The Merchandising Category Planning Manager is responsible for planning solutions and business analytics that will drive category performance and growth. He/ she is proactive and strategic in influencing SBU merchandising in Pre-buy Planning, Inventory Management, and Channel Management. He/ she provides actionable reporting and insightful commercial analysis focused on growing category business, driving gross profit and capturing customer demand.
Category Analysis and Strategies
- Establish trends, seasonal impacts, cannibalization and areas for growth unique to the category’s business
- Produces insightful analysis for the team and wider business to help dictate strategy going forward
- Works with Corporate planning in cascading category specific trend reports, and market and customer insights.
- Establishes best case practices for category with focus on validating cost to fill and improving buying assumptions.
Pre Buy Planning
- Compile and review post-season analysis of all brands under assigned category to understand changing nature of the business and commercial environment. Based on the post evaluation, he/she ensures that category growth potentials and missed opportunities are considered in the Buy plan.
- Reviews and approves OTB considering current trading position and future business goals for category and brands within it
- Formulates category specific Pre Buy Guidelines to drive buying assumptions of SBU Merchandising:
- Assortment Plan - number of SKUs, product purpose, pricing, color, sizing
- Allocation Plan – focus, growth and exit areas
- Inventory plan –volume driver, growth driver, obsolescence improvement, inventory turnover improvement
Monitoring and Control
- Monitor OTB and purchases for your category, assessing and recommending improvements to product mix to maximize sales, gross margin and inventory turn
- Monitor and establish patterns in pricing performance, margins and effect of promotions and discounting for category
- Monitor channel performance for category and recommend appropriate actions to grow category or brand
- Validate and vet store tiering for category
- Bachelors Degree in Business, Economics, Math, Engineering or any related course
- At least 5 years experience in Demand Planning or Merchandising. Experience in Multi brand Retail is an advantage
- Proficient in Microsoft Excel, experience in Demand Planning / Inventory Management systems is an advantage
- Strong communication skills with the ability to articulate complex ideas into easily understandable business terms and ability to influence all levels of management including senior roles
- Excellent analytical skills puts you top of the class and you love to work with numbers and figures
- A track record of creating positive business impact through actioning analysis
- Expert in handling large amounts of data and translating it to business insights
- Confidence in suggesting calculated risks
- Strategic thinking to contribute to short-term and long-term business strategies
- Comfortable with fast paced change and can motivate a team towards new directions
- Organizes and workload efficiently, ensuring deliverables accurate and on time