Associate Merchandise Planner (Home & Party Accessories) - Hybrid

Hoffman Estates, IL, USA
Posted 3 days ago
Full timeRetail

The Associate Planner is responsible for assisting the Global Planner in the purchasing, intake and distribution of merchandise internationally in order to maximize sales and margin within the assigned departments of responsibility.

Working closely with the Planner and the Buying team, the core areas of responsibility are as follows:

  • Trading and Planning
  • Weekly Recaps & Analysis
  • Monthly / Seasonal Recaps & Analysis
  • Relationship with Team and Management

The Associate Planner must ensure that they deliver on their projects in a timely manner, working with tight deadlines and delivering an outstanding service by communicating and liaising with key areas of the business, analyzing information and challenging decisions when necessary.


  • Input into pre-season assortment plan with guidance from Merchandiser and participate in department pre-season planning meetings
  • Be fully aware of what OTB is available at all times, ensuring receipts are accurate on Arthur, highlighting to the Buyer the spend available for the assigned department
  • Raise all orders/enquiries with the suppliers, identifying opportunities to negotiate on cost to maximize profit margin. Where necessary, seek alternative quotations to obtain the best price.
  • Take ownership of merchandise plans and OTB. Manage sales, inventory and promotional performance to drive departmental sales more efficiently. Communicate receipt needs with Buyer and address any sales and inventory concerns with management
  • Participate in monthly plan reviews with senior management. Lead preparations for the meeting and prepare relevant recaps for areas of responsibility
  • Partner with Buyer and Planner in development and maintenance of Assortment Plans and any analysis required to build the assortment
  • Review weekly sales performance at a Division/Country/Department/Class/Sku level within the assigned area of responsibility.
  • Produce and assist with any departmental, divisional or company reports in preparation for weekly business reviews
  • Partner with Planner and Buyer to develop and propose business strategies and actions in response to weekly/monthly/seasonal sales and margin analysis
  • Review all replenishment; ensuring orders are aligned to forecasted sales, OTB, margin and airfreight targets. Ensure costs are negotiated to maximize profit. Review with Planner and assist/oversee Allocation Analyst with entry and execution of replenishment orders
  • Partner with Allocation Analysts to help identify allocation needs based on review of detailed stock and sales data. Be aware of any exceptions that require attention and report any issues to Planner
  • Manage receipts, ensuring that all orders are delivered on time and applying charges where applicable and updating systems accordingly.
  • Attend and actively participate in weekly department & division team meetings, where Buying and Planning review sales and stocks from the previous week and compare performance to the original departmental strategy, resulting in suggested future product development, reorders, cancellations and reflowing receipts
  • Support the Global Merchandiser in selecting lines for markdown and forecasting costs accordingly
  • Communicate any promotions to Retail and Analytics Team for actioning.
  • Execute systemic events for permanent markdowns and promotions
  • Conduct store visits to obtain direct feedback relating to individual products and stock levels and highlight any changes to allocation team to enhance sales at store and company level
  • Build and maintain effective working relationship with key partners across the business, with particular emphasis on the Buying, Retail, Branch Merchandising, Allocation and Analytics and Logistics teams


  • Bachelor's degree required in retail, merchandising or related field
  • Minimum 3 years planning experience within a fast paced, corporate retailer
  • Strong math and analytical skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Intermediate proficiency or above in Microsoft Excel
  • Store/Retail experience a plus

Claire's is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and we encourage applications from members of all underrepresented groups, including those with disabilities. We will accommodate applicants' needs, upon request, throughout all stages of the recruitment process. Please inform us of the accommodation(s) that you may require.

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