Retail & Consumer Products

Retail Buyer

Retail buyers work on behalf of a retail store or commercial enterprise, sourcing and selecting products to be sold.

  • Entry-level education

    Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Retail Buyer do?

Retail buyers work on behalf of a retail store or commercial enterprise, sourcing and selecting products to be sold.


Work activities

As a retail buyer, you would:

  • go to trade fairs or fashion shows to find new products and ideas
  • select new ranges
  • anticipate customer demand for particular goods
  • provide costings of new products
  • trial new products and receive feedback
  • present new products and ideas to management
  • track sales figures for new lines
  • keep up to date with trends and products in your buying specialty
  • monitor competitors' activities.

Key skills and interests

To become a retail buyer, you would need:

  • an understanding of buying behaviours and patterns
  • a thorough knowledge of your buying specialty
  • an interest in retail and sales
  • analytical skills
  • organisation and presentation skills
  • good numeracy and computer skills.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

As a retail buyer you would work a standard number of hours per week, with necessary overtime to meet deadlines.


You would be based in an office but would travel extensively, nationally or even internationally, to attend trade fairs and buyers' shows.


How to become an Retail Buyer?

Entry Level Education

No formal qualifications are required to become a retail buyer. You would get some training on the job. Most buyers have an extensive background in sales and are selected by their business to undertake advanced training to become a buyer.

Your employment prospects may be improved if you have a VET qualification in retail services, retail operations, retail supervision or retail management. You may be able to study through distance education.

Otherwise, you may also become a retail buyer through a traineeship in Retail Management. Generally, employers require a junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

Many retail buyers now have a degree in business, marketing or a related field. To get into these courses you usually need to gain senior secondary school certificate. English and mathematics are appropriate subjects to study prior to university.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of retail buyers is projected to grow slower than the average for all occupations.

Retail sales are increasingly being impacted by internet sales direct to the customer, rather than through retail outlets. Advances in technology are also being more widely implemented across buying and purchasing functions, leading to less roles for retail buyers.


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