Merchandising is at the center of a broad, cross-functional team that pulls together professionals from inventory management, marketing, customer experience and finance, to name a few. Their goal is to exceed our customers’ expectations and increase profitability and shareholder value while competing in a dynamic retail environment. As a Buyer Apprentice, you will be accountable for projects that have a meaningful impact to your business unit while working closely with an experienced Buyer for 6 months of training. In addition to learning the Assistant Buyer role you will assist your team with developing product assortments that impact the in-store and/or on-line channels. You will be exposed to vendor negotiations, advertising and promotional planning, inventory turnover, executing sales and gross margin through financial analysis, and identifying creative solutions to impact the bottom line. The training program provides structured opportunities for formal classroom training; self paced learning and field trips to enhance your experience
Buyer Apprentice Program participation (Begins Feb 2014)
Actively participates in all learning opportunities scheduled to learn the merchandising role. This includes training classes, guest speakers, team meetings, field trips, and various assignments/projects.
Documents category level activities around the buying life cycle to demonstrate competence in each area of responsibility.
Financial Planning and Forecasting
Generates weekly financial reports to analyze item performance versus last year and competitors. Provides recommendations to the buyer for forecast estimates.
Provides input and participates in the business and line review meetings to evaluate sales, markdowns, receipts and best/worst sellers.
Product Selection and Assortment Planning
Actively maintains awareness of products, customer preferences, competitors to keep current on ways to better service customer in assigned categories.
Based on category, may manage item set up process. Liaison between Inventory Management and Vendors on accuracy of items and details.
Responds to store inquiries for merchandise by researching planograms, inventory allotments, store demographics, sales performance, etc. Recommends appropriate solutions and executes upon buyer approval.
Monitors and maintains promotional performance and provides recommendations to Associate Buyers/Buyers based on analyzing and interpreting sales trends, reporting promotions by sales, gross margin by product/category and store to assist in future strategy and driving improved performance.
Analyzes advertising results to assist in future planning.
Inventory Productivity Management
Establishes collaborative relationships with Inventory Management to ensure availability and the timely delivery of merchandise.
Participates in the process of building and maintaining relationships with vendors and interacts with the vendor community while adhering to the company standards and codes of ethics.
Responsible for ad hoc projects that support merchandising strategic initiatives.
Provide analysis and feedback on current business and/or process improvements to various levels of management including: SVP, Merchandising, VP of Merchant Operations, Divisional Merchandise Manager, and Buyer.
Perform other duties as assigned.
Demonstrated leadership abilities and dedication to customer service
Strong analytical, problem solving, and business finance (retail math) skills
Highly organized with an impeccable skill to follow-through and follow-up
Highly effective written and verbal communication skills
Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment; can balance multiple priorities
High focus on details to drive execution
Highly creative, thinks out of the box with a an innovative mind-set
Strong PC skills, Windows-based programs, particularly Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint
Permanent Employment Authorization/U.S. Citizen