S1 Apply understanding of customer and business operations to inform decisions on product / service portfolio management.
S2 Selects and merchandises products that enhance the company brand image and product portfolio.
S3 Anticipates the need for products and ensures that the buying process enables their effective delivery to the customer
S4 Delivers and articulates supported recommendations regarding the introduction or withdrawal of a product / product range.
S5 Analyse and react to main influences on Buying and Merchandising plans, taking appropriate actions as a result.
S6 Leads the team to construct the key buying and merchandising objectives and plans for the specific product range to reach or exceed sales at forecasted levels.
S7 Makes appropriate managerial decisions to ensure the departmental approach to selecting products / services balances quality and commerciality
S8 Uses management-based monitoring procedures throughout the buying / merchandising process, taking account of legal and other requirements to ensuring product compliance is maintained.
S9 Critically evaluate and advocate opportunities presented by new technologies taking account of how they will impact on the product range, fulfilment and consumer behaviour.
S10 Analyses appropriate cost / income influences on buying and merchandising plans to make informed decisions
S11 Through their influence as a leader, looks to use digital opportunities to drive sales and profitability across all channels where appropriate
S12 Demonstrates how to negotiate in a manner that obtains the optimum outcome for the business
S13 Through their leadership and management of the team, demonstrates a strategic approach to the relationship with other departments.
S14 Anticipates potential problems and opportunities through the effective liaison at the appropriate level with other teams / functions.
S15 Critically reviews and revises plans and forecasts for the function, taking into account the latest trend analyses, to produce the range.
S16 Develops and implements a ‘People Plan’, that is effective in ensuring sufficient team capacity and capabilities to deliver on business objectives
S17 Demonstrates an effective leadership style in achieving the key business objectives.
S18 Ensure continuous personal and team development to enhance delivery
S19 By using data, analyse and predict the customer’s current and future needs and purchasing trends, including how the customer journey is impacted
S20 Using critical research, construct a customer engagement plan identifying the effective and profitable channels to market.
S21 Assesses and implements the relevant approach required from a buying and merchandising strategy, to take account of differing types of delivery channel, product and customer.
S22 Using critical research, construct a customer engagement plan identifying the effective channels to market.
S23 Work in partnership with the customer engagement team to achieve better outcomes for both existing and new customer groups.
S24 Analyses the key buying criteria to help shape the planned product range
S25 Critically evaluates the current and future methods of digital delivery, and anticipates customer changes in respect of the use of digital and Artificial Intelligence
S26 Being able to implement techniques such as business planning, pricing strategies, product design and product manufacturing to maximise sales and profitably
S27 Ensures that the organisation’s ethical and legal policies and procedures are monitored and adhered to by the team and suppliers.
S28 Anticipates the need for products and to ensure that the buying process enables their effective delivery to the customer
S29 Can articulate a supported recommendation regarding the introduction or withdrawal of a product / product range.
S30 Ensures compliance with company operating standards in the sourcing of range.
S31 Can identify when problems are likely to occur, and manage action required to resolve them.
S32 Effectively analyses the key buying criteria to help shape the planned product range for 3rd party products
S33 Has the ability to ensure that the right product is available at the right time, in the right place.
S34 Produces and delivers accurate forecasts which demonstrate creative and ambitious suggestions for future strategy
S35 Demonstrates customer insight in preparing forecasts
S36 Demonstrates the activities needed to ensure that the forecast is underpinned by financial considerations and business strategy.
S37 Ensures that the organisation’s ethical and legal policies and procedures are adhered to.
S38 Ensures that all team members operate within current legal guidance.
S39 Operates to, and ensures relevance of company operating standards
S40 Makes commercial decisions based on product, category and departmental performance
S41 Maximises every trading opportunity in order to deliver sound commercial outcomes for the organisation
S42 Using IT skills, develop strong spreadsheet / pivot table creation knowledge to enhance and optimize reporting and analysis data, so as to improve sales and profitability.
S43 Anticipates the need for products and ensures that the buying process enables their effective delivery to the customer
S44 Prepare executive level reports on current and forecasted performance, and using advanced presentation skills, ensure the communication of the outcomes is delivered in the most effective and profitable way.
S45 Effectively liaises with other key stakeholders to ensure a joined-up approach across the business.
