What’s the difference between buying and merchandising?
M: The buyers are product - that’s their focus. They also need to manage the critical path and make sure everything is on time. Product is their baby, and then they give it to us!
C: Buying and merchandising are both quite broad roles, there is a lot of crossover. We do work with them a lot! Within M&S, buying is more about product development, managing the critical path and prices. Purchasing is more within our remit in merchandising. We raise the purchase orders, for example.
What does your day look like as a merchandiser?
C: It’s quite a broad role. You have to speak with a lot of other teams, including buying, garment tech and allocation. I spend quite a lot of my day looking at reporting: I look at performance, how products are doing in sales and then make decisions based on that.
M: My role is similar. I look at a lot of trading reports to see how things are doing. I also speak to a lot of outsourcing offices in different countries, like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka - that’s quite fun!