Associate Buyer

Last Updated:
June 29, 2023

Job Description Overview

An Associate Buyer plays a critical role in the retail industry. They are responsible for assisting in the purchasing and procurement of goods and services for a store, ensuring that products are available for customers to purchase. Associate Buyers work closely with suppliers, vendors, and distributors to negotiate prices and secure high-quality products. 

To be successful as an Associate Buyer, one needs to have strong analytical and communication skills. They should be adept at market research and analysis, tracking industry trends, and anticipating customer demands. Good negotiation and interpersonal skills are also imperative for this role. 

Associate Buyer job descriptions typically require candidates to have a bachelor's degree in business, finance, or a related field. Previous experience in purchasing, merchandising or vendor management is also an asset in this field. Overall, the role of an Associate Buyer is fast-paced, challenging, and crucial to the success of any retail business.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Select and purchase merchandise from vendors for retail stores.
  • Maintain inventory levels and monitor sales to determine when to reorder products.
  • Negotiate with vendors on pricing and terms of sale to ensure profitability and customer satisfaction.
  • Collaborate with retail store managers to understand their needs and preferences for merchandise selection.
  • Conduct research on market trends and competitor offerings to stay up-to-date on the latest products and pricing.
  • Attend industry trade shows and events to network with vendors and stay informed on new products.
  • Work with logistics team to ensure timely delivery of merchandise to retail stores.
  • Prepare and present sales reports to management on purchasing decisions, inventory levels, and sales trends.
  • Manage and maintain vendor relationships to ensure a reliable and consistent supply of merchandise.
  • Adhere to company policies, procedures, and ethical standards while performing job duties.

Experience and Education Requirements

To be an Associate Buyer in Retail, most employers look for candidates with a bachelor's degree in a related field like business, marketing or merchandising. However, some companies might accept candidates with industry experience in place of a degree. Familiarity with the retail industry and a strong understanding of consumer behavior is essential. An Associate Buyer also needs to have good negotiating and analytical skills because the role involves managing budgets, forecasting sales trends, and interacting with vendors. Some employers even require experience with managing teams, so leadership and communication skills are a must-have as well. In summary, education paired with experience and valuable skills are the keys to becoming an Associate Buyer.

Salary Range

For Associate Buyers in the Retail industry, the expected salary range in the United States is around $50,000 to $70,000 per year, according to data from The salary can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and the particular company. For example, an Associate Buyer in New York City can expect a higher salary than one in a smaller city. In Canada, the average salary for an Associate Buyer is around CAD $55,000 per year, according to Similarly, in the United Kingdom, the average salary is around £25,000 to £30,000 per year, according to With additional experience, Associate Buyers can advance to higher positions and earn a higher salary.



Career Outlook

The career outlook for Associate Buyers in the retail industry appears to be growing steadily over the next 5 years, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Associate Buyers assist senior buyers by analyzing sales data, monitoring inventory levels, and selecting products for stores. As e-commerce continues to dominate the retail market, there will be a greater need for tech-savvy Associate Buyers who can manage online inventory and drive sales through digital channels. Additionally, as retailers shift their focus to sustainability and ethical sourcing, there will be demand for Associate Buyers who can ensure products meet these standards. Overall, the job growth for Associate Buyers is expected to be about 4% per year through 2029.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is an Associate Buyer in the retail industry?

A: An Associate Buyer is responsible for finding and purchasing products for a retail store or chain.

Q: What are the qualifications needed to become an Associate Buyer?

A: Typically, a Bachelor's degree in business or a related field, knowledge of the retail industry, and experience in buying and merchandising.

Q: What tasks does an Associate Buyer perform?

A: An Associate Buyer must research trends, negotiate prices and contracts with vendors, develop relationships with suppliers, track inventory and sales data, and make recommendations for product assortment and pricing.

Q: What are the working conditions for an Associate Buyer?

A: An Associate Buyer usually works in an office setting, with occasional travel to vendor meetings and trade shows. The job may also require working long hours or weekends during peak seasons.

Q: What is the salary range for an Associate Buyer?

A: According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an Associate Buyer in the United States is around $60,000 per year, but this can vary depending on experience, location, and employer.

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