Merchandising Buyer

Posted Date: Oct-19-2021

Job ID: 21811

Job Type: Full Time

Job Function: Merchandising

City: Seattle

State: Washington

Store: Seattle HQ

Remote Eligible: No

Please visit the Covid-19 Hiring Updates before applying

What's cool about this job

REI is committed to becoming a fully inclusive, antiracistmulticultural organization. To fulfill our brand promise of enablina life well-lived outside for everyone, we are seeking candidates who demonstrate shared values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism. 

The Merchandising Buyer is accountable for the financial performance and operational management of their assigned category. With guidance from the Category Merchandising Manager (CMM), they contribute to REI’s success by developing business plans and driving sales, turn, margin and in-stock goals. Responsible for end-to-end product lifecycle management including assortment design, promotional product selection and contribution to Retail and Marketing storytelling. Manages work flow internally through partnering with vendors, planning, replenishment and collaborating with cross-divisional partners. Responsible for style plan management, and partnering with Merchandising Product Specialist to coordinate product data creation and maintenance. Builds and maintains excellent relationships between vendors and REI in order to achieve mutual goals of sales and profitability. Models and acts in accordance with REI’s guiding values and mission.

Assortment and Product Planning

• Create assortment strategies and partner with Category Planning Manager to develop initial sales forecast for product category based on corporate and specialty shop strategic objectives; financial, market and industry trends; item and vendor performance (sales, margin, markdowns, quality and in-stocks).
• Build compelling assortments that meet the needs of our target customers by considering product attributes, intended end use, activity levels, pricing ladder, REI Brand Frame and market trends.
• Reconcile style plan and Marketing continuities with financial and space plan at class and departmental level.
• Set retail prices in accordance with market needs as well as corporate and vendor policies.
• Review and resolve in-season assortment requests.
• Work with Visual Merchandising on product presentation issues and opportunities.
• Communicate final assortment and department direction to other stakeholders within the company, such as the departmental teams, Marketing, Visual Merchandising, Digital and Retail. Include information about cost, terms, price, distribution and marketing as needed. Coordinate and disseminate product information to Marketing through product review process and to Retail through appropriate communication processes.

Vendor Relationships

• Build and maintain relationships with vendors to ensure profitability.
• Negotiate with vendors for best costs, terms, discounts, freight, co-op and marketing support.
• Continually seek out new vendors and innovative product opportunities.
• Gain vendor support for corporate inventory and terms initiatives.
• Integrate Vendor Collaboration into negotiations regarding vendor marketing fund agreements with product vendors and follow up on collection as required.

Business Acumen and Planning

• Understand and apply Specialty Shop product strategy.
• Contribute to the development of short- and long-term specialty shop strategic and business plans.
• Know and monitor competitive, specialty shop and industry trends.
• Coordinate with Category Planning Manager and Forecast Analyst about forecasting of new products, initial delivery information, product life cycles and service level strategies.


•    Manages workflow and timeline of category team (includes planning and replenishment)
•    Collaborates with visual merchandising and digital teams to bring category strategy to life
•    Works closely with Sr. CMM Digital to maximize digital selling opportunities
•    supports marketing plans and proofing
•    Competitive and other analysis, as needed
•    Vendor and product data implementation with MDS
•    Resolves x-divisional and vendor operational issues
•    Maintains vendor MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) policy information
•    Owns sample management
•    Partners with Merchandising Data Specialist & Forecast Analyst to manage open orders

Bring your passion and expertise

•    3+ years merchandising experience with 4 year college degree or equivalent experience.
•    Candidates need to be able to adequately evaluate product during line reviews.
•    PC proficiency in Microsoft Windows, Office: Excel, Word, Outlook
•    Experience with product inventory analysis, acquisition, allocation and management for multiple stores and direct sales.
•    Understanding and effective execution of merchandising math principles: initial mark-up, gross margin, markdowns, shrink, damages, inventory turnover, open-to-buy.
•    Familiarity and interest in REI products, activities and services.
•    Actively participates and collaborates with others on one’s own team and across REI for the achievement of business goals.
•    Flexible in one’s viewpoints and positions in order to support the direction taken by others at REI.
•    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.
•    Works smart by setting effective work goals, establishing priorities, and planning well in order to produce quality work.
•    Executes effectively using resources efficiently, meeting deadlines, and keeping others informed of work plans and progress toward goals.
•    Clearly conveys and accurately receives information by a variety of methods and in various situations.
•    Builds rapport with all kinds of people inside and outside the organization.
•    Acts upon opportunities and involves and influences others in the accomplishment of worthwhile organizational goals.
•    Challenges the status quo, champions change and influences others to change.

REI hires, trains, and promotes regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, veteran status, and other protected status as required by applicable law We remain deeply committed to making the Co-op a place where everyone can feel safe and be themselves. Join us. 

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.