Meet Our Senior Fashion Buyer
Any aspiring fashion buyers out there? We sat down with our senior buyer Arlene Bowles McCarthy and asked her some questions about her job and her day to day responsibilities as part of a new series of blog posts, about meeting some of the head guys in Pamela Scott HQ!
1. Tell us about a typical day for a Buyer. (If there is such thing!)
Generally, it would start by analysing the sales from the day before. From this I can see what is performing well in stores and whether we need to re-allocate stock between stores or do a reorder with the suppliers. From this there would be calls to make and emails to answer. During the buying season a typical day would consist of supplier appointments in showrooms and/or trade shows and therefore lots of orders to do!
2. What is the most challenging part of being a Fashion Buyer?
The most challenging part of being a fashion buyer is of course buying the right stock. By this I mean, having the right stock to suit your customer, at the right time and more importantly at the right price. You need to be aware of trends in advance and of what stock you feel is important to have in store the following season. For example, having your dresses in store for the Debs season or having the right trend item. You also want to make sure you have a good selection on offer for your customer that is different to what your competition are stocking.
3. What is your favourite part of the job?
My favourite part of the job is selecting the stock for the stores. In particular I enjoy the Event side of the business, especially the Debs dresses! Its so nice buying glamourous gowns and then seeing your hard work paying off when the stock sells well.
4. What do Irish ladies look for in Pamela Scott stores?
Our customers look for good quality stock, which is a good fit. Also, we offer exclusive brands that other stores do not stock, which perform very well for us. Good value for money is also very important and finally our stores are known for excellent personal customer service.
5. Do you have any advice for people looking to get into buying?
My advice would be to get a job in retail and build up your experience. It is so important to understand the retail business before you can be a buyer. There are courses available in Dublin but really London is the place to go. Many of the larger highstreet chains have their buying offices in London and offer graduate programmes or internships. You have more opportunities there.
6. What are the upcoming trends for AW2015?
Capes and ponchos are very strong for AW15, as is faux fur in Gilets/Coats/Accessories. The 70’s boho trend is also strong, with flares, fringing details, tan suede and floppy hats. We are also seeing a huge demand for full skirts at the moment. These can be in dresses or as item pieces. We have some fantastic styles in stock and due in this season, even in our debs collection. Oh and 2 pc sets for Debs has been huge.Culottes will also feature strong and can be dressed up and down for day to night.
7. When can we get our hands on the New Collection form Pamela Scott?!
All the new collections are being delivered right now!
8. Who are your style icons?
Blake Lively, Olivia Palmero and Victoria Beckham.
9. Describe your style in 3 words.
Elegant, classic and feminine.
10. If you could have any other job, what would it be?!
If I wasn’t a buyer, I would still want to be involved in Fashion. Probably as a personal shopper or a stylist. I really enjoy helping women find clothes that look well on them.