Meet Blathnaid. Assistant Buyer.
I studied a course in retail buying and worked for a couple of other stores, in different locations. But I’d always wanted to work for Primark – it’s such a big retailer and I knew it was fast-paced and I wanted to work in that kind of environment.
It took a while to get used to the pace and how busy it is here. I came in as a Trainee with some buying experience, but it took about two months to adjust to the pace – then I really got into it!
Lots going on
My job varies from day to day. We look at the trade each Monday and then we have to react to what’s selling well, reviewing ranges and meeting with different teams. We usually work about nine months in advance, so you need to lock down quantities, sign off styles, colours or shapes, look at fit or stock, and build relationships with suppliers across the world. We also meet regularly with the design team to keep up with the latest trends.
This variety really helps to develop your skills and knowledge. I buy for lots of different markets and need to build my knowledge of what those markets like. So, recently I was in Spain to take a look at what the competition were doing and just to see the street style. Obviously, you can’t do that for every market, so other Buyers go to different markets and we share our knowledge. The design teams and suppliers also help, because they’ve always got an eye on the latest trends.
A great place to learn
You get so much experience here. It’s down to the environment, the people and how fast the pace is. There’s always something new going on and the people are really nice.
I’ve learned so much that I wouldn’t have learnt anywhere else. If you want ownership of anything, you get it, which is great from a learning point of view.
I’ve learned so much that I wouldn’t have learnt anywhere else.
Getting to know the customer
A passion for fashion and knowledge of the customer are vital. You have to always consider the customer. I buy for menswear, and after five years, I know my customer so well. A lot of it is about trialling products, looking at the reaction in particular markets and then taking it forward.
I work with five other Buyers. It’s really friendly and we’ve all been here a long time, so there’s a good dynamic. It’s such a busy environment, but we manage to touch base every day.
Other reasons to join
Your experience at Primark is about so much more than your job. It’s also about our people and our culture. Our beliefs as a business and our aims for the future. It’s about all the exciting, empowering, amazing things that make us who we are – and you who you are.
Ollie attended the Fashion Retail Academy in London. Everything he learned came together when he took a Primark internship. And he hasn’t looked back.
Scott, Ed and Blathnaid from our menswear buying and design team took off to Florence for the menswear trade show, Pitti Uomo. We caught up with them.
Douglas always wanted to work in fashion. So he said farewell to Manchester and moved to our Reading head office ready to challenge a few perceptions.
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