The Merchandise Planner develops, executes and communicates strategic merchandise financial plans that support the company’s financial, product, and marketing objectives; responsible for driving top line financial plans for a book of business from a category to class/season level; strategically managing the business in order to maximize sales and margin, and optimizing inventory; develops and contributes to the development of company initiatives and ensures that all planning activities support annual goals. Principal Duties & Responsibilities:Strategic Financial Plans
Weekly Business Management
- At a category/class/season level develop sales, gross margin and inventory plans that support the categories and company’s financial goals. Alignment with merchants to ensure product assortment meet the financial goals.
- Use historical data, current trends and strategy to identify risk and opportunity to achieve financial goals
- Create, maintain and communicate assumptions used to in creating the plan architecture
Strategic Monthly Forecast Review
- Identify opportunities and risks relative to sales, margin, and inventory productivity; develop action plans to address issues and opportunities
- Manage the markdown process and collaborate with cross-functional partners to ensure that markdowns fit within the financial plan; identify Markdown risks and recommend strategies to limit liabilities.
- Develop ad hoc projections that simulate different business decisions
- Review forecasts with a focus on maximizing profit, optimizing inventory, and managing risk across divisions. Incorporate marketing, markdown, and inventory management plans to exploit business prospects.
- Review and meet with merchant team to align on all financial revisions
- Work collaboratively with cross-functional partners to ensure alignment to monthly changes
- Communicate clearly and effectively updates and action plans
- Create pre-season category plans to support the development of the assortment
- Review historical data at cluster, category and key item level to understand prior performance
- Set sales, margin, flow, and IMU goals prior to the planning of each delivery; reconcile tops down and bottom up forecasts prior to the passing of receipts to the merchant organization
- Participate in buy review with merchants, planners and allocators to ensure appropriate breadth and depth and flawless execution. Collaborate with lead merchants to ensure that plans support product goals.
- Lead and facilitate buy finalization meeting with merchant; review pre-season plans that support new assortment; identify risks and opportunities relative to product, flow, and presentation
- Gain consensus on assortment and plans from management; manage the locking process for seasonal plans; forecast seasonal and source plans to validate key metrics
- Partner with merchandising and other cross-functional teams to achieve financial goals through active management of the business
- Be proactive in identifying risk and opportunities in a timely manner; develop action plans to limit risk and capitalize on opportunities
- Other duties as assigned.
Office work environment, 40+ work hours per week Minimum Requirements: Education:
Bachelor’s Degree from a four-year college or university preferred; advanced degree a plusExperience:
four or more years of related experience in an analyst or planner role. This should include prior experience in the retail industry.Job Related Skills
: Well-developed written and verbal communication skills including the ability to present complex material in an
organized and compelling manner; ability to influence and negotiate at a variety of levels; strong problem-solving and decision-making
skill set.Computer Skills
: Well-versed in planning systems as well as advanced Microsoft Windows applications; strong knowledge of financial
theory is required. Experience with SAS and Micro Strategy preferred.