by Rogers Corporation on Jan 16, 2019
Elastomeric Material Solutions
A member of our Rogers’ marketing communications team had the opportunity to work for a brief stint on the shoe buying team of one of America’s largest retailers. As Rogers is a major supplier of cushioning materials to the shoe industry, we thought it would be fun to learn more about her experience from the “other side of the desk.” Macey Streeper, who now works as a Marketing Communications Specialist for Rogers, willingly shared some aspects and insights from her former job with us during a recent interview.
INTERVIEWER: What was your experience working as a shoe buyer?
Streeper: Before joining Rogers, I had a few jobs in buying, one was in shoes at Dillard’s and I also got to work for Disney® in buying. At Dillard’s, I worked as an assistant shoe buyer for women’s comfort shoes and I helped other buyers throughout the shoe department. It was a very interesting experience to be part of the shoe buying process.
INTERVIEWER: What did you do in your role at Dillard’s?
Streeper: Dillard’s is unique because they still buy for their stores regionally, instead of having central buying offices. We made frequent visits to our locations to talk to the floor managers and we would buy shoes on trend with the state and the store location. I oversaw the entire process; from having next season’s styles presented by vendors and selecting styles and sizes to choosing quantities and setting prices. I was also involved in choosing when we did sales, why we did sales, and where we did sales.
INTERVIEWER: What did you enjoy most about your job?
Streeper: It was a lot of fun seeing next season’s trends ahead of time and being part of the process of deciding what’s available for the customers. I also enjoyed being part of the process with vendors and designers and giving them feedback. It was kind of surprising how much influence we had as buyers with the vendors. We were involved in the design process. We would also take time to develop exclusive designs that were unique to Dillard’s and customers really liked those. Choosing a unique pattern or color, or even something as simple as an added strap, could make a difference and become a big selling point. I was surprised that the vendors would be willing to be that flexible for us.
INTERVIEWER: What were some of the biggest challenges you encountered in your role?
Streeper: I would say the biggest challenge was being gated by limited funds to build up our stock. You want to give customers every possible option, but you really can’t. For every shoe you select, you need to buy it in different sizes and colors, but the buyer is limited by the funds available by each store.