International Retail Buying & Merchandising

2543 words 11 pages
International Fashion Branding
International Retail Buying & Merchandising

‘Evaluate the various buying structures that exist in order to support a retail buying function and the impact of these buying structures on the roles and responsibilities of the retail buyer. Use illustrative examples to support your answer.’

Within the retail environment customer satisfaction and company profitability are a crucial consideration in the merchandise choice of the buyer (Diamond & Pintel, 2008). The range of the buyer’s duties will depend on the size of the business and can be seen as three main buying approaches; centralised, decentralised and a combination of the two. Throughout this essay the buying structures will be explored in
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Decentralised merchandising can be found within independent retailers selling products with stable demand. In such cases the store managers often take on the function of buying locally as well as many other numerous management roles. It is favoured when a number of decisions need to be made at store level based on customer’s needs. A well-known brand which takes this type of approach is Johnson & Johnson who offer a range of health care products. This is due to the various businesses they are involved in which have different customer desires. By having a diverse range of businesses, with more than 250 autonomous units, the company has managed to modernise and grow regardless of its size (Singer & Abelson, 2010). Giving store level management more opportunity to have an element of control over the buying for their stores. A method of enhancing customer service and the stores efficiency against the large companies who use the centralised method is to allow the small retailers to cater fully to their local product choice (Varley, 2005). A major plus of using a decentralised structure is the ability for a store to adapt to change within the local market without having to wait for the centralised buying team to give the go ahead. This can boost self-esteem of store managers as they feel they have a large contribution with the buying decisions. The CEO of Johnson & Johnson, William Weldon stated a negative


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