Print Purchasing Manager

Central London - Head Office
Circa £35k package - experience dependant
08 Feb 2013
08 Mar 2013
Buying, Management
Full Time
Contract Type

Arcadia is an exciting and fast paced home & fashion retailer, made up of a diverse mix of high street brands: BHS, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Topshop, Topman, Wallis & Outfit.  At the heart of our business there are more than 1,000 dedicated employees working in the Group Functions.  They work across all brands and are responsible for giving a range of centralised services to the business.  Print Purchasing is a key support function making the success of the Arcadia brands possible.


As part of the Print Purchasing Department, the job holder will head up a team to source, cost, negotiate and place order requirements for designated brands with appropriate preferred suppliers in the fields of digital, litho, screen and flexo print, on-site store graphic fittings, packaging materials, promotional and incentive items incl. bags.



Managing and motivating a team of four on a day to day basis, giving guidance, support, training and advice to team for all elements pertaining to print purchasing and production, store fits and cost authorisations, making recommendations on specifications or suppliers as required.

Ensuring high standards of effectiveness and productivity within the team and that processes, procedures, timescales and objectives are met from job concept to completion of delivery, including the accuracy of briefing to suppliers.

To act as a central point of liaison between the brand, creative, stores and suppliers and any other department covered by the remit of the role, ensuring integrated channels of communication.


  • Take brief from internal client, e.g. verbally, via email or the business’ Print Workflow Tool, ensuring budget requirements are met whilst remaining focused on project completion dates.
  • Provide internal client with recommendations on the most cost effective method of production, distribution or fitting, so as to maximise value for money, whilst maintaining required quality and service levels.
  • Produce benchmark technical specification for suitable suppliers to provide costs, researching print production processes where required.
  • Liaise and select appropriate supplier(s) to request quotations against supplied specifications - ensuring that the brand’s requirements are clearly communicated to suppliers.
  • Raise job bag;  upon receipt of quotations, nominate supplier(s), negotiate and agree final costs, get a Purchase Order raised for authorisation, create an Order Acknowledgement for supplier to adhere to and ensure artwork/visuals correspond to print specs that have been costed.
  • Obtain proofs/pre-production samples, review from a print purchasing perspective and get approved by client.
  • Evaluate graphics once completed both with suppliers and brands – checking that all have been delivered in accordance with the Print Purchasing Dept’s delivery and quality criteria;  managing feedback, implementing improvements where possible.
  • Ensure all administration is accurate and up to date, including general archiving of completed job bags (via Dept Admin Assistant).


  • Responsible for collation of all relevant information from the brand’s Creative, VM or Marketing teams, or any other area on current or planned project activity.
  • Work with brands to ensure planned schedules (CPA’s) are put together and agreed for all major projects e.g. model store, windows, Christmas, sale etc, and distributed to all parties concerned with respective responsibilities highlighted.


Assess budgetary restraints at conception stage, estimate expected cost based on brief from creative/brand department and feedback accordingly.

Throughout the process of completion, monitor estimated cost against actual and highlight any potential issues or overspends with supporting reasons to the client/budget holder.

Ensure correct and accurate finance information is input onto the JDE purchase order system (via Dept Admin Assistant), thus assuring correct charges are made to relevant budget holder and supplier’s paid in timely manner for services/goods provided.


  • Pull together specifications as required for ad hoc tender processes, issuing and ensuring timely return with procurement recommendations to senior management.
  • Keep up to date with new technology by reading trade press and visiting appropriate exhibitions, as well as reviewing market trends for graphics and techniques being used by other retailers.
  • Participate in regular review meetings with suppliers, along with supplier visits where required.
  • Travel as and when required to approved suppliers or store locations throughout the UK, within the job holders remit of projects, including occasional press passing.
  • Initiate regular update meetings with key personnel within brands to establish requirements on up and coming projects/developments, feedback on service levels, stock holdings etc.
  • Develop, manage & appraise a team of four, building a strong capable team with focus on succession planning.


  • Sound understanding and knowledge of latest digital, litho and screen print production processes.
  • Previous experience in Retail or Commercial Print Production.
  • Good team player with people management experience.
  • Strong organisational, project management and communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, at all levels, ensuring that both Internal and External contacts are handled in a professional, courteous manner at all times.
  • Ability to work well under pressure in a fast paced environment, prioritise schedules and manage workloads.
  • Creative thinker with strong facilitation and negotiation skills.
  • PC literate.

We will be keeping this vacancy live until we find our suitable candidate, so please apply as soon as is reasonably possible to.

If you would like to apply for this role, please click on the 'Apply now' button.