Merchandise Planner Job Description:
The Merchandise Planner is responsible for the translation of topline budgeted financials (Sales, Profit, & Stock Turnover) into assortment plans, informing and driving the appropriate level of inventory investment and strategic in-season management for achievement. Merchandise Planners will leverage outstanding analytical and communication skills to ensure the most profitable decisions taken on merchant defined assortments.
Merchandise Planning Manager Essential Job Function:
• Responsible for ongoing business diagnostics related to retail sales, inventory, and profitability, performances at the channel/store/category level.
• Proactively interface with local and central leadership as necessary to ensure timely dialogue surrounding accurate & insightful analysis to drive business.
• Create & maintain weekly recaps highlighting results; comparing results vs. objectives set by Assortment and Finance plans.
• Closely partner with local merchant to supplement an ongoing review of item lifecycle.
• Analyze end of season markdowns and propose in-season strategies, ensuring a cohesive flow from one season to the next, with relevant margin variables considered.
• Maintain ongoing communications to gain internal buy-in and support with HQ P&A,
serving as liaison to secure/produce adequate inventories, outside of seasonal buy process.
• Work closely with allocation to fine-tune distribution plans for achievement of market inventory turn goals, support of visual strategies, and overall profitability in terms of stock location/movement needs.
Open to Buy Management:
• Owner of seasonal assortment planning process, and monthly sales/stock review with HQ P&A, to ensure product category performance, owned inventory, receipt flow, and margin goals are maximized.
• Drive monthly discussion with HQ P&A, communicating prior month result vs. Forecast and Budget, along with future rolling trend, in partnership with local Finance, Retail, and Merchant Leadership.
• Maintain HQ P&C Upload Tool and all inputs required re: (4) collection and (3) forecast schedules.
and all implied risk/opportunity. Making relevant recommendations for end of season sales/inventory targets by SKU.
Seasonal Buy Process:
• Develop Category Buying Budgets (Sales, Margin, AUR, Inventory) with Merchant based on insights learned from hindsight, weekly business analysis, and future trend anticipation.
• Assist during the YES/NO Selection to help Merchants validate Assortment by Store
• Share final buys with HQ P&A Team for inclusion in Executive Buy Review stating all assumptions and deviations taken re: Pre-Buy analysis vs. Post-Buy reality.
• Work closely with Merchants on quarterly assortment plans and monthly product flow to ensure future strategies are communicated to HQ Merchandising, aligned with team objectives.
• Participate in cross functional meetings, contributing input on planning strategies &
• Manage strong communication with HQ P&A to procure inventory and/or re-purpose
Merchandise Planning Manager Qualifications:
• Outstanding Analytical/Statistical/Quantitative skills (inventory, cost and/or retail accounting and supply chain experience is a plus).
• Ideal candidate will bring 5+ years Retail Finance/ Planning, with results demonstrated.
• Microsoft Excel proficiency: (V-lookups, complex formulas, pivot tables, macros, etc…)
• Strong strategic thinking (ability to identify future opportunities based on current &
• Working System knowledge in Microstrategy, JDA, TXT, RPAS/ORACLE, SAP systems will aid and assist in onboarding.
• Preference given to candidates in areas focused on previous Planning or Allocation
experience, financial, and quantitative analysis.