The Director, Merchandise Planning, is responsible for driving and managing merchandise and financial plans and inventory optimization across all channels. This position will drive the strategic framework supporting forecasting sales, promotions, markdowns, receipt flow, and inventory levels regularly and identify risks to the business and develop strategies and action plans in cooperation with merchandising, sourcing, domestic and global cross-functional partners to mitigate risks and maximize profitably.
Build and execute long-term and financially sound assortment plans and growth strategies in partnership with divisional merchandising managers.
Liaise with marketing, stores, and eCommerce to create and execute brand-wide merchandise promotional strategy to drive sales while maximizing gross margin.
Lead cross-functionally to create consistency and strong operational processes across all merchandising functions to manage critical deadlines and product lead times.
Present and give executive-level recommendations to President, Head of Finance, and the Leadership team on business results and strategy
Work closely with cross-functional leaders and business partners on the process, systems, sourcing, supply chain, etc. as needed to drive efficiencies and effective inventory management.
Develop, execute, and communicate pre-season and in-season financial plans, merchandise plans, and strategies to support the merchandising, marketing, and financial objectives.
Develop strategies, create a framework to lead the merchandise planning team to maximize revenue, gross margin, inventory turn goals, and EBIT across stores and eCommerce.
Responsible for strategic ownership of multi-channel allocation effectiveness, as well as improvements in-store performance and productivity.
Guide team in the analysis of monthly open to buy and financial sales, in-season product performance reviews, and brand monthly business reviews.
Accountable to and manage item planning and forecasting for ordering, receipt flow, allocation, and other cross-functional needs, including key item management and reaction to business trends and risk assessment.
Lead and develop the team to utilize historical data and current trends, capitalize on new opportunities and identify risks
Inspire, coach, develop and manage the demand planning and allocation teams, empower decision-making, and foster professional development.
Strong quantitative and qualitative analytic skills.
Able to work in a dynamic environment and quickly shift between various tasks and responsibilities.
Strong communication skills, both verbal and written.
Pro-active and adept at anticipating and trouble-shooting problems.
Proficient spreadsheet and computer skills working in Excel, Access, and ideally SAP (or comparable system).
Strong background in forecasting, sales planning, retail, and production planning desired.
Able to develop and guide the company’s collections in terms of forecasting, production, and inventory management.
Strong people manager able to provide guidance and support to develop a high functioning team.
Comfortable presenting to and interacting with key executives of the company.
Strong Team Player able to gain and foster cross-functional support for forecast and inventory accuracy and who can work to achieve the overall goals of the company.
Education: MBA a plus, not required
Experience: 10-15 years+ experience in Merchandising Planning in Retail/Wholesale/E-Commerce environment
Technical skills: Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint, SAP a plus.
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