S46 Delivers to the critical path plan in order to ensure that delivery deadlines are met, and that intakes meet stock levels
S47 Delivers timely and accurate forecasts to ensure that customer needs are met.
S48 Communicates directly with suppliers to ensure receipt of stock
S49: Demonstrate effective problem solving and time management skills, and an expert written and verbal communication style
S50: Assess the impact that they have on key external relationships, and adjusts their style to ensure that they achieve maximum benefit for the business
K1: Understands the overall product portfolio and brand image that the company is promoting to the customer, and can purchase / merchandise the products accordingly.
K2: Understands how to identify current and future buying and loyalty behaviours of existing and potential customer groups, for core and third party products
K3: Understands the impact of the buying critical path on the effective operation of the buying function. Understands the concept and impact of new product development.
K4: Understands when a product / product range has reached the end of its lifecycle, and acts appropriately to ensure its removal from the product range.
K5: Understands the key factors that influence UK and global markets, including economic and political activity
K6: Understands how different business models, buying cycles, trading models and customer groups can affect the buying and merchandising process.
K7: Understands the impact of emerging technological changes, for example AI, in terms of how product is sourced, how buying and merchandising processes might be improved, and how they might impact on customers
K8: Understands what factors contribute to the strategic development of the buying and merchandising function, and how through their leadership, they can influence the development of the strategy
K9: Understands the key factors that influence the quality of a product and tolerance levels.
K10: Understands the strategic implications for product range development, and the appropriate courses of action available.
K11: Understands the importance of ensuring that at all stages of the buying and merchandising process, the product is fit for purpose and meets company standards
K12: Understands impact of new and evolving purchasing options across different fulfilment channels.
K13: Understands the main influencers on sales and profit growth, and can lead the team to achieve them.
K14: Understands the key financial levers and ratios that affect profitability, and can manage the team to ensure that profit is maximized.
K15: Understands the key deliverables associated with the buying and merchandising function, such as cost return rates, re-buys, cancellations, debit agreements, delivery dates, lead times etc.
K16: Understands the importance of effective negotiation and managing an ongoing relationship, including with designers, manufacturers and suppliers.
K17: Understands the importance of effective partnerships with other functions and departments, such as Merchandising, Sales and Finance, and leads the team to ensure that the outcomes from the relationships are maximized.
K18: Knows when to make appropriate refer decisions to senior executives in order to obtain the correct level of authorisation.
K19: Understands why effective planning and forecasting are vital to delivering a robust range plan, such as aspects of customer demand and changes in buying patterns.
K20: Understands the importance of, and strategies to, lead, coach, motivate and develop members of the team
K21: Understands the importance of leadership style and self - development, on the success of the business
K22: Knows how to identify the customer’s current and future needs and purchasing trends, including ethical and sustainable retailing
K23: Understands how different channels of delivery, buying cycles, trading models and customer groups can affect the buying and merchandising process.
K24: Understand how to identify current and future buying and loyalty behaviours of existing and potential customer groups.
K25: Understands key Buying analysis criteria such as, competitor benchmarking, price comparison, and competitor analysis.
K26: Understands the roles that techniques such as business planning, pricing strategies, product design and product manufacture, often in a global context, have on the overall success of the business
K27: Understands the need to develop and implement innovative and responsive processes and systems to customer's digital demands.
K28: Understands the requirements of delivering to the most appropriate route to market.
K29: Understands the potential problems that can arise from non-legal and ethical compliance and options for mitigation.
K30: Understands the concept and impact of new product development.
K31: Understands the importance of onboarding new suppliers to ensure full compliance with internal and external standards
K32: Understand where additional corporate requirements are needed to enhance compliance practice
K33: Understands the process that is required to ensure the rectification of any failures
K34: Understands how to effectively utilise data in order to identify commercial opportunities for their organisation
K35: Understands the importance of working together with other teams (especially buying)
K36: Understands the potential problems that can arise in merchandising and how they can be mitigated.
K37: Understands concepts such as ‘Modern Slavery’ and how they might impact on the business
K38: Understands allocation strategies and ensure effective data inputting
K39: Understands how to interrogate data in order to make effective trading decisions
K40: Understand merchandising concepts such as ‘fixturisation’, and the effective use of space
K41: Understands the impact of effective forecasting on the operation of the merchandising function.
