Retail Buyer


The International Spy Museum is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about the world of espionage and intelligence through exhibits, educational programs, special events, and public outreach. Our Retail department seeks a self-motivated Retail Buyer with a creative eye to develop, and implement, merchandising, buying, and reorder plans to maximize sales and profit. This position requires the ability to analyze, track, and manage inventory to ensure proper mix and availability of product. The Retail Buyer needs to identify and procure timely, trend-right, quality, mission-driven products that customers want to buy. The position works closely with the Vice President of Retail, Retail Buyers, and Retail Store.

Success Traits

  • Willingness to embrace the SPY culture and core values of Service Excellence, Team, Creativity, Diversity, and Fun!
  • Time Management- possesses strong organizational and time management skills with the ability to successfully juggle several projects simultaneously and meet deadlines. 
  • Interpersonal Skills- lives SPY core values and demonstrates excellent team working and communication skills, leading by example and creating positive interactions with all museum partners and team members. 
  • Analytical person – excellent ability to analyze data and make smart, strategic decisions and recommendations to positively impact the business.
  • Negotiation Skills- proactively and successfully negotiates the best cost of products and shipping.
  • Team Builder- ability to build, develop, and motivate a strong, productive buying team.


  • Develop, implement, and oversee merchandising, buying, and reorder plans to maximize sales and profit. Develop and achieve planned goals in sales, markups, markdowns, shortage, inventory turn, stock levels, gross profit, and controllable elements of net profit. 
  • Make buying trips to research and procure products. Negotiate favorable prices, terms, discounts, and transportation allowances with vendors. Conduct on-going performance ratings of vendors and research/select vendors who offer the best mix of product variety, quality, quantity, price, and delivery.
  • Research, identify, procure, and develop items that relate to the Museum’s collections, special exhibits, and programs to enhance the retail operation and to maximize sales and profits. Shop and analyze competitive stores to evaluate assortments, prices, and merchandise presentations to better understand the market. Stay abreast of developments in the field through participation in relevant professional organizations
  • Prepare reports to assist in tracking, monitoring, and analyzing inventory and sales to maximize turn, margin, and sales opportunities. Develop a markdown strategy to eliminate slow sellers. Determine, with input from Retail Vice President products to reorder, eliminate, and/or add. 
  • Work effectively with store team to gain exposure in what the customers wants, and needs are. Educate store personnel in a timely manner on trends, product information, promotions, advertising campaigns and display concepts. Work with Store Management and Buying Staff to plan and execute floor moves based on merchandise flow. Provide direction and assistance with visual merchandising, displays and promotions. 
  • 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 on a timely basis. Assist Accounting Department on processing of invoices in a timely manner, answering questions, making corrections, etc. to resolve all problems as quickly as possible.
  • Develop advertising and promotion plans with Retail VP, and Communications. Provide staff with advance notice and information on advertising/promotions and ensure adequate product availability at the advertised price.
  • Assist in planning and participate in annual physical inventory and reconciliation. Participate in and contribute to weekly manager meetings and quarterly department staff meetings.
  • Manage system for identifying and classifying related and unrelated (UBIT) products and developing strategies to balance related vs unrelated inventory to maximize profitability. Create process to accurately identify how products relate to the Museum mission in the system and on the sales floor. 
  • Assist with budgeting, including line-item budgeting, per-cap forecasts, web and licensed product sales forecasts initiative proposals and analysis. Assist with managing trademarks, including associated documents and reports.
  • Manage web and licensed store inventory and purchasing. Oversee payment processing and bookkeeping for all retail and web store purchases. 
  • Perform other related duties as required and responsibilities as required or assigned.

Five Areas of Accountability

  • Lead, Manage, Accountability (LMA)
  • Product Development, Sourcing, and Procurement
  • Manage Cost of Goods, Margins, Inventory Levels and Turn to Achieve Goals
  • Build and Manage Vendor Relationships
  • Provide Product Merchandising Direction and E-Commerce Content

Education and Experience Required

  • BA/BS degree in retail, merchandising, business administration or related field.
  • Five to ten years retail merchandising, buying and product development experience for a high volume, multi-channel business. Tradeshow / Market experience and full decision-making responsibility. 
  • Demonstrated ability to buy, develop, and display high-quality products, and manage inventory using a retail point-of-sale system in a fast paced, retail environment.
  • Excellent planning, management, communication, and decision-making skills. 
  • Strong financial planning, reporting, analysis, and budgeting skills. 
  • Creative problem solving, risk taking and negotiation skills.
  • Advanced level computer skills including Microsoft Office skills and ability to create creating spreadsheets, formulas, and links. 
  • Ability to multi-task and complete projects on time under tight deadlines.


Skills Preferred

  • Strong knowledge of buying and sourcing gifts, apparel, souvenirs, toys, and tradecraft/gadgets
  • Proven negotiation ability 
  • Ability to develop merchandising plans and budgets
  • Proven experience in product development
  • Ability to make informed, timely, and complex decisions
  • Ability to evaluate financial data and create reports
  • Ability to effectively work with and develop a buying team
  • Ability to work with multiple projects and priorities
  • Knowledge of visual merchandising and display techniques
  • Effective communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Strong organization skills
  • Computer literate with knowledge of POS systems and merchandise management software

How to apply

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