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Merchandise Planner

Country : USA USA

State : Ohio

County : Franklin County

Town : Reynoldsburg

Category : Logistics

Contract type : Permanent

Availability : Full time

Job description

The Merchandise Planner serves as the business manager for a book of business (collection of sub-brands or classes of merchandise) and is primarily responsible for translating the Merchants' vision into viable plans and profitable results. The merchandise Planner is responsible for developing and maintaining sales, inventory and margin plans that tie to financial targets for an assigned Sub-Brand/Category. Plans will begin at the Sub-Brand/Category level and will drive to choice-level (Style/Color or Fragrance) plans, creating targeted assortments by cluster (group of stores with similar selling characteristics). In partnership with the Merchant, the Planner drives to additional value through optimizing the assortment for these clusters, which may include multiple channels of distribution (Stores, Internet, Catalogue, Wholesale). In collaboration with the Demand/Event Planner, the Merchandise Planner generates demand plans which incorporate statistically-based forecasts, merchandise plans and business knowledge. Demand plans provide the basis for future merchandise plans, as well as a forward-looking expectation of sales to inform the distribution process. The Merchandise Planner reports to the Manager, Merchandise Planning & Allocation.
Principle Responsibilities:
- Build/refine a class/sub-class plan based on guidance from Category and Attribute plans created by Strategic Planning - the class/sub-brand plan is a weekly dollar and unit merchandise plan by class, sub-brand and potentially subclass. It may be broken out by Channel (stores, web, catalog, wholesale), Division and/or store format (core, flagship, etc) for one Season
- Partner with Merchants to create and maintain a seasonal theme-based assortment list and volume targets by store grouping (format, cluster, etc)
- Develop assortment plans for sales, margin and inventory to the style/choice level by store groupings (cluster/format, etc) in support of productivity and financial targets
o Use demand forecast, "pattern after" items, targets from attribute and category plans, test results and historical trends
o Incorporate impact of events and entrance/exit strategies
o Propose initial and promotional pricing by item
- Participate in consensus planning with demand planner; collaborate to drive to "one number" sales plan with recommendations for events, based on class plan and forecast
- Communicate merchandise plans to other functional groups as follows:
o Logistics for their review from a capacity standpoint. Information gained is then reconciled with the plan; issues reviewed and discussed together
o Finance to inform their rolling business plan; together review and discuss any related issues
o Stores to inform their labor estimates
o Compliance to inform of possible categories for new product quality, testing and regulatory considerations
o Customer Marketing to give strategic direction for the development/refinement of their seasonal campaign plans
- Support the Sales & Operations Planning process by assisting in the preparation of materials for purposes of evaluating and resolving supply/demand imbalances
- Identify test candidates that fit with merchandise strategy
- Analyze and reflect current trends in performance of strategy based on actual sales performance; revise in-season plans for sales and profitability, control inventory levels
- Partner with Merchant to develop and propose tactics in response to current business trends
o Manage and execute promotional and liquidation strategy
o Manage the assortment to approved inventory targets
o Communicate revisions both within the team and cross functionally
o Work with Demand Planner to formulate alternate event options
o Actively manage inventory levels pulling up, pushing back or cancelling orders; and by working with Inventory Deployment to recommend reorders
- Analyze performance for area of responsibility relative to performance of plan and trend for both period and season sales, margin and inventory
- Prepare recommendations and alternatives for key financial meetings/decisions in order to maximize sales and margin and optimize inventory productivity, in partnership with Merchant. Participate in meetings as appropriate
- Perform trade-off analysis on impact of new items to the assortment identified at a sub-brand level and provide financial planning recommendations
Integration Points
- Partner with Strategic Planning to inform, reconcile and revise financial targets based on the category and attribute plans
- Participate in consensus planning with demand planners; collaborate to drive to "one number" plan and recommendations for event modeling
- Partner with Merchant, Demand Planner, Finance, Customer Marketing, Executive Committee to make informed decisions on promotional events and season planning
- Partner with Demand Planning, Merchants, Commercialization and Customer Marketing on exit strategies, new item launches and collections; provide recommendations in response to financial targets
- Partner with Inventory Deployment Planning to establish and implement short- and long-term inventory management objectives and review order quantities
- Assist Merchandising, Logistics and Production to optimize flow of goods from suppliers to warehouses, distribution agents and fulfillment centers. Work with demand planning to improve reliability through demand plan accuracy
- Integrate with Space Planning to represent the opportunities and constraints that the physical environment creates at store level, monitor results from tests, launches and edits
- Perform analysis and provide recommendations for Sales & Operations Planning Forum


- 3-7 years of retail demand planning experience, inventory management, allocation or replenishment experience, financial planning or financial analysis experience (More complex books of business require greater experience - 5-7; less complex - 3-5)
- Merchant or merchandising experience a plus
- Assortment/attribute planning experience
- Strong problem-solving and analytical skills; strong aptitude with numbers; retail math skills
- Ability to advance to high levels of computer literacy; exposure to relevant planning, finance, analytical, data management systems - systems used: JDA Enterprise Software's Enterprise Planning suite
- Identifies/influences critical stakeholders - proactively problem solves and recommends solutions
- Strong communication and presentation skills: concisely presents complex information/recommendations in terms meaningful to various audiences
- Optimization Mindset - designs and develops models/plans to optimize decisions
- Builds collaborative partnerships cross-functionally; identifies/influences critical stakeholders
- Ability to articulate detailed action plans to successfully accomplish goal
- Understands and executes against business strategy and goals
- Makes decisions with limited information but also able to synthesize large quantities of data to drive business decisions
- Bachelor's degree in finance, operations, economics, business, statistics

An equal opportunity employer, we do not discriminate in hiring or terms and conditions of employment because of an individual's race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status or any other protected category recognized by state, federal or local laws. We only hire individuals authorized for employment in the United States.
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