Associate Buyer

Follett Higher Education
Westchester, IL, USAWFH / Online
Posted 7 days ago
Full timeRetail


Job Category

Merchandise Buying




  • Bachelor's degree is required; the preferred field of study is Business, Marketing, or Merchandising.
  • 1-2 years of experience as an Assistant Buyer or equivalent experience in a retail environment required.
  • Intermediate experience using JDA MMS and RetailIDEAS or similar retail reporting systems required.
  • Must be proficient in MS Office with intermediate Excel skills.
  • Must possess superior oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to engage in periodic travel to bookstore locations for store visits and to support home game athletic events.

Position Overview

The Associate Buyer is responsible for assisting the Buyer with all functions related to product selection, analysis, execution, and communication to support the company merchandise strategy and goals. In addition, this position is responsible for in-depth analysis and management of key categories identified by senior leadership for each season.


Category Management:

  • Performs in-depth analysis and management of key categories identified by senior leadership for each season, including direct contact and negotiation with vendors and follow-through on execution with Planners and stores.
  • Works closely with Merchandise Control team to maintain SKU and pricing information in MMS.
  • Prepares weekly sales reports for distribution to General Merchandise and Operations management teams.
  • Analyzes sales using reporting tools (JDA MMS and RetailIDEAS) as needed for seasonal assortment reviews, vendor reviews, internal/external presentations, test programs, and additional reporting as necessary to support sales and merchandise strategy.
  • Manages key sub-categories within the department.

Buyer Support:

  • Verifies that pricing and vendor information is accurate in MMS and proofreads correspondence letters.
  • Assists in the development and promotional materials and Promotions Moving Forward (PMF) write-ups.
  • Maintains and organizes vendor samples of approved assortment styles for the current season.

Planning and Allocation Team Support:

  • Acts as the point person for special requests from Planners.
  • Works closely with the Planning team on special seasonal buys.
  • Communicates vendor/product information to Planning and Allocation teams, including assortment plans, graphics, and lead times.

Vendor Relationship Management:

  • Continually communicates with vendors regarding the product, pricing, minimums, terms, graphics, shipping, labor code compliance, barcoding, digital imagery, and other vendor-related concerns.
  • Conducts presentation of sales reports in all vendor meetings with specific feedback on sales trends and best sellers.
  • Corresponds with prospective vendors on an ongoing basis and communicates status in the review process.
  • Updates and distributes assortment plans, term sheets, and correspondence letters to vendors.
  • Mentors and provides training to Assistant Buyer, including reporting tools (JDA MMS and RetailIDEAS), communication protocol, and other job functions.

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