Fashion buying & Planning ultimate program

Do you want to launch your career in Fashion Buying or Merchandise Planning, but just cannot seem to get your foot in the door?

Have you got oodles of retail store experience but cannot land a role in head office?

Are you a recent graduate who really wants to work in fashion but doesn’t want to do another three year course?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then we may be just what you are looking for!

What makes the ULTIMATE program unique?

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Guaranteed internship

This is the only course in Australia where you are guaranteed an internship with a fashion retailer and work one or two days per week in a buying office for the full six months of the course.  This is a key difference because you get to see what you learn online is put into practice in the real world.

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Industry centered training

We are the only organisation in Australia offering fashion buying and planning courses, who also train retailers’ buying and planning teams and have been doing so for a decade.  This means that not only do we understand the skills you need, but that we have an excellent reputation within the industry.

Course Outline

Our Fashion Buying & Merchandise Planning ULTIMATE program is a six-month guided online course that has been devised to give you a thorough understanding of the various tasks undertaken by team members in a retail buying and planning office. 

Each month, we guide you through a subject area whilst you work one or two days per week in a buying office gaining real work experience.  This unique combination puts you in the best possible position to launch your career…

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monthly topics

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month one: introduction to retail buying

The first month of the ULTIMATE program is designed to give you an overview of the history of fashion retail and how it has evolved through the 19th and 20th century to where it is today, as well as examining the different market levels from luxury brands and designers through to mass-market fast fashion brands.  We will  introduce you to the functions and activities that take place in a buying office throughout a season as well as outline any jargon and retail maths calculations that you will need throughout the course.  There are three subjects in month one:


    1. UR – The Global Fashion Market
    2. UR – The Product Lifecycle
    3. UR – Calcs & Jargon

month two: strategy & planning

Fashion buying is a combination of art and science.  In month two, we look at the technical skills needed in the strategy and plan stages of the product lifecycle.  How to develop a category strategy?  How Merchandise Planners build a merchandise financial plan?  How does the buyer decide what products to put in the range and how many to buy?   There are four subjects this month:


    1. Creating a Strategy
    2. Merchandise Planning
    3. Assortment Planning & Range Building
    4. Store Visits & Competitor Shopping
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month three: trends & product

Where do trends come from?  How do you put together a balanced colour palette that is both on trend and commercial?  What are the different types of fabrics and fibres and how do you use these when developing your range?  These are some of the questions we answer in month three of this course.  There are six subject area covered:


    1. History of Fashion
    2. Trends & Trade Shows
    3. Colour
    4. Fabric & Fibres
    5. Silhouette, Shape & Fit
    6. Sample Management

month four: sales performance & pricng

Understanding range performance and reacting to trade is a key skill for buyers and planners.  In month four, we cover the tasks and skills needed during the buy, move and trade stage of the buying calendar.  We start with order management and the importance of the critical path.  We look at how you evaluate range performance and the decisions you need to make at the beginning, middle and end of a season.  We examine how you profitably manage a range through the season, as well as how to plan and manage key/core lines and how to deal with pricing changes.  There are five subjects this month:


    1. Order Management, Allocate & Replenish
    2. Evaluating Performance
    3. In-season Management
    4. Managing Key Lines
    5. Price Management

month five: sourcing & negotiation

One of the key responsibilities for buyers is managing and negotiating with suppliers.  In this month we look at how buyers source products, how to prepare for buying trips, as well as the sustainability issues around fashion.  We also look at how decisions affect cost prices and how to negotiate and manage suppliers.  There are six subjects:

    1. Sourcing
    2. Supplier Management
    3. Buying Trips & Factory Visits
    4. Sustainability
    5. The Journey from Cost to Profit
    6. Introduction to Negotiation Skills


month six: career development

The fashion industry is incredibly competitive and you need to stand out from the crowd in order to get ahead.  In month six we look at personal branding, networking and how to best present yourself during interview, as well as employers expectations and how to conduct yourself in the workplace.  This is the opportunity to launch your career.  We have many industry contacts and will help you wherever we can to land that first role.  There are three subjects:


    1. Personal Branding
    2. Presentation Skills & Interview Prep
    3. Work Experience Report

To find out if this course meets your career aspirations and if it is right for you, book a careers consult today…

OUR NEXT PROGRAM STARTS on 5th August 2024








Places on the ultimate program are limited due to the internship.  As a result, we have a comprehensive application process to ensure that the students we accept have the right appitute and attitude and are best placed to be successful in this very competitive industry.

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Do you know what a buyer & planner does?


Think you know, but would like to learn more.  Sign up for our FREE Module:

The World of Buying & Planning

In this module:

    • Unit 1:  The Merchandise Management Process
    • Unit 2: The Role of the Buyer & Planner
    • Unit 3: Challenges Facing Retailers Today