Buying and Merchandising Assistant Apprenticeship – Reference Number: ST0683

Who is it for?

The Buying and Merchandising Assistant apprenticeship is suitable for individuals who are typically involved in interacting with a wide range of internal and external colleagues, including but not limited to, their wider buying and merchandising teams, designers, manufacturers, suppliers, distribution centres, stores, marketing, finance and IT departments. This is normally an office-based role, but may involve remote working, travel to stores, trade fairs, supplier meetings etc. Buying and merchandising assistants work collaboratively to contribute to the delivery of department/company sales and profit targets. Once completed, a Buying and Merchandising Assistant will be able to develop a successful operational or strategic approach to buying/merchandising at a high level of industry standards, and use this knowledge of industry to contribute to new production development and innovation.

How is the Training Delivered and what can you expect?

Larger cohorts can have training delivered in-house, at a convenient time. For smaller cohorts, training will be delivered at one of 19 study centres throughout the UK. All study centres deliver classes at flexible times outside of work hours therefore not impacting on the day to day business. All apprentices will have access to a virtual learning environment for extra reading, study and communication.

The apprenticeship will take approximately 18 months to complete during which time the apprentice will gather evidence that apprenticeship outcomes have been met. During this time, the apprentice will have regular meetings (every 6-8 weeks) with their mentor / assessor to check progress.

What will be covered?

Organisational Knowledge

  • Principles of working within strategic operational buying and merchandising frameworks.

  • The principles of internal trend analysis and forecasting.

  • The principles of undertaking competitor analyses.

Product, Service and Sector Knowledge

  • How to develop an operational or strategic approach to buying and/or merchandising.

  • Product lifestyle from development to customer and the critical path approach to support the buying and merchandising process.

  • Principles or buying and merchandising and the specific role of each.

  • Industry standards, regulations and legislation.

  • Key aspects of the sector in respect of global and domestic trading patterns.

Marketing Knowledge

  • The brand position within the market, which includes both UK and global markets, retailer types and trading models.

  • The importance of keeping up with current trends within the industry.

Customer Knowledge

  • Effective methods of communication to achieve operational success.

  • The different purchasing habits of customer, seasonality and the different customer journey across all purchasing channels.

  • The importance of customer profiles and how they impact buying and merchandising operations.

Sales Planning and Preparation

  • Use marketing/industry knowledge to contribute to new product development and innovation.

  • Monitors agreed performance targets with suppliers to manage ongoing supplier relationships.

  • Ensures the agreed route to market is delivered and maintained successfully so that objectives are met.

  • Uses data to support decisions to influence both the strategic and operational direction of the buying and/or merchandising approach.

Customer Engagement and Experience Management

  • Demonstrates anticipation of customer buying and product patterns to forecast future demand.

  • Articulates relevant ideas and opinions towards trends and competitor activity so that opportunities may be identified.

Customer Needs Analysis

  • Contribute to the building of customer focused ranges to meet the brand identity.

Propose and Present Solutions

  • Ensures accurate implementation of the critical path prioritising actions accordingly.

Negotiate and Close Sales

  • Negotiates in a manner that balances the need for a sound financial return, with the need to operate ethically, honestly and fairly.

Collaboration and Team-work

  • Works with external and internal departments (for example, marketing, distribution, suppliers) to build relationships to drive sales activity and support the delivery of the business objectives across all channels.

  • Develops self and individuals to improve personal and team performance and capability.

  • Coaches and mentors new/less experienced colleagues.

Upon completion of the apprenticeship, Sales Executives will exhibit the following behaviours:


  • Is creative thinking, and enthusiastic with a positive and professional attitude.

  • Is confident accountable and pro-active.

Ethics and Integrity

  • Operates within professional code of ethics.

  • Is an ambassador for the business.


  • Operates within professional code of ethics.

  • Is an ambassador for the business.


  • Shows tenacity and is prepared to take risks.

Whether you are an employer looking to recruit a new apprentice, or start an existing employee, or an individual looking to get onto an apprenticeship, our team will be able to give you the advice and guidance you need.

If you are looking for an apprenticeship job role, contact us here.

If you are employed, and looking to undertake training with your employer, contact us here.

If you are looking to recruit a new apprentice, contact us here.

If you are looking to train an existing staff member, contact us here.

Alternatively for more information and advice on any of the apprenticeships we have on offer, please do contact us on 01865 515 255 or on

Funding Band



The duration of this apprenticeship is typically 18 months.

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements will be determined by individual employers. Those who are unsure should contact the team directly on 01865 515 255, or via email at Apprentices without Level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the end-point assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement the apprenticeships English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3 and British Sign Language qualification are an alternative to English qualifications for whom this is their primary language.


This apprenticeship standard is at Level 4.