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Intro to Retail Buying

Here, we’re going to take you through the process of retail buying, explaining what a retail buyer is and how full-price and off-price buyers differ from one another. To begin, we first need to establish what a retail buyer is.

What is a retail buyer?

A retail buyer is someone who purchases inventory to re-sell to the public. There are many factors buyers must consider for the utmost success: demands of the customer, current trends, budgets, and more. The retail buying process occurs in both full-price and off-price businesses, however both retail buyers have very different jobs.

By the time you finish reading this blog, you will understand the key differences between these two types of retail buyers. So, let’s get started.

What do they buy?

Full-price buyers buy what’s available. They can pick specific styles, quantities, and have a selection of items to choose from.

Off-price retail buyers buy what’s left over. They pick and choose from a remaining assortment.

When do they buy?

Full-price buyers buy 6-9 months in advance of the product being on the shelf.

Off-price buyers buy 1-3 months in advance.

What are their inventory markdown strategies?

Full-price buyers cut gross margin deals with brands at the end of the season.

Off-price buyers typically negotiate the discount up front and rarely receive markdowns from brands.

What are the differences in negotiation when retail buying?

Full-price buyers negotiate for better payment terms, advertising money, and gross margin deals.

Off-price buyers negotiate on the discounted prices.

What are the challenges that retail buyers face?

Full-price buyers need to be aware of the current trends and understand their consumers.

Off-price buyers need to be aware and sensitive to how their items are priced.

Can full-price buyers also be off-price buyers? And vice versa?

It’s easier for a full-price buyer to transition to an off-price buyer; a full-price buyer gets better with training!