Merchandising Buyer - San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

10946 Willow Ct, San Diego, CA 92127, USA Req #2069
Friday, June 17, 2022

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a nonprofit international conservation leader, committed to inspiring a passion for nature and creating a world where all life thrives. Empowering people from around the globe to support our mission to conserve wildlife through innovation and partnerships, we support cutting-edge conservation, and bring the stories of our work back to our two world-famous front doors — the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park — giving millions of guests, in person and virtually, the opportunity to experience conservation in action. The deep and extensive knowledge gained from more than a century of experience in wildlife care, health, veterinary services, nutrition and conservation makes us invaluable in the global effort to save species. Our team members play a crucial role in driving our conservation efforts forward and bringing us closer to a world where all life thrives.

The Merchandise Buyer works alongside the Merchandise Manager in planning, developing, selecting, managing and purchasing goods that are sold in retail gifts shops at the San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, and online store, for a specific segment of business. Merchandise Buyers and Merchandise Managers are partners in achieving quarterly and annual sales budgets through strategic, well managed assortments and inventory levels. This position reports to the Merchandise Manager.


  • Creates and communicates purchase orders/reorders, permanent price changes, sign requests, logging orders/receipts, filing mock ups, sample maintenance, etc.
  • Prepares and analyzes style selling reports to implement business decisions regarding reorders, markdowns, and future strategies.
  • Formulates quarterly core and seasonal assortment for 1-2 specified divisions within their segment based on trends and opportunities in alignment with top line plans to meet key metrics.
  • Manages specific divisions or vendors. Communicates and negotiates directly with vendor representative.
  • Partners with vendors, manufacturers, designers to procure and develop brand right custom merchandise. Evaluates vendor options by negotiating price, quality, service, terms, discounts, etc. to determine the best choices for the organization. Forges and maintains vendor relationships.
  • Participates in new product launches, including sku creation, creating purchase orders, sets store distributions and reorder points. Maintains appropriate stock levels through reorders.
  • Ensures the timely delivery of products, compliance with the contracts of purchase, and solves any problems that may arise with the merchandise and/or supplier.
  • Partners with Director of Merchandise Planning to plan, lead, and direct merchandise presentation in assigned categories in conjunction with quarterly plans, special events and promotions.
  • Works closely with Store Managers, Warehouse team, Visual Display, and Inventory Control to maintain open, organized, merchandise coordination. Participates in store walk-throughs at the Zoo and Safari Park several times a month.

The Merchandising Buyer will be working at our Rancho Bernardo warehouse. Candidates must be able to work fully onsite.

    • 1-3 years prior experience in merchandise buying, retail, or similar role
    • In business administration, merchandising, marketing, art, or a related field.
    • Current valid California Driver’s License in good standing
    • Must be a self-starter with analytical approach. Works well under pressure with tight deadlines.
    • Must possess a comprehensive understanding of retail math including sales trends, sell thrus, turn, initial mark up, gross margin.
    • Experience in negotiating.
    • Strong interpersonal skills, resourcefulness, and collaborative nature.
    • Experience with product development and market research.
    • Able to operate moderately complex inventory management and purchasing software programs.
    • Proficient in MS Word, Excel, Power Point
    • Demonstrated ability to work well in diverse team environment.
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills while tailoring messages to the appropriate audiences.


  • Free admission to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • Family Passes
  • Complimentary Tickets
  • Local and In-House Discounts
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Wellness Program


  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Position Type: Hourly Full-Time Non-Exempt Position

Be an ally for wildlife by joining our team!

At San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, we thrive on celebrating our differences. Diversity is vital for the benefit of our team members, our guests, our community, and our wildlife.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, or other legally protected status.

If you require a reasonable accommodation to complete an application, please email your request to and provide the job title and location to which you are applying.

As a Federal Contractor, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is required to participate in the E-Verify Program to confirm eligibility to work in the United States. 

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a drug free workplace

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  • 10946 Willow Ct, San Diego, CA 92127, USA