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Introduction to Buying and Merchandising 5-Day Intensive

This intensive course provides an introduction to buying and merchandising operations within a fashion retail business and includes key elements from the Introduction to Buying & Range Planning and Introduction to Merchandising courses. It outlines the day to day roles of the buyer and merchandiser in different fashion retail organisations and provides an insight into how closely buying and merchandising work together to ensure business success. A Merchandising module is delivered over 3 days and buying module over 2 days.

The course will include:

  • Customer profiling
  • Creating range plans
  • Mood boards
  • Identifying trends
  • Trend forecasting
  • Supply chain
  • Critical path
  • Seasonal calendars
  • Margin and mark-up
  • Practical buying and merchandising exercises
  • Career advice

On successful completion of this course you can progress to the Buying and Merchandising Intermediate programme.

The course will include a combination of lectures, workshops, practical activities, group and individual work and presentations.

Both modules are delivered in a way so that information is integrated between the topics and reference made as to how the functions work together in the fashion industry. The course is delivered by two experienced tutors who are both industry experts in the fields of buying and merchandising. The following aspects of merchandising and buying are covered:


  • Role of the Merchandiser - key responsibilities of the merchandiser and allocator within the retail organisation, key skills required, aims and objectives
  • Sales Forecasting and Range Plans - Strategy, analysis, planning, implementation, product hierarchy, store groupings, option planning and forecasting
  • Seasonal Calendars - Selecting the assortment for a season, constants, variable and seasonal calculations
  • Sourcing and Costing - Supply chain management, elements of product cost, the suppliers cost and cost sheets
  • Margin & Mark-Up - Calculating a selling price, margin principles, mark-ups, hidden costs and margin improvement
  • In Season Allocation - Stock management, EPOS system, WSSI
  • Promotions & Markdowns - Planning and forecasting markdowns, calculating a markdown and estimating the effectiveness of a markdown


  • Customer Profiling - An examination of population measurements (geographics, demographics, psycho-graphics), pen portraits, marketing theories and case studies
  • Role of the Buyer - Responsibilities of the buyer within the retail organisation and the key skills required. Day-to-day tasks are described for all levels of buying within a variety of fashion retail businesses and sectors
  • Trend Analysis - Trend analysis is examined to establish how buyers know what to buy. Trend forecasting packages are available for students to utilise in order to complete practical tasks including trend research and mood boards
  • Range Planning - An exploration of the creative aspects of range planning required to create a balanced and commercial range. A practical task is set to bring range planning processes to life
  • Tools for making effective buying decisions and driving sales of a fashion range are also discussed
  • Product Development - Includes discussion of the buying cycles, buying trips, competitor analysis, critical path management, buyers packs, quality control and lead times
  • Sourcing - Examines strategic sourcing, PESTLE analysis, internal and external consideration, supply chain management, factory visits and current issues affecting sourcing

Over 18 years of age, beginner.

In preparation for the course arrange to visit and compare some of the different retail areas in London including, Bond Street, Oxford Street and Westfield (White City or Stratford).

Please Bring:

  • Pen and notebook
  • Calculator
  • USB

Day 1-3: Merchandising 10.00am - 4.30pm (including lunch break)

Day 4-5: Buying 10.00am - 4.30pm (including lunch break)

Start Dates:

4th February - 8th February 2019

£695 incl. VAT

Payment Options:
Cheque, visa debit or credit card, bank transfer, online or over the phone, cash, company invoice

Full payment of the course fees must be received prior to commencement of the course. Your place on the course cannot be guaranteed until full payment is received. All fees stated are inclusive of VAT.

2. METHODS OF PAYMENT (excluding late applications)
Fees can be paid by credit card, debit card, cash or online. Payment by cheque is also accepted except in the two weeks prior to the course start date and please make all cheques payable to FRA Enterprises Ltd. Fees can be paid by cash if payment is made in person. Please see paragraph 20. Payments by bank electronic transfer or Banker’s Draft are acceptable. Our bank details are available on request. If your company is paying for the course fees and would prefer to be invoiced, please write to us on your company's headed paper and send a company purchase order with your booking form.

We cannot accept bookings from students under 18 years of age.

The course fee includes the cost of basic materials which will be provided. Please see the course description on our website for details of the additional materials which you will need, if applicable. Failure to bring the required materials will delay your progress on the courses


If there are places available on acourse we will accept bookings right up until the course commences and require payment in full on confirmation. If you apply within 5 working days of the course commencing we cannot guarantee that your booking will be confirmed. Late applicants will usually have their place on the course confirmed by email. If, however, you have not received confirmation within 24 hours of your application it is your responsibility to check the status of your booking which can be done by contacting the Short Course Office on 0203 040 2884.

Please note that courses have minimum attendance levels and may be cancelled if too few bookings are received. We reserve the right to amend or cancel courses. If we cancel a course we shall endeavour to give you at least one week's notice and you will have the option of transferring to another course or of having a full refund of the fees which we will return to you within three weeks. We will not be liable for any losses (including, but not limited to, travel and accommodation costs) arising as a consequence of any modification or cancellation of courses or time-tabling constraints as set out above beyond the cost of the course fee.

If you wish to cancel your place on a course your request should be made via email to If your written request is received more than one month prior to the course start date, you will be entitled to a full refund, less an administrative charge of £30 to cover our costs. If your written request is received within one month of the course start date you will not be entitled to a refund unless a replacement student can be found for your place. If a replacement student is found prior to the course start date, you will be entitled to a full refund, less an administrative charge of £30.

If you are unable to attend a course you are permitted to transfer your place to a substitute student up to one week before the start date. We must be notified via email of the substitute student's name and there is a £30 administration charge for each substitution. Substitutions cannot be accepted after the course has started.

