWD and find an entry level job as merchandise assistant (i.e. office pencil pusher).

The beauty of an training program in buying is that you start with the company and your learning phase is pretty much the merchandise assistant end of that. With the Saks Executive Excellence Program that I am slated to do, I spend 9 months as a mixture of an Asst Dept Manager/Assistant Buyer/Allocator. At the end of the program, if you choose to go into Buying, you are an Assistant Buyer (where you usually stay for 2-3 years) before comming an Associate Buyer (and then a little promotion to Senior A where you can will stay for a few more years before you become a full fledge Buyer. This is pretty much the dept store rubric.

So needless to say, before you become a full fledge buyer, you will probably spend 4-6 years as an assistant/associate buyer. Even after that, when you look through the papers for buying jobs they typically want 3-5 years of buying experience.
Thanks so much ETRO...great advice

...so how would one go about becoming a buyer for say barneys or bergdorfs. A store that isn't all over the place. Do they have training programs?

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31-01-2006
  77
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Quote:
Well a buyer should always know their client non? The customer is a federated department store is going to on average being different than that of someone who shops at Wal-Mart and that who shops at upscale boutiques. I don't like the idea of completely discounting 'cheap' stores (can't think of the industry term for it at the moment) some of these stores offer the best training courses in buying and merch. And a lot of people who are senior buyers at more 'desirable' stores have started this way as well.
so true my mums friends a buyer for ... dont laugh ... poundland (tacky, cheapo shop in uk every thing is a pound) but she gets around about £200,000 a year. So sometimes the crapy shops pay better.

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01-02-2006
  78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seeing_double
Thanks so much ETRO...great advice

...so how would one go about becoming a buyer for say barneys or bergdorfs. A store that isn't all over the place. Do they have training programs?
I don't believe they have development programs; so, unless you got really lucky and had connections you would most likely have to start somewhere else and then once you had the experience you could then look for job openings at one of those places and then apply. I have an aquaintance who started out as a merch. asst at Ralph Lauren, worked his way up for 2 years and is now a Sr Asst Buyer at Barney's for Men's Tailored Contemporary clothing.

Also, the caveat emptor for the Neiman Marcus program is that you basically have to stay in Texas for about 2 years.

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01-02-2006
  79
Meg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiamaria
so true my mums friends a buyer for ... dont laugh ... poundland (tacky, cheapo shop in uk every thing is a pound) but she gets around about £200,000 a year. So sometimes the crapy shops pay better.
This is so true. And some of these shops offer the best training programs. Just like Wal-Mart, Target, JC Penney in the states. A lot of top buyers come from these stores. And they pay major money.

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02-02-2006
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^^Kmart has asst buyer openings right now, several of them. But I dont wanna live in Chicago (their headquarters). But if you're already in the Chicago area, go for it.

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05-02-2006
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I would work for K-mart but im still in high school ( ) but I would love to do that job! BTW I know Sears is in Chicago, but I didnt know that Kmart was Oh BTW once more, how old must one be to get one of these jobs? Is a college degree a must, and what is the highest degree one should have? A masters?

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10-02-2006
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hi lena

i am planning to open a fashion boutqiue in hong kong. don't know where to start that? any pro advice?>

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11-02-2006
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Lena ok im planning on being a buyer. Im in chicago and im going to school at University of Illinois at Chicago (its a nice school) for Marketing. What else do I need? I would LOVE to be a fashion buyer...i hear all these fashion schools have marketing programs, but i would like a business degree directly from a business school. Also, I heard that you are a stylist...but what are the cons of being a buyer? Where can I get more info? Thx a lot LENA

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11-02-2006
  84
etre soi-meme
 
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J2, welcome to tFS,
you will need a clear three years business plan, defining your target/age group and hooking up with an professional buyer experienced in the field you want to target

JJ, here is a link to our discussion on buyers http://www.thefashionspot.com/forums...yers-4943.html
i think you'll find this useful

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11-02-2006
  85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J2garage
hi lena

i am planning to open a fashion boutqiue in hong kong. don't know where to start that? any pro advice?>
Probably the hardest place in the world to start a new boutique. Rent is also a huge factor. Between, Lane Crawford, Joyce, Harvey Nicks,IT, D-mop & Seibu they have the entire market sewn up. You'll have to find a niche....these guys have such buying power and buy diverse. It is difficult but not impossible. Guess you will really have to have a market and image in mind. What sort of brands were u looking at?

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12-02-2006
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Lena thx for the link, but when i clicked it I came right back to the post lol but yea..i will do marketing and stuff to reach my goals..I've been taking French for 3 years so I hope that helps!

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15-02-2006
  87
etre soi-meme
 
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^ that's because i merged the new topic with the existing thread JJ

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15-02-2006
  88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJohnson
I would work for K-mart but im still in high school ( ) but I would love to do that job! BTW I know Sears is in Chicago, but I didnt know that Kmart was Oh BTW once more, how old must one be to get one of these jobs? Is a college degree a must, and what is the highest degree one should have? A masters?
A college degree is a must for any decent career. Obviously the more well-known and more highly-regarded the university the better. You would be easily intimidated and drown in a corporate buying environment without said degree and therefore appropriate number of years to your age that it takes to get one.
Sears, K-mart, Target, Walmart will all give you an incredibly solid training (as well as cash), but having worked as a buyer who distributed to all of the above stores, their buyers were pretty much forced to beat up on suppliers until the desired price was achieved. With those stores being so powerful, we all had to comply, even if it was a losing proposition--then they would attempt charge-backs, fees on late shipments that were their fault, etc, etc.
Retailing is such a competitive business these days that things often get kind of nasty, so documentation for your every move/decision is necessary (cya).

Any employer who really cares about the fashion aspect of it assumes that you've generally come by it on your own & they know that most fashion people will put up with all kind of cr*p to work in what they love. That is why asst. buyers pay is so awful and the position takes so long to work out of--& why buyers often treat their assistants so poorly (b/c they were treated badly as assts). It's a pathetic and lousy tradition.

JJohnson, get your degree & suck it up & work for boring Sears for a little while--then move on to a place that you love. Perhaps an internship or part-time job at Sears while you're in school would expedite the process. Whatever you decide, good luck!

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20-02-2006
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Ok I need a lil help lets say im straight out of college how many TOTAL years will it take to be a full fledged buyer including all the training and such? Lets say i have a masters degree from a top school?

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20-02-2006
  90
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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To become a buyer for Nordstrom's or any other big company, what types of qualifications do you need? Do you need a business background or is it ok to just have any type of job in the retail industry?

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