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
1. Establish trends, seasonal impacts, cannibalization and areas for growth unique to the category’s business
2. Produces insightful analysis for the team and wider business to help dictate strategy going forward
3. Works with Corporate planning in cascading category specific trend reports, and market and customer insights.
4. Establishes best case practices for category with focus on validating cost to fill and improving buying assumptions.
Pre Buy Planning
1. 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.
2. Reviews and approves OTB considering current trading position and future business goals for category and brands within it
3. Formulates category specific Pre Buy Guidelines to drive buying assumptions of SBU Merchandising:
o Assortment Plan - number of SKUs, product purpose, pricing, color, sizing
o Allocation Plan – focus, growth and exit areas
o Inventory plan –volume driver, growth driver, obsolescence improvement, inventory turnover improvement
Monitoring and Control
1. Monitor OTB and purchases for your category, assessing and recommending improvements to product mix to maximize sales, gross margin and inventory turn
2. Monitor and establish patterns in pricing performance, margins and effect of promotions and discounting for category
3. Monitor channel performance for category and recommend appropriate actions to grow category or brand
4. Validate and vet store tiering for category
1. Bachelors Degree in Business, Economics, Math, Engineering or any related course
2. At least 5 years experience in Demand Planning or Merchandising. Experience in Multi brand Retail is an advantage
3. Proficient in Microsoft Excel, experience in Demand Planning / Inventory Management systems is an advantage
1. 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
2. Excellent analytical skills puts you top of the class and you love to work with numbers and figures
3. A track record of creating positive business impact through actioning analysis
4. Expert in handling large amounts of data and translating it to business insights
5. Confidence in suggesting calculated risks
6. Strategic thinking to contribute to short-term and long-term business strategies
7. Comfortable with fast paced change and can motivate a team towards new directions
8. Organizes workload efficiently, ensuring deliverables accurate and on time