K42: Understands in depth, the purpose of the critical path
K43: Understands supplier data, such as delivery intakes, packaging requirements etc.
K44: Understand differing requirements across all methods of delivery (eg instore and on line)
K45: Understands the principles of having the right stock in the right place at the right time, in order to satisfy customer demand.
K46: Understands the impact that they have as a leader on the business,
K47: Knows how to effectively build relationships with key external stakeholders
Core occupation duties
Duty 1 Creatively manage a portfolio of products / services to ensure that the critical path(s) for the assortment is (are) followed, taking appropriate corrective actions to resolve issues as needed.
K1 K2 K3 K4
S1 S2 S3 S4
Duty 2 Apply detailed knowledge of UK and / or global markets to select and develop an appropriate product / service range.
K5 K6 K7
Duty 3 Through effective leadership, develop and contribute to departmental buying / merchandising strategy to ensure overarching organisation objectives are met and that products / services meet the needs of the customer.
K8 K9 K10 K11
Duty 4 Take account of emerging technological changes in design and delivery as well as new markets to maximise market share and profitability.
Duty 5 Make informed managerial decisions that manage risk, drive sales and profitability, taking into account the requirements of different customer / delivery channels.
S6 S10 S11
Duty 6 Drive sales and profitability through effective negotiations with suppliers on key deliverables such as: capacity, cost price and flexibility, re-buys, cancellations, delivery dates, lead times, promotion support etc.
K15 K16 K47
Duty 7 Manage and collaborate with key internal stakeholder functions to agree appropriate promotional strategies and other activities to maximise the success / profitability of the allocated assortment.
Duty 8 Deliver robust range building and planning for the assigned assortment, linking it in to the wider operation of the buying and merchandising function.
Duty 9 Lead, coach, manage, motivate and develop self and team members to achieve personal and business success.
K20 K21 K46 K49
S16 S17 S18 S49
Duty 10 Ensure all channels to market are considered and the most appropriate channel(s) is/are selected to maximise the sales and profit potential.
Duty 11: Developing own brand products to meet current trends / customer requirements, linked to strategy and financial targets.
K23 K24 K25
S21 S22 S23 S24
Duty 12: Ensure department is set up to maximise sales / profitability by using techniques such as pricing strategies, product trends, product design and appropriate routes to market.
K26 K27 K28
Duty 13: Ensure they and their team deliver in an ethical, sustainable and legal way in the sourcing of product ranges, aligned to the overall strategy of the business.
Duty 14: Analyse and evaluate overall performance of the Buying function, against the original strategy and business plan, identifying lessons to learn for future business cycles.
K3 K4 K30
Duty 15: Ensure ranges are sourced to comply with relevant safety and quality standards. Oversee the process to identify and rectify any failures in safety and / or quality.
K31 K32 K33
Duty 16: Source and select 3rd party products to meet current trends / customer requirements, linked to strategy and financial targets.
Duty 17: Uses analysis to develop range framework identifying commercial opportunities. Collaborate with the buying team to input into or create a plan to deliver a commercial assortment that maximises sales and margin
S33 S34 S35 S36
Duty 18: Ensure they and their team work in an ethical and legal way in the supply of product ranges, aligned to the overall strategy of the business.
K32 K36 K37
S37 S38 S39
Duty 19: Trades effectively delivering to sales and profit targets whilst identifying and taking relevant actions, to account for market and performance factors.
K38 K39 K40
S40 S41 S42
Duty 20: Analyse and evaluate overall performance of the merchandising function, against the original strategy and business plan, identifying lessons to learn for future business cycles in order to maximise sales
K4 K30 K41 K48
S43 S44 S45
Duty 21: Ensure the availability of appropriate product range to meet customer demand and expectations across all delivery channels. This to be achieved, through detailed forecasting, and management of the WSSI, supplier interaction and critical path management
K42 K43 K44 K45
S46 S47 S48
B1: Acts as an ambassador for the buying and merchandising function and the business
B2: As a leader, is resilient, responsible, commercially aware and takes the initiative
B3: Seeks opportunities to develop themselves and the team
B4: Builds relationships across the whole function and beyond.
B5: Is creative in their approach to the role
Occupational Level: 6
Duration (months): 24
English and Maths qualifications
Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.
This standard will be reviewed after three years.
Originally published on Gov.uk, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.";