Anastasia Berry

Buyer of Gifts & Greetings, Voisins Department Store

There isn’t such a thing as a typical day in retail! Day-to-day tasks include helping customers and getting their feedback, replenishing stock, merchandising the shop floor and creating marketing plans. In my role as a buyer I am also responsible for reacting to any changes in customer demand, researching and finding the right suppliers, selecting new products and reviewing the old. I also maintain relationships with existing suppliers while seeking new ones, as well as buying trips to make product selection for the department; I mainly travel to London for the big exhibitions.

How did you get your job?
I studied Textiles, Photography, Business and IT A-level at Beaulieu School. I had considered university but the cost of it put me off. When I finished I saw an advert for the Voisins Retail Academy, it’s a graduate programme but I thought I would apply anyway and see if I could get in and I was delighted when I did.

What motivates you in this role?
My motivation always comes from the customer’s reactions when you have selected them the perfect product and that retail is a continually developing industry. I also enjoy working in retail because every day is different, you never know what to expect. I’m only 22 and I’m a buyer already, taking regular buying trips to London. In the future I could travel the world as a buyer, the opportunities open to me are endless.

Are there any future skills you will need to learn for your role?
I’m constantly developing my knowledge of the industry and new products as it changes daily, technology is changing the shopping experience, so being aware of new and upcoming software is essential.

What are the three most important skills required for your role?
Communication – Keeping open communication with both customers and suppliers is so important.
Forecasting – Knowing the changing trends and how many of what you need.
Organisation – I have many suppliers and an abundance of products that I need to maintain on a daily and weekly basis.

What advice would you give someone interested in a career in your profession?
I would tell them to go and have a go! Use one of the many opportunities like a Saturday job to see if it’s for you. The retail industry is a really exciting career for anyone who is active, creative and bold with decisions.

FUN FACT
Selfridges has the largest shoe department in the world, stocking more than 100,000 pairs at any time and selling more than 7,000 pairs of shoes a week.