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Here's a typical day in the life of a buyer at DKNY, as told to Vault.
8:00: Arrive at work. Take a look at the flash sales. (In store one, you sold $5,000 worth of merchandise; in store two, you sold $7,000; etc?) You're concerned with the breakdown of items sold at each store: how many dress shirts, ties, trousers, and so on. "Buyers are constantly asking themselves 'Why did one store sell many more than the other?' The display might be different. Maybe one store did a sale."
10:00: Consult with the assistant buyer. Make sure he or she is on track with various deals and operations.
11:00: Spend time on sales analysis - do some yourself, delegate some to the assistant buyer. ("Certain days are spent entirely on analysis. It's very important to know retail math and to understand concepts such as the 'gross product margin.' It's okay for an assistant buyer to not know retail math at first, but he must learn quickly!")
1:30: Go out to lunch with a friend. Relax for half an hour.
2:00: Attend a buyers' meeting. ("During a major buyers' meeting, buyers will congregate - all buyers will come in - from Bloomingdales, Polo, you name it. They'll discuss what's coming up for the next fashion season - styles, colors, sizes. They'll also discuss who will be doing production and how the garments will be delivered.")
4:30: Review the notes I typed on my laptop during the meeting.
5:00: Meet with my assistant for a review of the meeting.
6:00: Plan a store visit for tomorrow. ("Marketing is one aspect of buyer life, analysis is another, and visiting stores is still another. It's important to see how things are being merchandised and displayed.")
7:00: Grab a snack - maybe some fruit and a bagel. Do more sales analysis.
8:00: Leave work to enjoy dinner and a quiet, low-key night ("Buying can be highly, highly stressful")