Assistant Buyer of Produce

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Job Description: 

Grocery Outlet ( is the leading extreme value retailer in the United States, serving bargain seeking customers since 1946. The Grocery Outlet Bargain Market brand currently includes over 315 + independently operated stores in California, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Washington and Pennsylvania. Privately held, Grocery Outlet generates annual revenues exceeding $2 Billion and employs 1000 people across the US. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, Grocery Outlet has been family operated for almost 70 years and has a rich history of putting customers and employees first.

We are currently looking for an Assistant Buyer of Produce.

The members of our purchasing team are part of a very dynamic group of individuals. Often called the heart of the organization, the team is built of purchasing Directors, Buyers, Associate Buyers, and Assistant Buyers.  Eight different departments make up this best in class buying team – Grocery, Refrigerated, Frozen, Produce, Fresh Meat, Beer & Wine, General Merchandise, and Health & Beauty Care. The unique buying model of Grocery Outlet is multifaceted and therefore brings out the passion, creativity, and the “art” of closeout buying in each of our team members. All the departments and teams work collaboratively with the same goal in mind, “to provide bargain-minded customers with the deepest discounts on quality/branded products.”  Equally important is building and maintaining vendor relationships.  Our buyers are empowered with speed, flexibility and quick decision making to provide solutions for our vendor partners. An ideal addition to the purchasing team will bring a cultural fit, energy, passion, creative thinking, and the desire to be best in class as an individual and as a team member.

The role: 
This role is responsible for assisting the Produce purchasing team and field merchandisers. A huge part of the role is day-to-day maintenance functions, data analysis and accurate data entry. This role ensures accuracy in the ordering process while facilitating communications between vendors, corresponding buyers, merchandisers and our stores.

Responsibilities & Duties: 


  • Support Buyers on all day-to-day functions of the department. 
  • Maintain departmental files on line; Purchase Orders, Quote Sheets, Import files, Vendor lists, Performance files correspondence, forms and other documents.
  • Assist the Buyers in writing purchase orders. Monitors existing purchase order status; production, shipping and receiving of shipments. Ensures quality control of all orders 
  • Monitors on-order and manages weekly receipt flow into DC to insure timely arrival of orders 
  • Responsible for direct store shipments – Flex order Guide 
  • Responsible for initiating yellows, red alerts, price changes and corrective billings 
  • Track and maintain monthly ad plan 
  • Understand and execute appropriate distribution of products and maintain proper turn goal 
  • Create weekly Hot Buy sheets for Friday purchasing meeting.
  • Update WOW alert photos and verify product descriptions on a weekly basis.

Data analysis, communications and strategy:

  • Ensure that communication (written/verbal) is complete and thorough with vendor and internal partners. 
  • Assist in marketing event planning. Assist with creation of packaging and branding 
  • Assist the Buyer in analyzing opportunistic opportunities and communicate to the Buyer recommendations 
  • Maintains positive working relationships and communication with vendors, internal departments, stores and warehouse 
  • Identify and shop competition (including price checks); understand the target customer 
  • Identify trends within the department to help reach and exceed sales and margin plan 
  • Review sales by store by SKU; identifying hot and slow sellers 
  • Maintain vendor relationships; work with vendors and Buyer to help negotiate better terms and/or costs for merchandise being purchased. 
  • Establishes and maintains a reputation of credibility and responsiveness; promptly returns vendor and store phone calls, ensures timely follow-up on issues within 24 hours
  • Write articles addressed to store managers and operators communicating organic trends, merchandising recommendations and general knowledge of the organic category. 
  • B.A. Degree or 1 to 2 years retail/sales or related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience. 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, outgoing, willing to help others and positive attitude 
  • Proficient in the use of Excel, Microsoft Word and Outlook 
  • You are keen to details and highly organized! 
  • Resourceful and able to research problems and recommend solutions. 
  • You are highly analytical and numerical savvy. 
  • Strong written & verbal communication skills 
  • Produce/Floral industry awareness or interest with the ability to understand and research current trends, within competition and market.  
  • Ability to prioritize, multitask and manage multiple projects with broad workload to meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment 
  • Proven team player, self-motivated, independent-thinker 
  • Ability to re prioritize projects frequently 
  • Able to effectively and respectfully communicate with all levels of staff and management

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Our company is an Equal Opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state or federal law.

This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits and termination.

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