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Buying and Merchandising Assistant

Buying and Merchandising Assistant

On a buying and merchandising assistant apprenticeship course, you’ll help support new product selection and development.

Buying and merchandising assistant positions are most often found in the retail sector across various types of companies and employers, such as those selling directly to consumers and those selling to trade.

It is also evident in various retail businesses, such as those that operate from traditional stores, online, and via several channels.

As a buying assistant, you will aid in selecting and developing new items and ensuring that these new products are introduced to the employer’s product line in compliance with the supplier agreement.

You will also be in charge of product testing and delivery. In addition, you will gather, distribute, and analyse sales and performance data as a merchandising assistant, identifying trends, trading patterns, and reporting anomalies.

You’ll communicate and escalate findings as required, supported by various business solutions.

You may also place supplier orders to assure product availability throughout the organisation and monitor products to ensure timely delivery and availability to agreed-upon locations.

What you’ll learn

On a buying and merchandising assistant apprenticeship, you’ll learn to:

  • Contribute to creating customer-focused ranges to meet the company’s brand identity.
  • Maintain ongoing supplier connections by monitoring agreed-upon supplier performance objectives.
  • Apply the organisation’s strategy to buying and/or merchandising to meet strategic objectives.
  • Establish relationships with external and internal departments (for example, marketing, distribution, and suppliers) to boost sales activity and help accomplish business objectives across all channels.
  • Use systems correctly in data analysis (for example, customer trends, buying patterns, stock rotation and levels)
  • Analyse and present business data to aid in achieving corporate objectives, brand, and key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Assess commercial performance to support recommended actions for outstanding and poor-performing goods.
  • Forecast future demand by predicting consumer buying patterns and product trends.
  • Articulates pertinent ideas and opinions about trends and competitor behaviour to discover opportunities
  • Develop oneself and others to improve personal and team performance and capability.
  • Operate so that the required financial rate of return for the business is generated.
  • Ensure adequate inventory management to achieve sales and profit targets.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher apprenticeship.
  • Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this before taking the end-point assessment.

Assessment methods

The End Point Assessment comprises two distinct assessment methods: 

  • Work-Based Project, including a Presentation with Questioning
  •  Professional Discussion, underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

Duration and level

  • Duration: 18 months
  • Level: 4 – Higher Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship standard

More information about the Level 4 Buying and Merchandising Assistant Apprenticeship standard can be found here.

Apprenticeship end point assessment

For more information about the End Point Assessment Process, please read the Institute of Apprenticeships’ information page.

Updated on October 2, 2022

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