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Music ,
submitted by
Lauren Slipkowsky

Retail Buyer - Music Store

Retail Buyer: Music Store

The Old Town School is seeking a knowledgeable and detail-oriented Retail Buyer for its NAMM award-winning online and in store retail operations.

Position Summary

The Retail Buyer:

  • Manages purchases for the Old Town School Music Store.
  • Plans and budgets in order to maintain optimum stock levels and manages all vendor relationships.
  • Processes special orders, works closely with education programs to ensure proper stocking for required items and program.
  • Responsible for database management (RAIN).
  • Keeps up to date with music retail industry trends and knowledge.

Key Duties


Creates and follows a budget for their department, monitors sales, merchandise, and develops effective methods to streamline ordering methods and sales analysis, with the goals of increasing sales and improving inventory turns and margins.


Maintains and develops vendor relationships. Orders instruments, accessories, and print and special orders. Orders are placed on a regular basis to maintain optimum stock levels, and analysis is done to maintain product freshness and avoid dead inventory while taking advantage of buying opportunities.

Merchandising & Inventory

Manages all inventory and produces accurate numbers on a quarterly basis. Monitors stock levels and works with Used Buyer/eComm Team, Receiving and Floor Managers to maintain adequate stock levels and proper merchandise mix.


Maintains annual budgeting and all reporting to Retail Manager, Finance Department and others as needed.


Works occasional floor shifts as a store associate on an as needed basis. Must be knowledgeable and informative in all areas of the store, able to help customers with an educational approach, and to maintain the neatness and security of the sales floor. Also responsible for merchandising products to enhance sales. Must be able to play guitar.


This position requires:

  • Attention to detail, creativity, and a special interest in musical instruments.
  • Background in retail and wholesale sales as well as some supervisory experience preferred.
  • Knowledge of the entire range of musical instruments and basic computer, spreadsheet and accounting skills are required.
  • To be successful in the role, the Buyer will need to have or be able to gain an in-depth knowledge of Old Town School and its processes as well as all store procedures.
  • Must be able to train staff on incoming products.
  • RAIN Retail POS experience is highly desired.
  • Prior experience as a Buyer or in a similar role is helpful.

Physical Requirements:
May be required to lift boxes of up to 60 pounds, and to climb a ladder on a regular basis.

If interested and qualified, please send resume to

About Old Town School of Folk Music

Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music (“OTSFM”) is the largest community school of the arts in the U.S. and a non-profit organization committed to celebrating American music and global cultures. Founded in 1957, Old Town School provides a wide range of music, dance, and arts courses to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Whatever one's interest, Old Town School provides broad access to more than 700 weekly class offerings, a broad array of private lessons, and over 400 concerts and community events per year.

Old Town School of Folk Music opened its Lincoln Square facility in 1998 and expanded in 2012. The Old Town School operates two campuses located in Chicago's Lincoln Square and Lincoln Park neighborhoods that include world-class concert halls, classrooms, an award-winning music store, and a music resource center. Online classes were introduced in 2020 and students from nearly every state and a dozen countries participated over the course of the pandemic. Children's classes are also held at several suburban satellite locations. More information is available at

Equal Employment Opportunity

OTSFM is committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and employees. OTS strives to be an inclusive and equitable organization that is reflective of the diversity of the city of Chicago. We seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. This is critical to our success as a community focused organization.

Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago/Lincoln Square