Job Information

Rural King Associate Buyer (Apparel) in Mattoon, Illinois

The purpose of the Associate Buyer is to collaborate with the Buyer to drive all facets of product assortment, financial planning, and vendor partnerships of the category with strong collaboration with their integrated cross-functional team.

  • Collaborate with Buyers, Inventory Planners, and Sourcing to support driving sales, managing inventory, and achieving the financial goals of the department.

  • Maintain vendor and product information (style, SKU, pricing UPC, etc.) in internal measurement unit (IMU).

  • Set up new vendors, items, and initial orders for seasonal and/or basic programs.

  • Monitor Purchase Orders (PO’s) for on-time shipping and fulfillment percentage and follow up with vendors as needed.

  • Maintain order files and execute PO cleanup.

  • Relationships

  • Develop strong vendor partnerships.

  • Partner with suppliers on product development, as well as the Global Sourcing department on private product label development, as needed.

  • Responsible for program management of co-op, vendor allowances, and promotional strategies.

  • Negotiate all pricing, vendor terms, and opportunity buys.

  • Oversee and manage communication with Stores and Distribution Centers.

  • Partner with Logistics and DC for most efficient flow of product to stores.

  • Visit RK Stores to establish open communication and understanding store challenges.

  • Product

  • Stay abreast of market dynamics and competition.

  • Manage pricing, sales, and profit margin of products to plan.

  • Identify new opportunities to deliver products the customer wants and needs.

  • Conduct category reviews as needed (2-3 per year).

  • Develop seasonal merchandise assortments along with pricing and merchandising plans.

  • Planning/Analysis

  • Place, track and insure complete and on-time delivery of all new store orders.

  • Maintain detailed current knowledge of sales, inventory, and profit trends for your area.

  • Generate and leverage reports for effective decision making.

  • Complete assortment planning and product lifecycles.

  • Collaborate to create financial plans (open to buy) that will align with organizational goals.

  • Optimize "in stock" on basic items.

  • Identify poor performing items and categories and reduce inventory and liabilities.

  • Partner with an Inventory Analyst to determine sales, inventory and turn goals including preseason flow plans and projections.

  • Advertising and Promotion

  • Develop and submits advertising and promotional plans that deliver increases in sales and store traffic

  • Ensure accuracy of print advertising and product in stock to 98.5%

  • Collaborate with the E-Commerce Buyer to identify assortment, placement, promotions, and marketing strategies

  • Store Planning

  • Provide timely direction on new SKU’s and new programs to Store Planning to develop and maintain accurate planograms

  • Ensure planograms are appropriate to volume and space of stores and grouped for volume levels

  • Team Leadership

  • Learn to lead the team to drive sales, manage inventory, and achieve the financial goals of the department

  • Learn to create and communicate a strategic vision for the department, including visual merchandising strategies

Use discretion and independent judgment in daily decisions while maintaining a high level of confidentiality and professionalism.

May be required to cross train and perform other duties.

  • At least 1-3 years of multi-unit purchasing and/or merchandising experience OR equivalent combination of retail experience and education.

  • Knowledge of the category is beneficial but not required.

  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Excel and the entire Microsoft Office Suite.

  • Ability to work with new technologies and an ERP system.

  • Proficient with analyzing and using data to make decisions .

  • Excellent math skills and ability to utilize them to analyze data and make large category purchases.

  • Excellent verbal and written interpersonal and communication skills.

  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.

  • Strong understanding of retail business practices.

  • Excellent negotiation and conflict resolution skills.

  • Demonstrated ability to adapt in a fast-paced environment.

  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.

  • Ability to prioritize and delegate Behaviors must reflect integrity, professionalism, and confidentiality.


  • No

Physical Requirements

  • Must be able to sit or stand for prolonged periods of time.

  • Must be able to lift up to 15 pounds at times.

  • Must be able to access and navigate each department across facilities.

  • Must be able to verbally communicate effectively with others (in-person and via electronic devices).

  • Must have close visual acuity.

ID: 2023-14304

External Company Name: Rural King Supply

External Company URL:

Street: 4216 DeWitt Ave