Retail Buyer

Retail Buyers, would you like to work for the coolest museum in town? The International Spy Museum is a private nonprofit museum dedicated to educating the public about the world of espionage and intelligence through exhibits, educational programs, special events, and public outreach.

The International Spy Museum, a museum exploring the craft, practice, history, and contemporary role of espionage. We are the only public museum in the United States solely dedicated to espionage and the only one in the world to provide a global perspective on an all-but-invisible profession that has shaped history and continues to have a significant impact on world events.

The International Spy Museum features the largest collection of international espionage artifacts ever placed on public display. These artifacts illuminate the work of famous spies and pivotal espionage actions and help bring to life the strategies and techniques of the men and women behind some of the most secretive espionage missions in world history.


As the Retail Buyer, you will assist with the purchase and management of inventory for our fast-paced, 5,000 square foot specialty store. Implement product development, buying and merchandising programs to maximize sales and profits. Analyze, track, and manage inventory to ensure proper mix and inventory turn. Identify and procure timely, trend-right, mission-driven products. Minimum of three five (5) years Retail Book Buying experience required.

Success Traits

  • Willingness to embrace the SPY culture and core values of Service Excellence, Team, Creativity, Diversity, and Fun!
  • Seeks understanding and makes smart decisions through consistent effective communication, positive influence, and leading by example.
  • Strong communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Excellent people skills and positive demeanor. Strong service and team orientation.


  • Embrace the SPY culture and our core values of Service Excellence, Team, Creativity, Diversity, and Fun!
  • Develop and implement merchandising, buying, new orders and reorder plans that balance resources, fashion/social trends, product classifications, and price points. Develop and achieve planned goals in sales, markups, markdowns, shortage, inventory turn, and profit.
  • Make buying trips to research and procure products that relate to the Museum’s collections, special exhibits, and programs.
  • Negotiate costs, terms, discounts, and transportation allowances with vendors.  Research and select vendors who offer the best mix of product variety, quality, quantity, price, and delivery.
  • Gain exposure and insights into what customers want by assisting in selling, encouraging customer input, and responding to customer’s questions. Shop and analyze competitive stores to evaluate assortments, prices, and merchandise presentations.  
  • Prepare reports to assist in tracking, monitoring, and analyzing inventory and sales. Assist in planning and participate in annual physical inventory and reconciliation.
  • Educate store personnel on trends, product information, promotions, advertising campaigns and display concepts. Assist in floor-sets within the museum store. Ensure product signage is accurate and attractive.
  • Participate in on-site, in-store, and off-site events that pertain to your categories. Work with other departments to enhance and contribute to Museum and events as appropriate.
  • Ensure orders are received on time and resolve shipping, vendor, and quality control problems via ongoing communications with vendors. Monitor, process and verify invoices and receiving reports. Assist Accounting Department by answering questions, making corrections, and helping resolve issues on a timely basis.
  • Assist in the development of advertising and promotion plans. Provide staff with advance notice and information on advertising/ promotions and ensure adequate product availability at the advertised price.
  • Participate in weekly Retail meetings, and Museum staff meetings. Participate in relevant professional organizations and meetings.
  • Perform other related duties and responsibilities as required or assigned.

Minimum Education and Experience Required

  • BA/BS degree in retail, merchandising, business administration or related field.
  • Five (5) years demonstrated experience buying products for a retail store, product development including decision making responsibility for your assigned categories.
  • Proven ability to buy, develop, and display products, and manage inventory in a fast-paced environment.

Skills Preferred

  • Strong knowledge of buying and sourcing products for a retail store environment and proven negotiation skills. 
  • Ability to develop merchandising plans, budgets, and determine open-to-buy.
  • Demonstrated research and analytic abilities and strong business acumen. 
  • Ability to identify trends in areas of specialty and proven experience in product development.
  • Ability to make informed, timely, and complex decisions. 
  • Ability to evaluate financial data and create reports.
  • Ability to work with multiple projects and priorities and successfully complete/manage multiple projects simultaneously. 
  • Knowledge of visual merchandising and display techniques. 
  • Computer literate with advanced knowledge of Excel and merchandise management software.
  • Strong communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.

Special Considerations

  • Occasional evening and weekend work required.
  • Some overnight travel required.
  • The work is generally sedentary but requires some extended periods of standing, walking, and bending.
  • Ability to handle, lift, and move stock weighing up to 40 pounds required.

How to apply: 

To Apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to the Retail Buyer Application Form.