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?

For larger corporate cohorts, training can be delivered through a blend of in-house and virtual, at a convenient time and place to the employer. For smaller cohorts, training will be delivered through a mixture of virtual and face to face delivery. All apprentices will have access to the OneFile virtual learning environment for reading, study, communication and to evidence learning and progression. Line managers also have access to the OneFile system.

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.