Merchandise Planner Careers

Interested in a career as a Merchandise Planner? The primary role or job function of a Merchandise Planner is to work in collaboration with buyers to develop sales forecasts, inventory plans, and spending budgets for merchandising. Tasks may include: executing merchandise allocations while incorporating seasonal strategies; meeting weekly allocation shipment targets; analyzing sales, demographics and market trends; monitoring store inventory levels, store capacity, sell-through rates, buying quantities, and product content; resolving store and distribution center inquiries regarding allocation and inventory, and much more.

 

MERCHANDISE PLANNER EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS:

A bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising, retail management or business is generally required along with 2-5 years experience in the fashion retail sector.

 

MERCHANDISE PLANNER SAMPLE JOB DESCRIPTION

JOB DESCRIPTION: Develop, execute and communicate merchandise financial plans and strategies that support the company’s overall merchandising objectives for a specific category of merchandise.

PRIMARY DUTIES

  • Create and maintain strategic financial plans tied to merchandising strategies
  • Responsible for planning sales, inventory, markdowns and margins at a department/ class and/or program level
  • Pre-season topside merchandise planning at a department/class level/style-color level, as well as in-season planning adjusting forecasts to trend.
  • Responsible for building pre-season class plans at the price type (regular and markdown) and weekly level
  • Analysis of business around risk and opportunities at division, class and/or program level
  • Quantify in-season risks and opportunities and making the appropriate recommendations to merchant teams and management
  • Partner with management, merchants and allocation in order to strategically move business toward increasing profit
  • Communicate monthly Open-to-Buy forecasts & supporting action plans as well as presentation of this data to Management and Cross Functional teams
  • Recap and analyze actual sales results to plan and forecast in-season sales and inventories on a weekly, monthly, quarterly basis and ad hoc basis
  • Manage the financial success of the department by meeting sales, merchandise margin, gross margin return on investment (GMROI) and inventory goals; analyze historical data and current trends to identify risks and opportunities
  • Work with merchants and allocation to determine and manage exit strategies recommending items for clearance and controlling aged inventory
  • Develop and maintain effective working relationships with Cross Functional team members; i.e., Merchandising, Product Development, Store Operations, Visual and Finance
  • Performs other related duties as assigned

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Minimum of 2-3 years experience in inventory management and overseeing planning at an item level within a large specialty retailer (300+ stores)
  • Bachelor’s Degree in a related field
  • Demonstrated logical analysis and problem solving skills
  • Solid understanding of financial measurements including: sales, gross margin, GMROI, inventory turn, weeks of supply and how to impact them
  • Flexible and adaptive to changing priorities; ability to organize and prioritize workload to meet deadlines
  • Ability to build and maintain productive relationships with peers and cross-functional teams
  • Ability or aptitude to learn technical applications quickly; must be proficient with Microsoft Excel