Buying Manager- General Merchandise

02 Jul 2022
02 Aug 2022
Full Time
Contract Type

Job Purpose

At WHSmith our people are at the heart of everything we do. They are the ones that go the extra mile for our customers.  The ones that enable our growth.  That’s why our Commercial team is passionate about creating an environment where people can be creative and trailblazing in order to do their best work.  The role of Buying Manager is truly cross-functional – you will be right at the centre of the business, leading and driving the commercial agenda. You will have full accountability and an opportunity to shape the future of the business through your team of buyers.


Who we are

Celebrating 230 years, we’re proud to have grown and evolved into a globally recognised brand present in over 30 countries around the world, and we’re proud to be that air of familiarity people love and trust on their journey, both in life and through life. As a diverse group of over 11,000 colleagues, we are all on the same journey to a better business through our commitments to our planet, people and the communities we serve.

For UK Travel our mission is simple - to create value for our stakeholders by providing a platform for global brands responsible for essentials and technology in airports (including our InMotion stores), hospitals, rail stations and other markets. Our office is based in a buzzing part of central London close to Liverpool Street Station. We are an ambitious team that thrives on pace, collaboration and innovation resulting in a real entrepreneurial culture at all levels. It’s perfect for people who are happy to use their initiative and embrace life outside their comfort zone.


What you’ll do

  • Develop and lead a high performing team – providing guidance and coaching to bring out the best in your people
  • Complete P&L ownership of the budget for your category with a focus on net profitability. Budgets for sales/contribution/margin, costs, capex, income
  • Understand total business strategy & their category's role within it. Ownership of annual trade / category plan process. Full involvement in origination, trialing and development of ‘3-year-plan' ideas
  • Review of longer trading outlook (6 months+), mitigation plans to hand (Plan B's), and engagement with wider business on developing trends
  • Manage your own category pricing including development of pricing elasticity trials where appropriate
  • Manage detailed and complex trials and trials that cross beyond your own category, be the cross functional 'go to' for category/department
  • Full ownership for department supplier income delivery & responsibility for reporting performance across business. Management of month-end processes
  • Have a long-term supplier strategy in place covering annual deals, payment terms, cost prices, marketing spend and conduct regular grow/hold/decline reviews
  • Engagement in and leadership of new store format development


Who you are

  • You will have strong experience within relevant buying or commercial roles
  • A bold leader who holds the team accountable for category strategies and is passionate about delivering best in class results through the team
  • Understands the importance and takes a proactive approach to the development of wider trading team members
  • Takes an interest in longer term resource management (succession planning etc.)
  • A strong role model across Commercial
  • An individual who has the ability to work cross-functionally to deliver results
  • Strong business acumen
  • Is a compelling voice of the business and category(s) externally (suppliers, landlords), and internally (stakeholders, stores)
  • Acts as part of a wider Buying Management 'team'
  • Leads and develops a positive culture


What we can offer you

  • Competitive salary and car allowance
  • Annual bonus based on company and personal performance
  • Hybrid working model from home and in the office
  • 25 Days holiday, plus your Birthday off, plus Bank Holidays with an opportunity to buy extra days holiday
  • Finish at 4pm on a Friday
  • Competitive pension contribution
  • Staff discount card for stores and online


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