Merchandising Planning Manager

Role Title:
Merchandising Planning Manager
Needham, MA
Job Advert Description

This role will be accountable to drive profitable sales for the region; management of sales & inventory activities by setting SKU sales targets, maintaining a bottoms-up open-to-buy plan, monitoring inventory aging and quality, and providing stock productivity analysis. Create and analyze forecasts across the region. Provide robust reporting to all levels of the organization.

What You'll Do:

  1. Work cross functionally with other departments within the organization in order to optimize buy targets, sku optimization, as well as time phased category plans.  Work closely with Inventory planning and Merchant/Product teams. Monitoring OTB flow for current buying season and an extended 18 month strategic open to buy plan for future product seasons.
  2. Manage in-season inventory activities, forecasting to a roll forward projection, and making adjustments based on the agreed top down plan. Maintain communication with Inventory team on outputs, by creating and updating ad hoc reporting, monitoring results. Support the markdown and closeout process.
  3. Manage the markdown in season and closeout/end of life process.
  4. Produce style count and SKU productivity targets to govern the range selection activity for the Region. Monitor performance against these targets and make recommendations to the Merchant team to improve results.
  5. Create and update inventory productivity analysis including stock aging, pareto, velocity, flow optimization, and seasonal mix.
  6. Prepare for monthly open-to-buy review meetings with Merchandising and Finance teams.
  7. Planning/Allocation groups. Review current position against the top-down plan; identify risks and opportunities for optimization.
  8. Provide analysis on an as needed basis. This may include assortment analysis by distribution grade/cluster; productivity and profitability by category; markdown cadence optimization; stockouts and service levels, etc. 
  9. Responsible for working with Merchant team to create buy targets by channel.  Breaking the future plans to lower classification levels in order to improve forecast accuracy.  Timephasing these category plans in order to improve cash flow and deliver products on time to maximize sales.
  10. Responsible for developing and providing standard weekly and monthly reports and evaluating performance versus agreed upon KPIs.

Who You Are: 

  • Experience in footwear retail merchandise planning, buying, allocation, demand and supply planning
  • Knowledge of different business operating models – Retail, Franchise, Factory, Ecommerce, Wholesale
  • Experience in key distribution channels –retail and digital
  • Finance – Management Accounts – Budgets, Forecasts, Sales, Margin, Margin %
  • Supply Chain – Merchandise metrics and Supply Chain logistics
  • Merchandise planning, budgeting and forecasting
  • Organizational skills
  • Practical understanding of financial, range, space and demand planning processes
  • Practical understanding of trading and marketing planning processes
  • Ability to analyze trends and use that information to effectively plan and forecast
  • Strong analytical and verbal skills
  • Strong computer skills including the following tools:
    • Data warehouse/data mart query and report development tools
    • Advance Microsoft Excel (if statements, linking, pivot tables, etc.)
    • Microsoft Access or other database tools
    • Planning Software (MID, Arthur, NSB/STS/MMS, I2, Retek, Evant, etc.)


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