Footwear Buyer & Product Developer

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted 1 month ago
Full timeRetail Apparel and Fashion,Retail

AKIRA Footwear Buyer/Product Developer

In 2002, AKIRA opened the doors to its first women's clothing boutique in Chicago. Since then, the company has extended its reach to 30+ stores across the United States, as well as a thriving eCommerce business ( AKIRA is extremely well-poised for sustained growth as we continue to build a nationally recognized brand.

AKIRA’s culture has one very large, distinct difference from other fast-fashion competitors: Other-Worldly Customer Service and Fanatical, Obsessive Attention to the consumer’s needs and desires. The core principle for all employees at AKIRA is to Act and Think Like an Owner, and this belief can be reflected across all areas of the company.

The Footwear Buyer will be responsible for growing the sales volume and profit for all categories of footwear. We’re looking for someone with a strong background in specialty merchandising, retail analytics and operational execution in both a brick and mortar and an e-commerce environment. Our ideal candidate has a successful track record in building winning merchandising strategies through vendor partnerships and exclusive product development. They must be able to consistently apply a standard of quality and taste, as well as a sense of urgency in building a market-leading assortment.

The Position

Buyer - Footwear


Chicago, IL

Essential Functions:

  • Build and execute detailed annual plans (sales, margin, turn and inventory composition) that support the company’s business strategy
  • Seasonal planning of open-to-buy budget in accordance with company sales plan. Reconcile receipts to OTB plan
  • Develop, plan, and execute strategy for assortment and allocation
  • Deliver a balanced collection in terms of construction, pricing, IMU, and silhouettes
  • Conduct trend research and continuously develop knowledge of upcoming trends and knowledge for the Akira customer
  • Develop relationships and work closely with suppliers to develop new products, negotiate price, and track developments/production
  • Coach and mentor Assistant Buyers to maximize sales, margins and turns
  • Leverage merchandising team's skills at recognizing new fashion trends, items, looks, etc., early in their life cycles; maximize these opportunities
  • Understand and develop buying strategy for private label and branded
  • Identify opportunities to increase sales, improve margins, optimize inventories, and decrease markdowns
  • Compile and present financial analysis including category sell-through, margins and key product performance; recap and analyze business results versus plan
  • Develop intimate understanding of the customer. Leverage customer knowledge for product development, category, assortment, and allocation optimization
  • Ensure financial goals and timelines are met
  • Communicate necessary actions to maximize profit/reduce risk


  • Minimum 2-4 years of buying experience and product development
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Fashion Merchandising or something similar
  • Proven track record of merchandising multi-category, large SKU product lines
  • Proven ability to synthesize sales data, customer insights, competitive and market trends, and market data into merchandising strategies
  • Existing relationships with current or potential market brands and/or private label resources.
  • Ability to recognize and understand the magnitude of an opportunity and respond quickly
  • Strong technical aptitude, including advanced competency in Microsoft Excel, and the ability to quickly master new applications and systems.
  • Demonstrated ability to grow revenue and improve profitability

The Ideal Candidate Has/Is:

  • Exceptional work ethic and motivation to meet strict deadlines
  • Excellent written and verbal communicator
  • Outstanding organizational skills, with keen attention to detail and diligent task follow-through
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize in a fast - paced, dynamic environment
  • Highly collaborative, responsive team player
  • Ability to prioritize efficiently in response to changing needs and situations

Benefits and Perks:

AKIRA offers competitive benefits for full time employees, including Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, LTD, FSA/HSA, 401(k), and employee discount. We are committed to encouraging internal development and providing significant career enrichment opportunities. Most importantly, what has propelled AKIRA’s growth and success over the years has been the dynamic culture within the company - if you’re filled with passion, have a strong desire to get things done, and if you want to go to a place where you know your work matters and where you can implement your ideas and decisions, then AKIRA just might be the place for you.

Job Type: Full Time

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