Associate Merchandise Planner
About Our Company:
For over 25 years, Lids has been the largest licensed sports retailer in North America, selling fan and fashion-oriented headwear and apparel across the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australia. Our retail stores offer officially licensed headwear and apparel from collegiate and professional sports teams, plus top brands like Nike, New Era, Adidas, and Mitchell & Ness. We currently operate 1,300+ locations domestically and 60+ internationally, including specialty concept stores for the NBA, NHL, Paris Saint-Germain, and numerous MLB teams. In recent years, Lids has built partnerships with iconic global brands including Marvel, Playboy, and the Harlem Globetrotters, and gained ambassadors like Justin Jefferson, Quavo, and Josephine Skriver – creating a community for both sports fans and fashion lovers. We are currently expanding with the goal of becoming the largest licensed brick-and-mortar sports retailer across the globe.
If you have a passion for sports, enjoy a fast paced environment and ever-changing fashion trends, then perhaps this is the place for you. We’re always looking for our next big playmaker, so if you’re ready to lend your expertise to a like-minded company that’s exciting, fun and shares your passions, we want to hear from you.
General Position Summary:
The Associate Merchandise Planner is responsible for building financial sales, gross margin, and inventory plans for both pre-season and in-season time periods. Partner with Buying & Merchandising group to create & deliver local assortment strategies maximizing sales and profits. Responsible for the successful development, execution and communication of financial and inventory plans. Provide analytics and support to the Merchandising organization as well as Executive updates on business performance.
Principle Duties and Responsibilities:
- Coordinate the development of annual, seasonal, monthly & weekly merchandise plans.
- Construct merchandise purchase schedules; initial product deliveries and in-season merchandise flow.
- Manage monthly department level open to buy activities.
- Provide expert analysis on trends and recommendation to influence cancellations, future purchases, and assortment strategies.
- Analyze historic performance to identify areas of opportunity or risk.
- Prepare preseason promotional and markdown strategy through partnership with buyer and merchandising.
- Develop, maintain, and update set of tools & reports to support the needs of the business.
- Establish appropriate process & tools to review product assortments; providing data & analysis to support decision making.
- Maintain business processes and serve as subject matter expert for process improvements.
Additional Principle Duties and Responsibilities:
- Partner with allocation & supply chain teams to implement consistent and profitable in-season replenishment strategies and practices.
- Develop enterprise wide risk mitigation plans and execute when appropriate.
- Test multiple business strategies simultaneously, quantifying & communicating business impacts.
- Manage sku intensive businesses.
- Manage location intensive assortments.
- Deliver local, regionally relevant assortments and business solutions.
- Manage multiple channels & banners that Lids Sports Group operates under.
- Communicate effectively, and at times persuasively, with employees at all levels of the company.
- Support and adhere to all company policies, procedures, and guidelines.
Job Required Knowledge and Skills:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Finance, Marketing, Fashion Merchandising or a related field.
- 3-5 years merchandising, planning, buying, or equivalent experience preferred.
- Strong understanding of retail math and measure used in financial reporting.
- Proven ability to perform independently with minimal supervision.
- Ability to operate a computer and maneuver relative software programs.
- Analytic Skills: Ability to think objectively and interpret meaningful themes from quantitative and qualitative data.
- Financial and Business Acumen: Ability to evaluate financial and business indicators and translate data into actionable information to drive results.
- Problem Solving & Decision Quality: Able to use rigorous logic and methods to solve problems with effective solutions.
Preferred Job Knowledge and Skills:
- Relationship Management: Able to build constructive and effective relationships with a broad and diverse group of business partners, both internally & externally.
- Dealing with Paradox: Ability to balance conflicting & competing priorities. Delivering a set of options, detailing impacts for each while driving to a single recommendation.
- Presentation Skills: Effective in a variety of presentation settings including one-on-one, small and large groups, and with peers and Executives.
- Influencing and Negotiation: Can present ideas and directions that lead others to action.
- Planning and Priority Setting: Demonstrate an ability to set objectives and goals and organize work appropriately to meet and exceed goals.
- Process Management: Can identify and articulate the processes necessary to get things down efficiently and align resources effectively complete activities.
- Systems and Tools Acumen: Advanced capabilities in Microsoft Excel, Proficiency in Microsoft Access, Powerpoint and Word. Must also have aptitude to learn technical applications quickly.
- Risk Management: Anticipate risks and identifies contingency plans and processes to prevent disruptions when risks occur.
- Senior Merchandise Planner