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.

What responsibilities are common for Merchandise Planner jobs?
  • 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.
What are the typical qualifications for Merchandise Planner jobs?
  • 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.
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.5 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Merchandise Planner make near United States?

$91,542 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
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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.

Merchandise Planner

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Merchandise Planner Insights

Read what Merchandise Planner professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Talavera Group Of Companies
Senior Merchandise Planner
Jun 21, 2023

“Their Fast phase career development is the best way to learn the main core of retailers.”

Ross StoresRoss Stores
Merchandise Planner
Sep 14, 2021

“Good good good good good”

Abercrombie & FitchAbercrombie & Fitch
Merchandise Planner
Dec 29, 2021

“Salary isn't the best outside of Planners and Merchants.”

Anteprima (Italy)Anteprima (Italy)
Merchandise Planner
Aug 1, 2021

“good for long term career development”

Merchandise Planner
Nov 21, 2023

“Great people to work with”

Merchandising Planner
Jul 19, 2022

“Decent pay for what you do”

Family Dollar StoresFamily Dollar Stores
Merchandise Planner
Aug 12, 2021

“Great people to work with”

The Children's PlaceThe Children's Place
Merchandise Planner
Sep 8, 2021

“Nice people to work with”

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Merchandise Planner Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Merchandise Planner

The most similar professions to Merchandise Planner are:
  • Visual Merchandiser
  • Visual Manager
  • Merchandise Manager
  • Merchandiser

Related Careers

Visual Merchandiser
No skills overlap
Visual Manager
No skills overlap
Merchandise Manager
No skills overlap
No skills overlap

Merchandise Planner Jobs