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Meet Thabana Khothule, Buying Manager

Thabana is a Buying Manager for one of South Africa’s most fashionable online stores. He shared a little of his career journey and experience with us, so we could learn more about his career in retail.

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Thabana completed his degree at the Pretoria University where he studied marketing and management. Landing a job as a trainee buyer at Edcon was a dream come true for Thabana, who says that he’s always loved fashion and travelling. Thabana completed a yearlong merchandise training programme at the retail company. Thereafter, he was promoted to assistant buyer before becoming a specialist buyer.

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Thabana’s experience as a fashion buyer has led him to work for various clothing retailers, including Edgars, Woolworths and Totalsport (TFG). He currently works at Spree where he heads up the menswear category.

Buying managers are generally responsible for buying merchandise at the most competitive prices in order to ensure that an organisation operates profitably. They need to oversee supply chain management, which at times can be on a global scale. They need to have good negotiation and networking skills, as well as an ability to deal with numbers so that a business can reduce costs while increasing profits. “I’m also responsible for developing new strategies to acquire new and retain customers, and need to think of creative ways to stay ahead of our competitors,” – an element of the job which Thabana says he thoroughly enjoys.

He also loves the fast pace nature of his job and working with different suppliers and brands that the e-commerce platform offers. “Every day is different, which makes for a fare element of fun and a challenging environment,” he explains. The job comes with awesome perks too. “I have the opportunity to travel overseas for future product development and trend sourcing. I’m also invited to cool brand seasonal launches, as well as popular industry events, such as Menswear Fashion Week.”

Find out everything you need to know about becoming a Buyer

His advice to those looking to get into a similar line of work is passion for the job. “If you have a passion for clothing, you’re goal orientated and looking to challenge yourself, then this is a career for you. Although you may start with an assistant buyer or sales job in a department store, through hard work and perseverance you will reach your goals,” Thabana says.

If you’d like to be featured in this Instagram series, send a mail to editor@careers24.com, telling us about yourself and your awesome job, and we’ll be in touch!

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