Senior Buyer & Product Manager

Books A Million
Birmingham, AL, USA
Posted 1 day ago
Full time

As the nation’s second largest book retailer, you know Books-A-Million as a one-stop shop for a varied selection of book categories. But, did you also know, that Books-A-Million has a large selection of non-book items that includes gifts, toys, games, apparel, personal care, and even home? Our General Merchandise team is responsible for outfitting our stores with the latest in trends, must-have items, and customer favorites in these categories. If you share an eye for trend seeking and passion for merchandising, please see the exciting opportunity to join our team below:

Job Description

The Senior Buyer is accountable for driving and achieving financial results and focused merchandise strategy and assortments through management of their team. The Senior Buyer may have both domestic and import merchandise management which may include product development. Merchandise is purchased to maximize results while enhancing the overall department, group and company strategy. This position reports directly to the Vice President of Merchandising or Divisional Merchandise Manager and has management responsibility for Buyer(s), Associate Buyer(s) and/or Assistant Buyer(s). The Senior Buyer works closely with the Senior Management team, Merchandise Operations Group, Merchandise Planning, and Marketing/Omni Channel Group.


Primary Responsibilities:

Management of Assigned Categories (70%)

  • Executes and achieves assigned category sales, gross margin and inventory goals.
  • Develops merchandise assortments and strategies that drive company and departmental sales goals while ensuring customer needs, orientation and satisfaction are met.
  • Manages all aspects of the merchandise offering – selection, mix, brand, pricing, promotion, negotiation, and disposition.
  • Conducts competitive and product category analyses to identify new licenses, brands and proprietary opportunities to increase and expand selection across categories.
  • Deliver accurate sales forecasts and projections by evaluating financial information, utilizing open to buy, current trends and anticipated market changes to establish a buying plan to attain sales and margin goals.
  • Prepares for and presents products and merchandise analysis at assortment and business review meetings.
  • Develops and maintains collaborative relationships with vendors to ensure merchandise availability and promotion including exclusives, timely delivery of merchandise, cooperative marketing and markdown allowances.
  • Manages vendor performance to maximize profitability and achieve financial objectives including cooperative marketing, incentive and partnership plans.
  • Plans promotional events and execution while ensuring accuracy on details such as pricing and marketing signage.
  • Coaches and develops Buyer(s), Associate Buyer(s) and Assistant Buyer(s) to ensure growth and readiness for next level position. Allocates work across group for maximum benefit to leverage ideas and obtain optimal results.
  • Provides strategic leadership within immediate work group as well cross functionally working not only within the Merchandising group but also across other business units.
  • Drives compliance and standards for company processes, policies, and tools within their area and with direct report(s).
  • Visits stores to evaluate merchandise mix, observe competition, weighs individual store needs and translate findings into executable product plans.
  • Travels to attends relevant trade shows, vendor meetings, and markets to observe trends, gather product information, select merchandise and establish business relationships with viable vendors.

Company and Cross Functional Projects (30%)

  • Sources proprietary product and directs Merchandise Purchasing Group, Merchandising Operations and Marketing/Graphic Design group on product development, store execution and presentation.
  • Provides guidance and direction to the Merchandise Planning group on merchandise flow, key items, and store groupings.
  • Works cross-functionally with the Merchandising Operations Group and Marketing/Graphic Design to deliver merchandising strategies and directives in stores.
  • Directs Omnichannel on key themes, products and initiatives in managed business categories to maximize online sales.
  • Additional projects as assigned by the Vice President or Senior Management.

Education and/or Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university; or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • 8-10 years of related buying experience with demonstrated progression in buying volume and financial responsibility or 9–12 years with a mix of buying and planning responsibilities.


  • Displays strong financial, strategic, planning, merchandising, negotiation and relationship building skills.
  • Demonstrates forward thinking including ability to identify and initiate new businesses through trend spotting, analysis, proactive goal setting and execution. Able to strike a balance between the analytical and the creative.
  • Makes decisions in a timely manner. Applies financial reasoning and concepts to daily operations to consistently drive sales. Displays high degree of retail math proficiency.
  • Adaptable problem solver who stays positive in the face of challenges, displays calm under pressure and is resilient. Acts as a settling influence when interacting with direct reports, co-workers and stores. Solves complex issues.
  • Demonstrates leadership and coaching skills, ability to lead and build team and train direct reports.
  • Holds self and other team members accountable for achieving results. Ensures that priorities and objectives are clear among team members. Sets firm deadlines and maintains high levels of productivity working with vigor, effectiveness and determination.
  • Recognizes different values and styles. Respects characteristics or strengths of another person.
  • Enhances department and organization by accepting ownership for accomplishing new and different projects. Takes initiative to explores opportunities that add value.
  • Communicates ideas and information in a form well matched to and well received by the intended audience including senior management.
  • Strong working knowledge of merchant processes and systems.
  • Proficient in the use of desktop applications and Windows-based programs.

Special Requirements:

  • Up to 50% travel may be required, depending on area assigned

Disclaimer: Job listings provided by employers and recruiting agencies. We are not responsible for the content of these listings. Report this listing