“It's great to see how every choice you make, such as the packaging, translates into a beautiful commercial item. "
-Nora Oumoulid, Junior Buyer Multimedia
Hi, can you introduce yourself?
My name is Nora Oumoulid, 29 years old and live in the Leiden area. I have been working for Action for 8.5 years, of which exactly 2 years within the Buying department. My current position at the moment is Junior Buyer in the multimedia category.
What is your function within Action?
As a Junior Buyer I am responsible for an entire category, and I do that together with the Buying Assistant from multimedia, Jelle. I report directly to Stefan, a very experienced buyer of Do It Yourself (DIY). I spend a lot of time monitoring and analyzing the assortment, such as price, promotions, packaging, market research, shelf plan, stock, quality and testing of products. I work a lot with different colleagues to present the category in our stores as well as possible. For example with Stores, Commercial operations, Supply chain, Marketing, Merchandise, Finance, Quality, & Commercial planning etc. I also have daily contact with our suppliers to discuss current matters.
Why did you decide to join Action?
When I first started at Action almost 9 years ago, we had less than 300 stores and only 1 DC. I had applied at a few organizations, but after all the conversations and conditions, Action attracted me the most. When I applied, I didn't expect that I would still be here 9 years later, but on a career basis I think this is the best choice I have ever made. We now have more than 1.700 stores in 8 different countries. Action is growing, and so are the employees. It is an open, direct and honest culture in which there is space and opportunities for everyone.
What makes the buying department within Action unique?
The choices you make within buying also affect the entire company. You also have contact with many great colleagues within the organization to arrange everything as well as possible. Every day is a challenge and not one day is the same for us. Everyone is very focused on their own goals, but at the same time we are very involved with each other. We help each other out when needed, but we are also open and critical.
We certainly have freedom as a department, since we go all over the world to find the right products. Yet, we also visit the stores in the countries that we are active in very often to see what our range is like and what other retailers do.
Action is situated in Zwaagdijk, what can you tell about the office?
Zwaagdijk sounds very far away, but it is not so bad. Specifically in Buying, we have colleagues from Amsterdam, Alkmaar, Hoofddorp, Friesland, Schagen, and me from Leiden. There is a lot of space to park, and in the office we also have space to work everywhere; in the buying department, but there are also rooms for team meetings and rooms where you can work independently.
How do you see the growth opportunities within Action?
The growth opportunities at Action are endless! I started as Assistant Store Manager, then became a Store Manager, then got promoted to Trainer, and managed two stores. The next logic step would be to go for Region Manager, but that did not appeal to me. Three years ago, I saw that they were looking for trainee buyers and that really attracted me, because you don’t make a difference for 1 store or 1 district, but for the entire company. I still feel honored that I was chosen, and after a training of 1.5 years as trainee buyer I am now a junior buyer for already six months. Within our company there are many examples of colleagues that have further developed themselves within Action’s Buying Department from Trainee to Buyer.
What category are you working in and what do you like about it?
Multimedia, it is a group that is sensitive to trends. Think of accessories for the latest smartphones, gaming, vlogging, etc. That makes the work super challenging but also super fun during the sourcing process, where we check carefully for quality & sustainability. I work with A-brands but also have many items under our own private labels and suppliers' labels.
What are you most proud of within your job?
That I can make a difference for our customers. With every choice you make, such as product, price, packaging, even in the smallest things, it is nice to see it getting translated into a beautiful commercial item that sells a lot.
What should every new buyer within Action know?
Action is a company that is still very much blooming and growing. That is why it is also important as a buyer that you go along with this and know how to adjust. It is not only new stores, DCs, countries or assortment, but also new colleagues, departments and systems.