Career Information Hotline

Toll Free 1-800-661-3753

Edmonton 780-422-4266

Guest Account Sign In Sign Up
Occupational Profile

Retail and Wholesale Buyer

Retail and wholesale buyers source, price and purchase goods, materials and equipment for resale in retail or wholesale stores.

  • Avg. Salary $51,235.00
  • Avg. Wage $25.52
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook N/A
Also Known As

Junior Buyer, Merchandiser, Purchasing Analyst, Senior Buyer

NOC & Interest Codes
The Retail and Wholesale Buyer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Retail and Wholesale Buyers
NOC code: 6233
METHODICAL

Interest in co-ordinating information to study market reports, trade periodicals and sales promotion materials; and in visiting trade shows, showrooms, factories and product design events

SOCIAL

Interest in negotiating prices, discounts, credit terms and transportation arrangements when interviewing suppliers

directive

Interest in overseeing distribution of merchandise to outlets, in maintaining adequate levels of stock and in supervising the work of other retail buyers

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 11, 2017

Retail and wholesale buyers are responsible for ensuring that the retail or wholesale store they work for is receiving a sufficient flow of goods, materials, equipment and other merchandise for resale. Depending on the organization they work for, buyers perform some or all of the following tasks:

  • review their store's supply requirements and determine the quantity and type of merchandise to purchase
  • locate and network with vendors and suppliers
  • negotiate prices and quantities and close out purchases
  • organize transportation of purchases to central warehouses
  • in small organizations, oversee distribution of merchandise to stores and manage inventory levels
  • maintain close knowledge of the store's customers and their buying habits
  • analyze historical and current data related to regular, promotional and seasonal supply and demand trends
  • ensure quality control of purchased merchandise
  • analyze product performance and return on investment (ROI)
  • supervise the work of other buyers.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 11, 2017

Retail and wholesale buyers usually spend a large portion of their time working in office environments, but may also spend time on the sales floor observing and interacting with customers. Travel is sometimes required. Buyers occasionally visit factories where goods are produced before making purchases, in order to select products or negotiate with sellers.

Buyers must occasionally work long hours, weekends, and overtime during high-demand seasons.

  • Strength Required Strength requirements vary
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 11, 2017

Retail and wholesale buyers require the following characteristics:

  • good interpersonal and communication skills
  • good organizational skills
  • good negotiation skills and the ability to work with many different people
  • the ability to work independently or as part of a team
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to think logically and critically and solve problems
  • the ability to think and plan strategically
  • willingness to take calculated risks
  • the ability to make important decisions
  • the ability to handle stressful situations and frequent deadlines
  • understanding of how to manage money
  • the ability to adapt to a changing environment.

They should enjoy taking a methodical approach to compiling information, being responsible for projects and the work of others and negotiating with people.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 11, 2017

There are a variety of ways to become a retail or wholesale buyer. In the past, high school graduates started in entry-level positions such as purchasing clerk, expediter or junior buyer, or working in departments where stock is processed (for example, stores or shipping and receiving). However, most employers prefer to hire applicants who have post-secondary education in business administration, commerce, supply chain management or economics, particularly for positions that involve cost analysis, legal issues and contract administration.

A number of employers provide training on the job for newly hired retail and wholesale buyers. Computer skills and familiarity with commonly used word processing, spreadsheet and database programs and other technology used in e-commerce and for ordering is a definite asset.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 11, 2017

Supply Chain Management Professional

Supply chain management professionals buy goods, materials, supplies and services as required by their organization.

Legislation

Supply Chain Management Professional is a protected title under Alberta's Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act. This means that to call yourself a Supply Chain Management Professional, you must be a registered member of the Supply Chain Management Association Alberta (SCMA Alberta). You can be a member of the SCMA Alberta but do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself a Supply Chain Management Professional.

Education

Registration as a Supply Chain Management Professional requires successful completion of the approved accreditation program and certification examination.  For detailed information about registration requirements, visit the SCMA Alberta website or contact SCMA Alberta.

Working in Alberta

Supply chain management professionals who are certified by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for certification in Alberta if certified supply chain management professionals in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated supply chain management professionals, see Supply Chain Management Professional Certification Process on the AlbertaCanada.com website.

Contact Details

Supply Chain Management Association Alberta
Sterling Business Centre
Suite 115, 17420 Stony Plain Road
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T5S 1K6
Phone number: 780-944-0355
Toll-free phone number: 1-866-610-4089
Fax number: 780-944-0356
Website: www.scmaab.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 11, 2017

Retail and wholesale buyers are employed by any store or chain that resells goods, materials, equipment, or other merchandise.

A typical advancement path might be from a clerical position to junior buyer to senior buyer. With experience, buyers may advance to management positions.

In Alberta, 86% of people employed as retail and wholesale buyers work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors, including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 11, 2017

Retail and wholesale buyers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6222: Retail and wholesale buyers. 

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Retail and wholesale buyers occupational group earned on average from $19.93 to $31.10 an hour. The overall average wage was $25.52 an hour. For more information, see the Retail and wholesale buyers wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Social Studies
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Financial Management
    • Information Processing
    • Management and Marketing
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Legal Studies
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Logistics
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 11, 2017

Supply Chain Management Association website: www.scma.com

Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC) website: www.pmac.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 28, 2013. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

Was this page useful?
Top