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Career profile Grocery Buyer

Also known as Buyer, Grocery Buyer, Procurement Specialist, Purchaser, Purchasing Coordinator, Retail Buyer, Trader

Grocery Buyer

Also known as Buyer, Grocery Buyer, Procurement Specialist

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
  • Realistic
Pay Range
$39,810 - $112,170 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Negotiation
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Buy merchandise or commodities for resale to wholesale or retail consumers.
  • Negotiate prices, discount terms, or transportation arrangements with suppliers.
  • Consult with store or merchandise managers about budgets or goods to be purchased.
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What does a Grocery Buyer do?

Grocery Buyers buy merchandise or commodities, other than farm products, for resale to consumers at the wholesale or retail level, including both durable and nondurable goods.

In addition, Grocery Buyers

  • analyze past buying trends, sales records, price, and quality of merchandise to determine value and yield,
  • select, order, and authorize payment for merchandise according to contractual agreements,
  • may conduct meetings with sales personnel and introduce new products,
  • may negotiate contracts,
  • includes assistant wholesale and retail buyers of nonfarm products.

What kind of tasks does a Grocery Buyer perform regularly?

Grocery Buyers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Buy merchandise or commodities for resale to wholesale or retail consumers.
  • Negotiate prices, discount terms, or transportation arrangements with suppliers.
  • Examine, select, order, or purchase merchandise consistent with quality, quantity, specification requirements, or other factors, such as environmental soundness.
  • Recommend mark-up rates, mark-down rates, or merchandise selling prices.
  • Obtain information about customer needs or preferences by conferring with sales or purchasing personnel.
  • Authorize payment of invoices or return of merchandise.
  • Monitor and analyze sales records, trends, or economic conditions to anticipate consumer buying patterns, company sales, and needed inventory.
  • Collaborate with vendors to obtain or develop desired products.
  • Inspect merchandise or products to determine quality, value, or yield.
  • Conduct sales meetings to introduce new merchandise.

The above responsibilities are specific to Grocery Buyers. More generally, Grocery Buyers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

What is a Grocery Buyer salary?

The median salary for a Grocery Buyer is $66,690, and the average salary is $72,370. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Grocery Buyer salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Grocery Buyers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Grocery Buyers earn less than $39,810 per year, 25% earn less than $50,840, 75% earn less than $88,600, and 90% earn less than $112,170.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Grocery Buyers is expected to change by -5.4%, and there should be roughly 39,500 open positions for Grocery Buyers every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$39,810 - $112,170
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Grocery Buyers?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Grocery Buyer are usually higher in their Enterprising and Conventional interests.

Grocery Buyers typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Grocery Buyers typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Grocery Buyer tend to value Achievement, Relationships, and Support.

Most importantly, Grocery Buyers moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Grocery Buyers moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Grocery Buyers moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Grocery Buyers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as cooperation, adaptability/flexibility, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Grocery Buyers, ranked by importance:

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Grocery Buyers need?

Grocery Buyers often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Grocery Buyers usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Grocery Buyers

  • 2.8% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 19.9% completed high school or secondary school
  • 24.1% completed some college coursework
  • 10.2% earned a Associate's degree
  • 34.2% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 8.0% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.8% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Grocery Buyers

Grocery Buyers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as sales and marketing, customer and personal service, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Grocery Buyers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Important Abilities needed by Grocery Buyers

Grocery Buyers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Grocery Buyers need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Grocery Buyers, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.

Critical Skills needed by Grocery Buyers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Grocery Buyers frequently use skills like negotiation, active listening, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Grocery Buyers, ranked by their relative importance.

Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.