What does a Merchandise Planner do?
Merchandise planners work in retail establishments and restock shelves with new products based upon customer demand. They monitor sales, identify customer trends, predict customer demand, order merchandise, and analyze sales reports. Merchandise planners also bring in new products for customers’ anticipated needs and serve as liaisons between customers and marketing and buying departments. They ensure that what the customer wants is available at the store.
Merchandise planners track how existing product lines sell to decide the next steps, including dropping a line or expanding it. They create a detailed analysis of sales records and customer service reports, which help determine if internal factors might influence sales performance. They search for internal influences including insufficient employee knowledge or inflated price points and work with sales managers and marketing departments to repair the missteps to reach the store’s ultimate goals. Merchandise planners need a bachelor's degree in design, business, or marketing.
- Serve as a business partner to the buyers and others to analyze, plan, forecast, and evaluate financial data to support and implement profitable merchandise strategies.
- Develop seasonal merchandise plans with team to maximize opportunities and minimize risk.
- Forecast and validate projections to ensure sales, gross margin and inventory objectives are being met.
- Manage inventory flow of goods to support sales and product turn for a portion of a product category as assigned.
- Analyze and maintain individual store inventory levels to maximize sales and profits, while working closely with teammates to coordinate the flow of information in a timely manner to deliver product against deadline.
- Collaborate with merchant and planning partners to develop yearly sales, margin and product turn plans and recommend divisional and departmental sales growth to drive business strategies.
- Work with inventory team to ensure healthy balance of inventory.
- Maintain in-season product plans and forecast. Collaborate with team to execute top-down and bottom-up roles of individual SKUs and styles.
- Build a collaborative team relationship with merchant and pricing counterparts.
- Bachelor's or Graduate's Degree in business or business administration or equivalent experience.
- Experience with enterprise resource planning, creative thinking, and deep learning.
- Demonstrated skill at negotiation and collaboration.
- Strict attention to detail and is a quick learner.
- Can handle situations with an eye on continuous improvement and a positive attitude.
- Demonstrated confidence and composure on the job.
- Experience with remodels, sizing, and trends.
How much does a Merchandise Planner make near United States?
Merchandise Planner Career Path
Learn how to become a Merchandise Planner, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Years of Experience Distribution
Merchandise Planner Insights
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Merchandise Planner Interviews
Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Merchandise Planner
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