My first appointment was as a trainee Assistant Buyer in the boyswear team, where I learned the basics of the job role while also taking part in the graduate training and workshops that were available.
From there, I moved my way around kids - from core volume lines and big peak planning on kids nightwear, to catwalk response and fast fashion trading on girlswear, into a role on babywear that has encompassed products I never thought I'd be involved with such as toys, maternity clothes, and nursery bedding!
My most recent role is as a Buying Lead within kids, where I remain an operational buyer in babywear (so can still handle the product day to day and lead a team) but take additional accountability for more strategic planning across the Business Unit, supporting the Head of Buying to drive kidswear forwards and working with all the other areas (e.g. womens, mens, lingerie, home) to share best practise and ideas.
The main focus of my role is to develop and deliver great product to our customer - working with the design team to brief our factories, then negotiating prices and agreeing delivery dates to bring ranges into store. We then track their sales and respond accordingly for future ranges, so we're always changing what we buy and the way we buy it. There's a lot of people involved in making this happen and my job is to make sure we're all on track - I really enjoy the teamwork that's involved.
As a Buying Lead, I am also involved in delivering the objectives for kidswear as a wider group. This covers a wide range of challenges, such as working across all teams at M&S to find best practises and embedding them within the business unit, supporting colleagues from areas such as marketing and ecom, contributing to the top line strategy for the area, and being on hand to support the senior leadership team each day.
However, my favourite part of the job is working with such a brilliant team. It takes input from a lot of people to get product from a concept all the way through to stores and I really enjoy the opportunity to work with so many different areas of the business and learn about what they do. I also love developing the buyers in my team - watching them get satisfaction and enjoyment from their role makes me feel even more motivated!
Marks & Spencer
Marks and Spencer is a major British multinational retailer headquartered in the City of Westminster, London. It specialises in the selling of clothing, home products and luxury food products. M&S was founded in 1884 by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer in Leeds.