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General & Admin
210003G4 Requisition #

Job Purpose

The Planner (Merchandising) is responsible for developing and using a data-driven approach and collaborating with buying partners to maximize return on investment via OTB ownership. Focusing on sales and margin via driving profitable sales through development of seasonal and yearly product sales plans, including financial planning, budgeting, forecasting driven through a focus on consumer demand, in order to maximize sales and gross margin opportunity across single brand/multiple category level.


Essential Roles and Responsibilities

  • Partner with Inventory Planning, Buying, Finance, Commercial, and Digital business to develop the merchandise and OTB strategy, using data-driven input from sales trends, customer analytics, market conditions and supplier demands to drive profitable decision making.
  • Build and present the merchandise strategy and OTB for all brands and product groups including retail, distribution and digital, with forecast accuracy being of critical importance.
  • Collaborate with Inventory Planning on the execution of the merchandise planning strategy through sound financial planning, OTB budgeting, forecasting, inventory allocation and procurement to optimize in-season inventory management for the area of responsibility throughout the planning period to drive profitable sales.
  • Align with buying and execute the strategic direction for all aspects of product pricing including Sale/Promotions/Full Price/Indexing impacts in order to drive profitable sales and value to the customer.
  • Ensure the Merchandise Planning team partners with the Inventory Planning Team in order to drive Sell Through and maximize yield management.
  • Deliver merchandise management policies, procedures and systems in line with relevant governance controls and oversight principles.

Functional Leadership

  • Demonstrate management capability to lead the merchandise planning teams.
  • Responsible for Forecast accuracy across all key OTB metrics.
  • Deliver merchandise-planning teams to build quality merchandise assortment plans taking into account key KPI’s, trend, customer behaviour, and omni-channel landscape and brand strategies.
  • Drive accurate buy planning and projections through regular sales monitoring and identification of merchandise turnover risks along with Inventory Team.
  • Develop monthly OTB Inventory flow and purchase plans from Inventory planning and present further actions required.
  • Create Reporting and suggested action plans of all the key metrics, to review performance over key periods of Full Price, Markdown and Key Events in order to provide insightful actions required to deliver profitable sales.
  • Support the Senior Planner/DPM (Merchandising) on Portfolio Summaries and ATR Reporting.

Pre-Season Planning

  • Develop the annual sales budgets and forecasts for the area of responsibility, working closely with the buying and finance teams to gain alignment on sales, margin, and turnover targets.
  • Evaluate market and customer information together with historical data and forward trends forecast to develop assortment vision.
  • Review continuity content to ensure assortments are within aging standards; align with the inventory planning team and take action on product outside of guidelines to make the correct buying decisions.

Assortment Vision and Strategy

  • Analyze sales and inventory flow to determine specific category and product trends as well as consumer behaviors to build foundation for assortment and allocation strategies to create attractive offerings.
  • Make recommendations for pricing activity such as index opportunities/promotional markdowns or clearance.
  • Identify white space opportunities, assortment optimization initiatives, and growth opportunities.
  • Develop and provide buying counterparts with SKU/Class plans by channel that are-aligned with the merchandise strategy.

In-Season Assortment Management and Allocation

  • Continually reforecast with an 18-month view to adjust future forecasts by channel as trends evolve within season to highlight areas of opportunity or mitigate risk.
  • Collaborate with buying counterparts in the presentation of OTB strategy to leverage opportunities and/or plan for resolution of problems.
  • Analyze in-season product performance, focused on channel demand; class/category performance, style performance, and major marketing performance and make suggestive actions.
  • Provide strategic guidance to buyers and vendors on channel performance and assortment needs to influence future assortment plans.
  • Monitor and Identify sales and gross margin opportunities by channel and take appropriate action to maximize.
  • Conduct store visits regularly in all markets to review brand performance and competitor activities.

Education/Certification and Experience

  • A bachelor’s degree preferably in a relevant field such as Business, Finance or Supply Chain is a requirement.
  • Minimum of 5+ years’ merchandise planning experience within a multi-channel retail organization

Knowledge and Skills

  • Highly numerical, analytical and data driven with an ability to decipher highly complex reports and quantitative figures.
  • Strong financial modeling & analysis skills.
  • Advanced knowledge of excel and MS office and financial analysis and planning tools.
  • Commercially minded problem-solver with proven track-record of delivering financial targets.
  • Ability to build and maintain productive cross-functional relationships to deliver business results.
  • Ability to negotiate and influence effectively.
  • Strong stakeholder management, communication and presentation skills.
  • Knowledge of retail business.
  • Product and market knowledge relevant to the area of responsibility.
  • Leadership and interpersonal skills with the ability to lead, coach, motivate and develop junior team-members
  • Product / brand orientation with very good knowledge of fashion industry and benchmarks
  • Knowledge of merchandise planning, allocation, replenishment and financial planning systems, tools and reporting
  • Stakeholder management skills to build and maintain collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders and counterparts.
  • Communicate with candor and value open debate to ensure the best ideas come to life.
  • Commercial skills with the ability to identify opportunities and potential business risks.

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