Assistant Buyer - Seasonal/Toys/Electrical


Milton Keynes



Contract Type



Competitive plus benefits

Areas of business


Job ID


Google Map of ,+,+Milton+Keynes,+MK2+2JS


Job Description

The base location for this role can be Milton Keynes - Avebury SSC/Home or Coventry - Ansty Park SSC/Home

We are currently looking for Assistant Buyers to join our General Merchandise teams at Sainsbury’s.  


As an Assistant Buyer you will help us to deliver our exciting and ambitious growth plans, offering our customers a great range of products, at a great price, through our multi-channel business. You will input and deliver the 3-6 month promotional strategy for your category and support delivering accuracy in pricing across all of our channels.


It takes a flair for relationship building and negotiation, coupled with an analytical approach. Buying forms the backbone of our business so is naturally incredibly fast-paced. We look for people who can deliver a variety of strategies to help drive sales and profit, and who have an interest in understanding our customers and what they want. 


Main duties and responsibilities as an Assistant Buyer:

  • Develop a 6 monthly range strategy through ownership of specific ranges or subcategories, including sales and margin forecasting, range selection, product estimates and associated supplier incomes
  • Support and input into the team objective to build a commercial, customer focused range through competitor benchmarking, market data, insights and trend direction in line with agreed corporate compliance requirements (including legal, ethical and quality measures)
  • Understanding of sales & profit variables and use of relevant levers to trade effectively. e.g. Product placement, positioning, price, promotions, POS (point of sale) and PR
  • To have customer, competitor and market awareness in your range through competitor shopping in order to inform decision making and implement buying levers appropriately
  • Responsible for recommending and inputting into to Planograms, Pricing, Promotional activity, Product specification, Supplier selection (and de-listing) as appropriate to the product area
  • To achieve optimum product cost through effective communication of target pricing to the global sourcing team
  • Build effective supplier relationships both in the UK and overseas in partnership with global sourcing
  • To have responsibility for administrative duties and approvals, sample management (in some cases, supporting C2 sample co-ordinator).  Packaging sign off, product and promotional set up, supplier and internal administration, overseeing work of the BAA where applicable.
  • To support the Buyer and Senior Buyer in liaising with the Product Development Team and Product Technologist in setting the quality criteria for own label products ensuring the optimal balance between quality and price is maintained
  • Develop and deliver a 3-6-month promotional strategy for the category, interpreting data and developing a compelling customer offer to maximise sales, margin and supplier funding
  • Influence internal and external colleagues to deliver promotional and range strategies
  • Work cross functionally with Digital, Marketing and Suppliers to enhance our digital execution to maximise sales, margin and supplier funding


Your experience will include:

  • Interest in commercial issues, previous Buying experience preferred including knowledge of buying methodology and processes
  • Commercial acumen and the financial implications of decision making 
  • Passion for product, balanced with understanding need for commercial acumen
  • Strong analytical and numerical skills
  • Good written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent admin and organisational ability, computer literate with knowledge of Excel and Word
  • Negotiation skills and practices for UK suppliers
  • Supplier management in partnership with global sourcing
  • Resilient and adaptable to fast changing environments
  • Knowledgeable in market trends, competitor landscape for the category
  • Continuous improvement in the role, and a desire to develop
  • Ensures that customers are at the heart of all decisions taken
  • Accuracy and attention to detail related to product, process and systems
  • Takes accountability to ensure that own and team targets are met
  • Positive approach to building relationships with stakeholders, and wants to deliver great service
  • Ability to demonstrate problem solving and provide resolution in a fast paced environment
  • Minimises cost and maximises profit


Work-life balance is important to us, so we offer our colleagues as much flexibility as possible in line with the needs of their role. We trust them to decide how, where and when they work, combining remote and collaborative working with a flexible approach to hours, giving them plenty of time and space for life outside of work whilst delivering against our business goals.