You can transfer to another course up to one month prior to the course start date. There is a £30 administration charge for each transferral. Students can transfer a maximum of twice.

Non-attendance of classes due to illness or for personal/professional reasons does not provide the right to refunds, extra tuition or a transfer.

If a class is postponed for reasons for which we are responsible, including staff illness, we will make every reasonable effort to reschedule the class or to add the missed hours onto the remaining course classes. We apologise for this inconvenience and urge you to ring us on 0203 040 2884 if you have any concerns.

We shall not be liable for any failure or delay in the performance, in whole or part, of any or our obligations arising from or attributable to acts, events, omissions or accidents beyond our reasonable control including, but not limited to strikes, lock-outs or other industrial disputes (whether involving our workforce or the workforce of any other party), act of God, war, riot, civil commotion, malicious damage, compliance with any law or governmental order, rule regulation or direction, accident, breakdown of plant or machinery, fire, flood, storm, pandemics, epidemics or other outbreaks of disease or infection, failure in the public supply of electricity, heating, lighting, air conditioning or telecommunications equipment.

As we may need to contact you in the two weeks prior to the course start date, please ensure you include your contact details in the UK when making your booking. Please ensure that your place is confirmed and the course is running before you make any travel arrangements. We do not offer refunds for travel or accommodation costs in accordance with paragraph 7 above.

Students who book onto short courses are not eligible to apply for a Student Visa. We recommend you contact the British Embassy in your own country to check visa requirements before you book your course. If you cannot attend a course because you have not obtained a visa to enter the UK no refund will be offered although we will offer you a transfer (subject to the conditions contained in Clause 10 above) if your visa is delayed.


All classes are taught in English. Applicants whose first language is not English should note that they are required to be proficient in written and spoken English and be able to participate in group discussions and presentations in English. As a guideline we would expect you to have an IELTS score of 4.5 for practical courses and 6.0 for lecture courses.

Normally there are no Friday or Monday classes on bank holiday weekends and published course dates reflect this.

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and to recognise that other students also require support and assistance. If a student becomes persistently disruptive we reserve the right to offer a verbal or written warning and, if this does not resolve the situation, we may, at our discretion, ask the student to leave the course.

On completion of your course, and having attended the 90% or higher, the Fashion Retail Academy will provide you with a certificate of attendance. The name given on the booking form will be the one that appears on the certificate. A certificate of attendance is not a qualification.

If you do not receive your certificate at the end of the course for reasons that we are responsible for we will post certificates free of charge once the register has been returned to us confirming your attendance record. If you do not collect your certificate in class for reasons that we are not responsible for e.g. you miss the last class or leave early, we will post it to you (subject to you attending 70% of the course) but you must supply:

• Self addressed envelope
• First class stamp


If you require to pay for your course in cash, and the amount is over £500, you will be required to provide photo ID (preferably either a driving license or passport) which we will photocopy and attach to your booking form. All cash bookings requiring a refund will be required to bring photographic ID to collect a refund. This will be photocopied (if not already done when booking) when you come to pick up your refund. Please note that cash refunds can only be offered on weekdays between 10am and 4pm with 1 day notice. Please also refer to paragraph 7 above.

Due to copyrights, and to respect other participants, the use of audio and/or visual recording is not permitted during any course.

This website clearly describes the courses being run for FRA Enterprises Ltd. as maintained by Fashion Retail Academy. Every care has been taken to ensure accuracy but changes may have been introduced after publication since it is the policy of Fashion Retail Academy to constantly monitor its course offer as well as the performance and content of individual courses. Whilst every endeavour will be made to provide the courses and services described, FRA Enterprises Ltd reserves the right to make changes as appropriate for reasons of operational efficiency or due to circumstances, including industrial action, beyond its control. All course titles and descriptions are the copyright of FRA Enterprise Ltd at the Fashion Retail Academy. Registered Number 6793904.

Register now

For further information please email or call 0203 040 2884.

Meet The Tutor

Meet The Tutor

Bianca Foley, Buying and Merchandising Tutor.


"I have a BA (hons) in Human Geography from Queen Mary's college University of London. After years of working on the shopfloor on Saturdays and in holidays, my first head office role was as an allocator at BHS progressing from an allocator at BHS, to Planner at Duty Free Shoppers to Merchandise and logistics Director at Kurt Geiger for 9 years.

Completing an MBO, expanding internationally in Italy and France and launching the first e-commerce site at Kurt Geiger was exciting!"

Meet The Tutor

Meet The Tutor

Rachael Parris, Buying Tutor.

“I have worked in buying for 20 years,starting my career in Topshop/Topman, also in Burton and more recently at Miss Selfridge. I have also worked in all product departments across the buying floor, managing smart, casual and non-clothing divisions as a buying manager. I have been involved in some amazing projects over the years, launching the Miss Selfridge website - the first Arcadia brand to go interactive which was both challenging and rewarding."



Martina Schelbert, Introduction to Buying & Merchandising student, December 2014.

"I was attracted to training externally, rather than within my company to get an insight into other companies and their methods. I think this course will be beneficial to my role and the requirements of future roles I may undertake. The highlight of the course was discovering I was quite good in the numerical activites, which I didn't expect!"

Career Development

Career Development

The qualities you need to succeed in the retail industry are tenacity and a love of product.

To understand who the customer is and what their expectations are of the brands the buyer is selling.

It is very useful to have some experience in retail to show you understand the customer and what they buy if you would like to get a job in the industry.

A buyer has to be very versatile and wear many hats. They might be involved in developing and planning a new seasons range and at the same time working on short order in season product.  Their day can involve working with a designer on forward trends as well as meeting suppliers to assess their product ranges.