This programme has been developed and designed for those working as fashion buyers seeking to progress their careers to management level. Students take a strategic view of the fashion industry, learning how to assess the environment and create a comprehensive strategy for a fashion brand.
Understanding the marketing process whilst also developing the necessary financial skills is key to fashion buyers applying for management roles. Students learn to recognise the varying characteristics of differing retail environments, the factors involved and the key strategic management of processes to maximise the sales opportunity. Appreciating the dependence and interdependence of logistics and supply chain in fashion retailing is also covered during the programme.
Developed by an experienced team of tutors with strong fashion retail industry experience and knowledge of the role of the buying management team, this programme is ideally suited to those who have completed a certificate programme such as Portobello Institute’s certificate in Fashion Buying & Merchandising and are seeking to progress their studies to the next level.

Qualification Gained

Portobello Institute Diploma in Strategic Management for Fashion Buying & Merchandising

Entry requirements

Portobello Institute Fashion Buying & Merchandising programme, equivalent qualification or 3 years of experience working in a fashion buying/merchandising role.

Further Studies

Students may wish to consider undertaking Portobello Institute’s programme “Excel for Fashion Buying” which has been specifically designed for those working in a buying role. For further information, click here


Course Structure

This is a part time course delivered 1 evening per week over 24 weeks. 

Course Content Modules

Module 1 - Strategy

  • Assessing the retail fashion external environment, macro industry analysis and forecasting
  • Competitor analysis, stakeholder mapping and strategies to compete
  • Competitive positioning and building sustainable competitive advantage in the fashion industry
  • Planning strategy around resources and capabilities
  • In depth analysis of Range planning.
  • Develop negotiation skills
  • Strategic Planning

Module 2 - Marketing

  • The role of marketing and marketing planning process
  • Marketing communications including direct, mass, inbound and digital.
  • Building a fashion retail brand strategy, defining the brand.
  • Developing a marketing and digital strategy for fashion retail
  • The role of pricing to compete
  • Market Segmentation
  • PEST and SWOT analysis

Module 3 - Financial

  • Financial Strategy, understanding the balance sheet, breakeven analysis & using ratio analysis for measuring fashion retail performance
  • Develop skills in reading a Dashboard Sales Report
  • Understanding retail terminology

Module 4 – Retail Sales in the Buying Context – 6 weeks

  • Characteristics of varying retail environments including self-service, on-line selling and personal service
  • Characteristics of payment options available in varying retail environments
  • Understand IT devices in use in retail – bar codes, electronic payment units, stock control software, security devices
  • Customer service policy management to include returns, delivery and after sales service and effective handling of customer feedback in a buying context
  • Strategic impact of factors on the retail environment; customer loyalty, merchandising, retail ethics, training and communication.
  • Sales –Understanding KPI’s and how to use them to develop sales.

Module 5 – Supply and Logistics in the Buying Context – 6 weeks

  • Interaction and Interdependence of logistics and transport in the fashion retail industry
  • Forecasting logistic requirements and management of same
  • Strategic Inventory policy decisions
  • Creating a strategic production schedule for the fashion retail sector
  • Outsourced supply chain
  • Distribution management
  • Procurement
  • Negotiation Skills


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