BSc Fashion Buying and Merchandising / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Buying Strategy

Course unit fact file
Unit code MATS34571
Credit rating 40
Unit level Level 6
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Department of Materials
Available as a free choice unit? No


Balancing new and existing products with existing and potentially new customer needs buyers and merchandisers to consider strategic options with certainty and clarity. 


The unit aims to consider the significant role at the organisational level that fashion buying and merchandising has within the strategic development of product ranges and new consumer targets. It will critically evaluate consumer / buying emotions in order to ensure product planning and development is targeted. The unit will consider factors that impact on buying and merchandising through situational analysis, ethical sourcing, range selection and retail space planning. The unit also aims to develop further student’s analytical and creative skills through a final major project.

This unit aims to:

  • Critically review a range of strategic reporting methods utilised in buying and merchandising during decision-making and policy planning.
  • Critically evaluate the strategic perspectives required by buyers and merchandisers in order to understand their influencing roles on high street fashion.
  • Outline the strategic importance of post-mortem reporting in the product development monitoring and evaluation stages.


Learning outcomes

A greater depth of the learning outcomes will be covered in the following sections:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Intellectual skills
  • Practical skills
  • Transferable skills and personal qualities

Teaching and learning methods

This unit will make use of a variety of learning and teaching processes including: lectures, discussions, workshops, group activities and independent study. Blackboard will be used to present lecture notes, guided reading, articles and other information. Blackboard may also be utilised for assessment using Turnitin.


Knowledge and understanding

 1a, Critically review a range of strategic reporting methods utilised in buying and merchandising during decision-making and policy planning.

1b, Critically evaluate the strategic perspectives required by buyers and merchandisers in order to explain their influencing roles on high street fashion.

Contributing to developing programme learning outcomes and the assessment of:

  • Systematically describe, analyse and appraise the structure of global fashion, textiles and related industries, with focus on the emerging issues of markets, services, consumer expectations within the macro-environment.
  • Confidently distinguish the key elements of contemporary challenges and issues in fashion and textiles and use these systematically in strategic planning of operational responses.
  • Articulate the processes, procedures and practices of fashion retail, marketing, management and buying and merchandising strategies.
  • Analyse the process and stages of fashion product development with specific emphasis on the role of the buyer and merchandiser.
  • Critically analyse fashion buying approaches and fashion merchandising techniques within strategic product development, having the ability to recognise trends in fashion adoption and consumer purchasing habits.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the use of fibre, fabric and garment technologies within the buying critical path and how it is used in the product development process and supplier management.

Intellectual skills

2a, Evaluate and interpret strategic buying and merchandising tools and their applications.

2b, Analyse the key issues of feasibility research and decision making within the buying and merchandising role.

Contributing to developing programme learning outcome and the assessment of:

  • Identify and conceptualise appropriate theories, applying them to the fashion and textile industry.
  • Synthesise, assess and evaluate information and data from appropriate sources and use these to make informed, independent judgments and decision making in relation to technical product and/or business contexts.
  • Exercise original thinking and independent learning to design and execute a project to evaluate and analyse a business concept or a technical aspect of garment or textiles products.  

Undertake the development and execution of a major independent project in an appropriate area.

Practical skills

3a, Communicate their subject knowledge and expertise effectively within an industrial environment

3b, Demonstrate analytical thinking and writing skills

3c, Effective and considered use of creative presentation techniques appropriate to the buying and merchandising role

Contributing to developing  programme learning outcomes and the assessment of:

  • Select, evaluate and use relevant software applications, including spreadsheets, CAD software, business applications, etc., for different tasks such as data analysis or design communication, within the context of Fashion and Textiles industry.

Identify and employ appropriate sources of information.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

4a, Utilise creative and problem solving techniques to generate solutions.

4b, Show a high level of competence across a range of communication skills

Contributing to developing programme learning outcomes.

  • Clear and effective communication, using a range of styles and employing various media appropriate to the context.

Effective engagement in problem solving, academic discussion and presentation of arguments in a professional manner to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 30%
Written assignment (inc essay) 70%

Feedback methods

Written and verbal

Recommended reading

Fashion Buying and Merchandising

Boardman, R., Parker-Strak, R., Henninger, C.E. (2020). Fashion Buying and Merchandising: The Fashion Buyer in a Digital Society, Routledge

Clark, J, (2015) Fashion Merchandising, Palgrave, London

Connell, D, (2010) A Buyer s Life. Fairchild, New York

Diamond, E, (2006) Fashion Retailing, A Multi Channel Approach, Pearson/Prentice Hall, NJ

Fernie, J. & Grant, D (2015) Fashion Logistics, Kogan Page, London

Grove, V (2012) Concept to Customer, Ava Publishing

Eberle, H., et al., (1999) Clothing Technology: from Fibre to Fashion 2nd ed. : Europa-Lehrmittal

Elliott,F. & Rider, J., (2007) Retail Buying Techniques, Management Books Ltd

Gorgen Wolfe, M G, (1998) The World of Fashion Merchandising, Goodheart-Willcox

Goworek, H (2009) Fashion Buying 2nd ed., Blackwell Science, London

Jackson, T. & Shaw, D., (2001) Mastering Fashion Buying and Merchandising Management : Macmillan Master Series

Jones, R. M., (2006) The Apparel Industry 2nd edition : Blackwell Science, London

Keiser, S, J, & Garner, M, B, (2008) Beyond Design. The Synergy of Apparel Product Design. 2nd ed., Fairchild New York.

La Fleur, R, S, (2010) Merchandise Planning Workbook. Fairchild, New York

Shaw, D. & Koumbis, D., (2014) Fashion Buying, Fairchild New York.

Varley, R, (2001) Retail Product Management, Routledge


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Practical classes & workshops 16
Independent study hours
Independent study 354

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Rachel Parker-Strak Unit coordinator

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