Category Planning Manager

Posted Date: Sep- 7-2021

Job ID: 20627

Job Type: Full Time

Job Function: Merchandising

City: Seattle

State: Washington

Store: Seattle HQ

Remote Eligible: Yes

Please visit the Covid-19 Hiring Updates before applying

What's cool about this job

The Category Planning Manager ensures alignment between financial and omni-channel plans and the product team’s assortment strategies.  This job contributes to REI’s success through leading the financial planning process by specialty department to ensure that annual/strategic KPI’s of sales, inventory management and profitability are successfully planned; with in-season risk properly identified, mitigated and opportunities maximized. Builds and supports strong relationships with product teams to influence effective business decision making. Manages and develops the financial and inventory management skill set of Forecast Analysts.  Ensures consistent execution of forecasting techniques and business management across staff. Works cross-divisionally to communicate current and future business trends.  Models and acts in accordance with REI’s guiding values and mission.


Lead the Business

  • Accountable for executing planning processes and optimizing timelines to support product purchasing.
    • Makes sound business decisions to drive optimal customer experience
    • Supports the integration of product/company strategies into financial plans
    • Accountable for the execution of Department OTB and decisions to support inventory KPI’s
    • Owns process and execution of Annual financial plans
    • Manages future year annual, seasonal and monthly planning KPIs
  • Develops annual class, department and specialty shop financial plans for monthly sales, turn, margin and receipt flow based on corporate to specialty shop strategic objectives, market/industry trends and class and vendor opportunities.
  • Accountable for validation of Tops-down and Bottom-Up plans through the reconciliation processes and setting standards for in season execution of best practices.
  • Drives in season planning management, synthesize common trends across categories, identify risk and opportunities and collaborate with Dir of Planning/GMM to identify opportunities with risk/reward scenarios.

Lead the Team

  • Challenges and inspires employees to achieve business results.
  • Co-leads the team with CMM/Buyer support and makes effective staffing decisions.
  • Manages and develops Forecast Analysts skill sets.
  • Provides coaching, direction and leadership support to employees directly/indirectly managed to achieve department/company/customer results.
  • Identifies and communicates key expectations to ensure the team demonstrates successful attitude, confidence in leadership, and teamwork to achieve business results.
  • Collaborates with the Product teams to execute strategic business plans.
  • Effectively communicate at any level throughout the organization and be comfortable influencing leaders that are inside/outside the planning organization.
  • Demonstrate the ability to lead the team through change and effectively communicate department vision
  • Supports the education, communication and awareness of planning across the organization.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use professional judgement when making decisions.

Bring your passion and expertise

  • 5 + years of Merchandising planning experience
  • 2+ years of management experience or demonstration of management skills
  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred
  • Strong understanding of merchandising KPIs.
  • Planning experience which includes line of business understanding (retail planning, online planning, Private Brand planning) preferred.
  • Advanced knowledge of cost accounting preferred.
  • Lifecycle Item Management and Assortment Planning experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to drive curiosity, project trends and articulate risks and opportunities and problem solve.
  • Ability to apply strategic mindset to develop and translate high-level plans into detailed actions.
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple priorities.
  • Builds capacity of individuals and teams through effective employee, training, development, involvement, communication, and supervision efforts.
  • Demonstrated ability to mentor and lead a team through leadership maturity and by creating strong, mutually supportive work spirit and culture where people can do their best.
  • Makes effective organization and people decisions in a manner consistent with REI's values and ethics.
  • Delivers on commitments and holds self and others accountable to same.
  • Champions change within the organization and advocates solutions in the overall Company's best interest.
  • Uses business knowledge, innovative thinking, and sound judgment in the solution of problems or the pursuit of business opportunities.
  • Consolidates information from various sources including feedback from others to reach sound decisions.
  • Considers the ultimate impact of decisions and actions on internal and external customers.
  • Effectively plans and executes changes.
  • Ability to travel to retail conferences as needed preferred.

At REI we offer an enviable work environment that Fortune Magazine has recognized on the "100 Best Places to Work" list since the award's inception – 23 years in a row! Sure, we work hard, but it’s balanced with time off to play—a strategy that works for us as we continue to grow and thrive. Want to enjoy a workplace where you can be yourself, be heard and be respected while having a job that challenges you? This is the place.

With more than 160 retail locations (and growing), REI offers unique competitive benefits to its more than 15,000 employees, including healthcare, gear and apparel discounts, free equipment rentals and challenge grants to help employees reach personal outdoor goals, generous retirement plan contributions, public transit subsidy, adoptions assistance, paid sabbaticals, and more.

REI is an Equal Opportunity Employer

ARTICLE 23-A, Section 753

§753. Factors to be considered concerning a previous criminal conviction; presumption.

1. In making a determination pursuant to section seven hundred fifty-two of this chapter, the public agency or private employer shall consider the following factors:

(a) The public policy of this state, as expressed in this act, to encourage the licensure and employment of persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses.

(b) The specific duties and responsibilities necessarily related to the license or employment sought or held by the person.

(c) The bearing, if any, the criminal offense or offenses for which the person was previously convicted will have on his fitness or ability to perform one or more such duties or responsibilities.

(d) The time which has elapsed since the occurrence of the criminal offense or offenses.

(e) The age of the person at the time of occurrence of the criminal offense or offenses.

(f) The seriousness of the offense or offenses.

(g) Any information produced by the person, or produced on his behalf, in regard to his rehabilitation and good conduct.

(h) The legitimate interest of the public agency or private employer in protecting property, and the safety and welfare of specific individuals or the general public.

2. In making a determination pursuant to section seven hundred fifty-two of this chapter, the public agency or private employer shall also give consideration to a certificate of relief from disabilities or a certificate of good conduct issued to the applicant, which certificate shall create a presumption of rehabilitation in regard to the offense or offenses specified therein.