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Grocery Buyer

Job description

Role Purpose:


This role will require someone who can understand Fortnum & Mason’s heritage and has the ability & vision to continue to drive innovation forwards, ensuring the category is fit for the future too. A fantastic opportunity for a commercially minded highly analytical skilled Buyer, who has expertise and experience in product development.


You will be highly confident and passionate about food & pantry ingredients. Having a creative flair will be key in conceptualising your NPD. The role will require a strategic vision for your category and ability to lead a cross functional team to deliver the vision. A strength in completing & finishing is essential for the management of this broad category, you will need the skill and ability to manage multiple product categories and timelines and supply base in parallel and need to be exceptionally organised.


The role covers Pantry, Preserves, Condiments & Ingredients – this includes everything from jams, marmalades & honeys to condiments and snack foods, as well as cook’s ingredients such as sauces, herbs & spices. The role also covers seasonal ranges, most notably Christmas, which includes food advent calendars, mince pies, Christmas puddings & more. The ideal candidate will have the balance of creative & strategical & analytical skills alongside a confident knowledge of luxury. To be both confident and competent at project management and critical path timeline management of NPD is essential.


The role will oversee the category to maximise sales and profit whilst also delighting our customers.

You will need to have an expert editor eye and able to curate range edits. The ability to build strong relationships will be key. Have technical knowledge and understanding of print & design process for packaging as well as a technical knowledge and understanding of your category. 


A self-starting team player and highly effective communicator, who can successfully bring the key stakeholders together, working to support the Senior Buyer in developing the category strategy in line with our overarching business plan. Ensuring customer experience and sustainability are at the heart of the offering. You will develop a ‘fit for the future’ supply base for our ambient food ranges, with a focus on innovation, creativity & quality. You will support and develop your buying team, focusing on successional planning, and personal development of your team.


Reports to: 

Senior Buyer – Ambient Food


Direct Reports: 

Assistant Buyer, Buying Assistant


Key interfaces:

Merchandising, Food Technical, Retail, Marketing, Online, Design, Chefs, International Wholesale



Key Accountabilities

  • Drive the development of innovative new products, ensuring they fit with the brand values & CSR goals. 
  • Aligning existing and new projects & propositions with the company’s commitment to provenance and sustainability & quality.
  • Management of the category, reviewing and trading the range identifying opportunities & mitigating risk
  • Evolve our seasonal ranges - Valentines, Easter, Halloween, Christmas plus new opportunities responding to our customer base.
  • Be responsible for adherence to the company’s guidelines on own label specification management and quality control.
  • Full leadership & management of the critical path for projects & NPD delivery
  • Leading the Buying team, and working across category with key stakeholders in delivery of NPD from Design to Technical.
  • Aligning with our merchandising team on sales delivery and forecast
  • Owning the floor walks, reviewing retail standards with the team actively trading our digital and physical spaces.  
  • Accountable & responsible for delivery of sales, margin and rate of the category in line with budgets
  • Maintain an up to date knowledge of market trends and competitor intelligence and benchmark appropriately
  • Responsible for pricing architecture, negotiations, account management
  • Key stakeholder, relationship owner of supply base management
  • Deliver range reviews, plans and presentations in line with the annual planning cycle.
  • Work closely with retail and visual merchandising, marketing and the web team to help deliver your department ranges consistently throughout the business
  • Manage margins through cost management with suppliers and retail pricing reviews where appropriate
  • Manage, support and develop assistant buyer and buying assistant
  • Review and develop supply base, ensuring we are fit for growth
  • Work with our international business partners in supporting category growth and quality of supply.



Role Specific Criteria (Experience/Behaviours/Technical Ability)



*       Knowledge of luxury and artisan food retail

*       Understanding of the Fortnum & Mason brand & customer

*       Strength in range planning, negotiation & supplier relationship management

*       Creative strategic thinking

*       Experience in new product development

*       Project management skills, highly organised for managing the critical path

*       A completer finisher, ability to initiate work but also see through the delivery and successful execution

*       Experience of food buying, ideally within an ambient category

*       Comfortable in Excel, Power Point, Outlook email communication and using systems

*       Enthusiastic, energetic, driven, a conscientious team player prepared to get involved in all aspects of the department with an ability to take on new challenges. 



We are committed to developing your career and nurturing your talent, regardless of age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual orientation. We respect and embrace each other's differences, to create a truly inclusive environment.

In the last year alone, our people have been recognised and celebrated, winning awards for their outstanding contributions to Retail, Technology, Global Hospitality & Tourism, Visual Merchandising & Display, Customer Service and Local Community Awards.


In return, we offer: 

  • A competitive salary
  • A generous store and restaurant discount of up to 40%
  • 25 days holidays pro rata (excluded bank holidays) and an extra day off for your birthday
  • A fantastic subsidised staff restaurant which uses Fortnum’s ingredients
  • A range of opportunities to develop and grow personally and professionally
  • Excellent pension scheme