Category Buyer

We’re hiring! Mastermind Toys - Canada’s Authority on Play - has big plans and we want YOU to join our growing team! We have a customer-obsessed culture, which we believe starts with employee experience. We jump at the chance to co-create with our customers and employees, while staying true to our Canadian roots. Over 38 years later, Mastermind Toys is the nation’s largest specialty toy and children’s bookstore, and we deeply believe that “Play is Kids’ Work.

We are currently seeking a Category Buyer to join our Merchandising team. This position is responsible for planning, selecting and implementing the purchase of a range of products within set categories to sell in store and online.

Job Responsibilities

Autonomy and Oversight

  • Responsible for hitting a wide variety of targets and metrics for assigned categories
  • Seek and gain alignment from buying management on a regular basis
  • Responsible for the performance of their categories 

Category Management 

  • Category Strategy
  • Responsible for category strategy at a high-level, communicating to key stakeholders
  • This includes product feel, space and presentation, online extensions, and general goals and aims on a key metric basis including strong knowledge of current customer wants, needs and desires, 360-degree lens of customer positioning
  • Item selection
    • Apply Mastermind Toys philosophy in the selection of items and composition of category mix
    • Determine store assortment strategy by category with inventory and shelf space considerations as well as defining the appropriate allocation for web sales
  • Pricing & Margin
    • Responsible for negotiating item costs, choosing item prices to maximize margin dollars while managing competitiveness
  • Forecasting, Inventory and Open to Buy management
  • Responsible for overall inventory management allowing for initial buy quantities and shelf loads
  • Responsible for monitoring relevant data and executing replenishment orders to achieve sales and inventory objectives
    • Responsible for forecasting, and ensuring balanced and appropriate flow for each selling period
  • Clearance
  • Responsible for items exiting the assortment, clearance strategies and overall clearance inventory levels
  • Marketing and Promotion
  • Responsible for developing promotional and marketing campaigns, in conjunction with key stakeholders, negotiating with suppliers’ promotional support, giveaways, signage support, etc
  • Work with all stakeholders to ensure excellent execution of all aspects of marketing and promotional campaigns
  • Digital Presentation
  • Responsible for aiding internal partners to ensure product is presented in the best fashion on, including reviewing descriptions and images, securing video and other content, providing online buyer reviews, and any other help needed for this effort
  • Product knowledge
  • Obtain and create materials to help store employees understand product

Vendor Relationship Management

  • Reputation and communication
  • Maintaining positive working relationships with key suppliers, in addition to frequent and quick communication with vendors
  • Negotiation
    • Buyer must apply learned experience to negotiate programs and opportunities in keeping with Mastermind philosophy and objectives
  • Meetings
    • Responsible for preparing for and conducting regular meetings with suppliers
  • Trade shows
    • Will attend trade shows to meet with existing vendors and source new vendors

Administrative effort

  • Responsible for administrative activities relevant to their role including purchase order management, master data management, ecommerce data management, etc
  • Work with finance team in resolving discrepancies, disputes and other issues arising from invoice and purchase order resolution


  • Post- secondary degree/diploma required, Business, Purchasing, Supply Chain Management Professional designation or equivalent experience
  • Minimum 5 years comparable experience.
  • Previous retail product purchasing experience required (specific category preferred)
  • Detail oriented and able to manage projects from inception to execution
  • Strong & clear verbal and written communication skills
  • Proficiency with software applications in desktop environments (MS Office, adobe, inventory software)

Hybrid work model is available for many of our positions.

Please note, the successful candidate will be required to provide proof of completed COVID-19 vaccination or medical exemption.

Mastermind Toys is committed to accommodating applicants with disabilities throughout the recruitment and selection process. Upon request, Mastermind Toys will, in consultation with the applicant, determine the nature of any accommodation that may be required.

If you require any accommodation, please contact us and we’ll work with you to meet your accessibility needs.

Interested applicants should send their job application to