Nantahala Outdoor Center

Hardgoods and Footwear Buyer

US-NC-Asheville | US-NC-Bryson City | US-TN-Gatlinburg
Job ID


Job Title: Hardgoods and Footwear Buyer
Position reports to: Director of Retail

Job Posting Date: 8/3/17



For 40+ years NOC has led the outdoor industry, taking more guests whitewater rafting and teaching more paddlers than any other outdoor recreation company. NOC also provides top-quality aerial and trail-based adventures, wilderness medicine as well as providing unmatched retail service, foodservice, lodging, and trip planning services. Behind NOC's rapid growth are our staff’s commitment to our five core values: lead by example, service before self, do the right thing, work hard/play hard and make it happen. These core values unite a community of leaders and pioneers in an exciting, fun and always changing work environment.


NOC career opportunities offer prospects rare opportunities to work in beautiful locations, to grow their skills and to share a passion for active outdoor recreation. Ideal candidates are leaders in the work place that wish to join a unique, values-driven organization. They aspire to excellence in their fields and disciplines and they demonstrate a commitment to the service of others. Above all, they want to provide visitors with unforgettable experiences in the great outdoors. If this sounds like you, we hope you'll apply to join the NOC team.

Position Summary:

Does outdoor gear excite you? Are you up to date on the latest outdoor industry trends? Do you enjoy sharing your knowledge and passion for the outdoors with others? Are you interested in moving to Western North Carolina, where outdoor adventures are endless?


If you answered yes to all the questions above, come join our Buying and Retail team as the Hardgoods and Footwear Buyer at NOC, leaders in outdoor adventure since 1972. As a Buyer at NOC you will create a product selection each season that excites our guests.


NOC has three retail locations each with a unique customer base with varying needs. The Hardgoods and Footwear Buyer must be able to dial in the assortment and deliver a merchandising strategy at each location to optimize sales and meet financial goals.


This position is a full-time, year round, benefits eligible position that reports to the Director of Retail. 


  • Responsible for assortment planning, product selection and development for assigned product category
  • Assist in executing assortment and merchandise plans for all retail outlets.
  • Travel between retail locations to aid in floor merchandising and communication of product strategies to staff while also listening to on-the-floor feedback that can aid in future decisions.
  • Analyze past product performance to determine or predict future success.  Conduct research and business analysis regarding market/consumer trends, demographics, merchandise sales levels, competitor performance, etc.
  • Work closely with leadership to negotiate all facets of product purchase, terms, price, quantities, etc.
  • Work closely with the retail team to ensure accurate and most advantageous product representation in all retail operating units.
  • Travel to trade shows, markets and visit vendor facilities to meet vendors and negotiate merchandise purchases.
  • Exhibit professional conduct in all business relationships, actions and communications.
  • Work closely with Store Managers and Sales Reps to schedule in-store product clinics for staff. 
  • Educate staff on key brands and products with informal store clinics. 
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience which provides required knowledge, skills and abilities.
  • Minimum 3 years buying experience. Firm grasp of retail KPIs (margin, turn, open-to-buy, GM, ROI, etc.).
  • Familiarity with the buying cycle and how to budget within it.
  • Strong written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills, including excellent negotiation skills.
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to conduct analysis, problem solve and make decisions.
  • Able to multi-task and work effectively to meet deadlines within a dynamic group.
  • Strong sense of trend and ability to carry out a strategic vision.
  • Proficient with Excel and able to work within multiple software platforms to obtain information.
  • Flexibility to work some weekends and nights for store hosted events. 



The above noted job description is not intended to describe, in detail, the multitude of tasks that may be assigned but rather to provide a general sense of the responsibilities and expectations of this position. As the nature of business demands change, so too may the essential functions of this position.


The Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) is dedicated to the principles of equal employment opportunity in any and all terms, conditions or privileges of employment including hiring, promotions, termination, training and compensation. The NOC does not discriminate against applicants or employees on the basis of age, race, sex, color, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic condition or any other status protected by federal, state or local law, where applicable. Furthermore, the NOC is committed to a work environment free of discrimination and harassment through respecting and valuing the diversity among employees and all those with whom the NOC does business.


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