I've taken a look at some other fashion jobs to see what they entail, particularly looking at the more commercial roles available for anyone aspiring to make a career for themselves in fashion retail. Purchasing jobs are crucial in all industries, and the fashion retail industry is no different. For those looking to forge a retail career purchasing jobs provide a great way in for those whose strengths are primarily commercial. Retail purchasers must be on p of consumer trends though, and have an enthusiasm for fashion, without this the numerical skills count for nothing.
Day to day purchasers will be analysing market trends, and ensuring that everything they buy is at the right price and that their margins make business sense. Sourcing new merchandise and keeping on top of what consumers are wearing and buying, and using this knowledge to make business decisions. Purchasers have a responsibility to maintain this knowledge, and also have a degree of autonomy in their role which in a high pressure industry such as fashion retail is no bad thing.
The role involves a mix of contact with merchandisers and time in the office, analysing stock and market prices so the appeal to those looking for fashion jobs but are more suited to the commercial and data side is great. A certain amount of diplomacy is also involved, so people skills are high on the agenda. Dealing with suppliers, designers and almost everyone in the industry means that the various deadlines purchasers have to meet can depend on a lot of other people. This means that maintaining relationships is vital for succeeding as a purchaser in the fashion or wider retail industries.