0.03 My name is Sahar K. I am a fashion buyer for Arcadia group. I work specifically for the Evans brand and I buy knitwear. I’ve been here for six years and I’ve been in buying for nine years in total. Being a buyer is somebody who has a certain level of commerciality, as well as creativity. You’ve got to have a real balance. You can’t be excessive in one or the other. And really it’s about achieving your profit margin and delivering the product that your customer is going to buy. And the really rewarding thing is when you walk down the street and you see customers wearing what you’ve bought in everyday life, you know, they’re shopping with their kids in Tescos or you know in a bar having a drink, and it’s the clothes you’ve bought, and they’re just living everyday in the clothes that you’ve chosen for them. It’s really rewarding.
0.54 I kind of always knew I wanted to have a job where I travelled round the world. As a little kid I used to play imaginary games where I would sit on a plane and babble some language, a foreign language that I would make up, and speak to the air hostess, pretending I’m on a business trip. And as I sort of grew up, probably when I was about sixteen I was watching some catwalk trends on TV and I was really interested to know who the people were in the front rows. Nowadays it’s more celebrities, but kind of a decade ago or so it was more about fashion buyers being in the front rows. And I remember asking a careers advisor who that person was, and they directed me towards that career and said that this person travels round the world and buys clothes. As a girl, it was just the most fascinating thing ever.
1.46 My parents did try to encourage me to go down a more sort of academic route for a stable career path like law, so I kind of geared my A levels towards a law degree, and just before the degree started I decided that I really should go with my heart and I really didn’t want to do law, so I decided to have a chat with my parents and explain to them how I felt, and that I would be unhappy if I pursued what they wanted, so we compromised on a degree in business computing, which actually turned out to be so vital in my career because so much of my job is in fact about the business and commercial side of fashion. So it has kind of grounded me and given me quite a good balance, but it did worry me throughout the degree whether or not I would have the sort of equal opportunities as the people that would graduate from a fashion school. So I basically decided to do two evening courses at London College of Fashion in the final years, just to make sure that I learnt the jargon in interviews. And I approached a very small agency, and she was very inspirational, and she could see how enthusiastic and how passionate I was, and how, you know, I was working in Miss Selfridge at the weekends, I was doing these evening courses, and I was doing my degree, and she really could see how desperately I wanted to be in this career path. She sent me for a job at River Island and I got the job on my first interview, which was fantastic.
3.28 My parents are really proud. They absolutely couldn’t imagine me doing anything else, especially my father. He’s very proud every time I travel and I come back and they want to hear the stories; they want to hear about what I experienced over there, so they really are very, very proud. I don’t think for a second they even think that I should have been anything else.
3.51 I would say at the moment this is my dream job. This is what I’ve always wanted to do. Probably leading into the future, at one point I would like to have my own brand, you know. I aspire to do that.
Sahar K buys knitware for the Evans brand. As a girl she would pretend to sit on a plane and go on a business trip. She also liked fashion programmes on TV, and wondered who the people were who were watching the catwalks. A career advisor told her that people actually do travel round the world buying clothes for shops – “As a girl, it was just the most fascinating thing ever.”
More information about Buyers and procurement officers
The UK average salary is £28,758
There are 37.5 hours in the average working week
The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male
- Attends trade fairs, shows and demonstrations to research new product lines and suppliers, checks catalogues;
- Keeps up with market trends and chooses products/services;
- Assesses budgetary limitations and customer requirements and decides on quantity, type, range and quality of goods or services to be bought;
- Assesses bids from suppliers, finds suppliers and negotiates prices;
- Helps negotiate contract with supplier and specifies details of goods or services required;
- Looks at ways to improve supply networks, presents new ideas to senior management team;
- Ensures that delivered items comply with order, monitors quality of incoming goods and returns unsatisfactory or faulty items, monitors performance and makes sure targets are met;
- Supervises clerical, administrative and warehouse distribution staff, deals with recruitment and training;
- Works closely with merchandisers who allocate stock and develop sales forecasts;
- Maintains records and prepares reports as necessary.
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