Career Opportunities In Importing

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  • 1. Career Opportunities in Importing Chapter 10
  • 2. Career Opportunities in Importing
    • In this chapter, you will learn:
      • The diverse careers available in the area of importing
      • The various businesses involved in importing
      • The roles, skills, and responsibilities that occupations in importing involve
  • 3. Retail Buyer, Associate Buyer, Senior Assistant Buyer
    • Buyers may purchase imported merchandise from:
      • Buying offices with which their companies are associated
      • Manufacturers bases in the U.S.
      • Sales agents
      • Directly from factories located overseas
      • The services of Customs brokers
    • If purchasing through buying offices, the buyer may travel to the office to attend import meetings once for spring and summer purchases and another time for fall and winter purchases
  • 4. Retail Buyer, Associate Buyer, Senior Assistant Buyer
    • Import purchases may be planned six months to a year in advance of desired shipping period
    • Buying through a buying office features benefit of combining quantity with others for advantageous volume pricing
    • Buying office representative is responsible for following up on production of merchandise selected by buyer for import
  • 5. Retail Buyer, Associate Buyer, Senior Assistant Buyer
    • Buyers may work with U.S. vendors who offer direct importing of merchandise to stores with the ability to purchase entire container loads
    • Buyers may select from in-line product or may develop exclusive customized goods
    • Manufacturers are responsible for overseeing production and ensuring quality of merchandise
  • 6. Retail Buyer, Associate Buyer, Senior Assistant Buyer
    • A buyer who does not belong to a buying office may choose to go through an agent to purchase merchandise
    • The agent assists the buyer in sourcing factories to produce merchandise and acts as a liaison for all transactions of the process
    • Agent communicates with factory to make certain the goods are produced to specification
  • 7. Retail Buyer, Associate Buyer, Senior Assistant Buyer
    • To be promoted to level of buyer, experience as assistant buyer and sales management are probably required
    • Associate buyers and senior assistant buyers may be given categories to buy under the direction of senior buyers
    • Buyer’s main role is to plan, manage, and attain the financial goal for the department
    • Buyer is responsible for achieving planned sales, markdowns, gross margin, and turnover
    • Buyer negotiates with vendors to select and monitor an assortment of appropriate domestic or imported merchandise for his or her area of responsibility
  • 8. Qualifications
    • 2 or more years of experience in the buying office as an assistant or associate buyer is required to become retail buyer
    • Buyers must be proficient in strategic planning and forecasting, possess strong analytical ability, and exhibit excellent oral and written communication skills
    • Positions of associate buyer and senior assistant buyer require at least 18 months experience as assistant buyers
    • Associate buyers should be familiar with retail math formulas and demonstrate strong computer skills
  • 9. Divisional Merchandise Manager (DMM)
    • DMM is typically in charge of several similar departments of merchandise
    • Responsible for leading the strategic planning and meeting financial goals of division
    • DMM guides buyers on import planning and purchases and may accompany them overseas
    • Must have at least 4 years of experience in buying and store management and exhibit leadership
  • 10. General Merchandise Manager (GMM)
    • GMM is above DMM
    • There is a GMM for soft goods, including apparel, cosmetics, and accessories
    • There is a GMM for hard lines, including house wares, tabletop, electronics, etc
    • GMM is similar to DMM but is responsible for more than one division
    • At least 2 years experience as DMM is required to become GMM
  • 11. Director of Imports
    • Responsible for overseeing all departments
    • Travels with buyers to attend trade shows and appointments with vendors
    • Liaison for agent overseas who procures merchandise
    • Qualifications are the same as a DMM’s
    • Keen sense for cutting edge fashion
  • 12. Merchandising Groups and Buying Office Positions
    • Similar position of retail store buyer
    • Responsibilities include shopping the market to recommend merchandise assortments suitable for their member stores or clients and to develop private label merchandise for exclusivity and value
    • Report best-selling merchandise to source overseas at reduced prices and maximize sales
    • Scout overseas markets for merchandise unique to the particular country of sourcing
  • 13. Agent
    • Determines the needs of the buyer and direct the buyer to appropriate sources
    • Assists buyers who are unfamiliar with factories and language overseas
    • Negotiates the terms of purchase for the buyer and guides the buyer in proper importing procedures
    • Paid commission based on % of $ of total purchase
    • Should be fluent in English as well as language, market, and negotiation skills of country of representation
  • 14. Leading Merchandising Groups
    • Macy’s Merchandising Group
    • (Federated Department Stores)
    • Associated Merchandising Corp
    • ( Target )
    • Saks Department Store Group
  • 15. The End