Buying, merchandising and design
Our buying teams' aim is to source future best-selling lines, whether it's homeware products or designer clothing ranges. Deciding what goes into our stores is a vital task and has a direct impact on sales - which is why all our Buyers have an ability to spot not only trends but also commercially attractive products and lines.
Trainee Assistant Buyer is a fantastic route to start your buying career at Debenhams. As a key member of the team you will support the Assistant Buyer and Buyer within their day-to-day functions. You'll work closely with our quality assurance teams and suppliers to provide a perfect product for our customers as well as ensuring our ranges arrive when they should by managing the department’s critical path effectively. You will be offered on-the-job development through structured behavioural and technical competencies as well as a range of internal courses, with the aim of becoming an Assistant Buyer within 12-18 months. Ideally you should have 6 – 12 months experience working within a Buying team or have completed a relevant fashion degree. We also offer a limited number of Business Placements within the Buying Function for undergraduates each year.
Assistant Buyers work closely with the Buyer in sourcing the ranges on offer and gradually take on extra responsibility for buying their own elements of the range (under their Buyer's supervision). You'll be preparing to take control of your own range when you become a Buyer and you’ll be given the opportunity to start testing your people management and negotiation skills.
Buyers take control for the overall style and direction of their department and work closely with Merchandisers, Designers and our QA team so that all elements of the product make them irresistible to the customer. They must be numerate - as it's all about making money for Debenhams - as well as having outstanding people management and negotiating skills, along with an instinctive fashion sense. Apart from our UK store based operation, we also have roles working in our Direct Division, sourcing stock for our internet customers and also in International, where ranges suitable for our overseas franchise partners are developed.
Working closely with our Buying team, our Merchandising teams use their commercial acumen to select the product and ranges with the biggest selling potential. Merchandisers achieve bottom line results by making crucial, tactical decisions about positioning and quantities. Their financial expertise, ability to interpret data and close interaction with stores, suppliers and distribution teams ensure we get the best sales results.
As an Assistant Merchandiser, you'll take an even bigger role in supporting the Merchandiser by undertaking specific analysis to make the most profitable product decisions and also become more involved in the financial side of range planning, maximising sales and margin potential. Liaising with suppliers and our Distribution teams amongst others, you'll be responsible for ensuring the right products are in stock at the right price when customers want, along with input from the Buying team and your Merchandiser's guidance.
As a Merchandiser, we’ll give you a business to run with a portfolio that extends across an entire range and, in some instances, influence on a designer’s products, whether Jasper Conran or Betty.Jackson.Black. Backed by superb data systems and central support, you’ll have the freedom to make business-transforming decisions. You’re experienced, flexible, unfazed by ambiguity and mix entrepreneurial inspiration with commercially robust tactics.
Distributors support the merchandising teams. This entry-level role is perfect for graduates looking to break in to the business of fashion. You now become an Assistant Merchandiser after 9-12 months in Distribution. A move into Merchandising will build on your Distributor/Allocator experience and further use your analytical and forecasting skills, as well as developing supplier management and negotiation skills to ensure the right stock is always available. You'll learn the Assistant Merchandiser role by shadowing other AMs, supplement this knowledge with technical training courses and can expect to become a fully-fledged Assistant Merchandiser within 9-12 months.
Working with top designers in a team that wants to style the nation, you can really express your talent here. Our design teams are an integral part of the buying and merchandising function, working alongside them to ensure we pick up on key trends on the high street. They work closely with the high profile designers that Debenhams works in partnership with, such as Jasper Conran and Matthew Williamson, to put together creative yet commercially successful product ranges.