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Course Description

Learn to work with a retail buyer or become one yourself. This course is essential for managers, retail business owners, and manufacturers’ account representatives. Topics covered include profitability scrutiny, open to buys, initial and cumulative markup, shortages, sell-through, and sales to stock analysis. Students learn how to buy or communicate with buyers and complete practical and realistic assignments. Prerequisites: none.

Course Length - Online 9 weeks

Learner Outcomes

  • Who retail buyers are and what they do
  • What the tools are for making buying decisions
  • The Planning Process: Forecasting and Buying Plans
  • How to do assortment planning
  • How to create and make an “order”
  • What a “season” is and the buyer-vendor relationship
  • The Retail vs. Cost Method of Mark Up
  • Terms of Sale: rights and obligations
  • Maintained Markup: what it is and what it reveals
  • Gross Margins: what they are and how to calculate
  • Vendor Analysis
  • How to measure your Profitability
  • The creation of a Monthly Flow Chart
  • How to maintain a Retailer’s Report Card
  • What is an Open To Buy
  • The importance of Negotiations and key points for Negotiating. 

Additional Information


  • Develop a basic understanding of the retail environment and the part that the Buyer plays.
  • Understand the relationship between buyer and seller.
  • Learn how to plan, implement & complete a buying plan.
  • Understand the basic qualifications necessary to become a successful buyer.
  • Develop the leadership skills needed in the collaborative environment of buying and selling.
  • Learn about gross margin and how it affects profitability.
  • Develop basic understanding of “retail math”.
  • Understand the difference between initial mark up and maintained mark up.
  • Ability to read a profitability report.
  • Challenge planners on gross margin calculations.
  • Understand that success is measured by turn, sell through, and gross margin.

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

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