Senior Category Merchandise Manager, Womenswear
Posted Date: Mar-19-2019
Job ID: 13804
Job Type: Full Time
Job Function: Merchandising
Store: Kent Headquarters
What's cool about this job
The Senior Category Merchandising Manager contributes to REI’s success by developing strategic business plans and driving key company financial metrics including sales, turn, margin and in-stock goals. Manages assigned product categories, including assortment designs, product development and product selection for Retail and Direct Marketing customers. Builds and maintains excellent relationships between vendors and REI in order to achieve mutual goals of sales and profitability. Supports the GMM in planning and development of seasonal Specialty Shop Product Strategy and provide thought leadership with CMM peers and prepare cross divisional product support plans (Marketing, Visual Merch, Retail Ops and Digital Retail). Supervises, coaches and mentors Merchandise Assistant(s). Models and acts in accordance with REI’s guiding values and mission.
- Identifies and communicates key responsibilities and practices to ensure the organization promotes a successful attitude, confidence in leadership, and teamwork to achieve business results.
- Supports the implementation of company programs, procedures, methods and practices to promote REI key messages.
- Challenges and inspires employees to achieve business results.
- Ensures employees adhere to legal and operational compliance requirements.
- Oversees training and development of employees directly and indirectly manages and makes effective staffing decisions.
- Conducts and ensures the completion of performance reviews.
- Provides coaching, direction and leadership support to employees in order to achieve department, company and customer results.
- Establishes and maintains visibility within the department.
- Monitors operational statistics, reports trends, variances and issues, and takes appropriate action.
- Support the GMM in planning and development of seasonal Specialty Shop Product Strategy
- Provide thought leadership with CMM peers and prepare x-div product support plans (Marketing, Visual Merch, Retail Ops and Digital Retail)
- Represent product support plans with cross-divisional partners
- Lead department-level category management block development, aligned with GMM’s shop-level guidance
- Assortment and Product Planning Process
- 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).
- Identify target customers and their needs by product category by using seasonal planning surveys from Retail and Direct Marketing, reviewing customer comments, visiting stores, reading trade publications, communicating with Retail and participating in the industry.
- 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 Merchandising Visual Liaison on product presentation issues and opportunities.
- Communicate final assortment and department direction to other stakeholders within the company, such as the Leadership team, departmental teams, Marketing, Visual Liaison, Marketing, Online 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.
- Work with Business Analysts to develop and improve consistent systems and processes for assortment and financial planning.
- Formulate Private Brands assortment strategies in partnership with Product Line Manager, including target cost and retail, initial forecast, seasonal delivery timelines by item, communicating market trend, product sales histories, product lifecycle, style targets, and customer.
- For REI Private Brand product not developed through Product Development, work cross functionally with Private Brands to ensure that all prospective Private Brands vendors are aware of and capable of meeting appropriate standards including, but not limited to quality, labor compliance and packaging.
- Give direction to REI Private Brands Product Line Manager & team to ensure REI Private Brands quality standards, competitive pricing and long-term availability adhere to REI corporate sourcing guidelines.
- Support new category launches.
- Help to resolve nonconformity problems as needed.
- Partner with QA to negotiate with vendors on defective and damaged products.
- Communicate to Merchandise Assistant to ensure that Inspectors and Engineers receive input, inspection codes and notes to guide them in inspection process for all REI Private Brands products and other branded products as specified.
- Build and maintain relationships with vendors to ensure profitability.
- Develop strategic business plans with key vendors.
- 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.
- Negotiate vendor marketing funds agreements with product vendors and follow up on collection as required.
- Coordinate vendor partner’s participation in REI event and promotional plans including “First to Market” opportunities.
- Understand REI Journey Strategic Plan and linkages with assortment planning.
- Contribute to the development of short- and long-term specialty shop strategic and business plans.
- Understand, fully use and continuously improve processes and systems.
- Know and monitor competitive, specialty shop and industry trends.
- Coordinate with Planner and Forecast Analyst about forecasting of new products, initial delivery information, product life cycles and service level strategies.
Bring your passion and expertise
- Insight & experience implementing product strategy
- Demonstrated effectiveness navigating cross divisional boundaries
- Command of analytical skills; applied knowledge of merchandising financial plans and performance measurements
- 5+ years merchandising experience
- Command of negotiation and relationship building skills
- Understanding of merchandising principles and the market (trends, conditions, sales, projections, etc.) and ability to translate that information into assortment plans and product selections.
- Builds capacity of individuals and teams through effective employee development, involvement, communication, and supervision efforts.
- Creates a strong, mutually supportive work spirit and culture where people can do their best.
- Establishes trust and inspires others.
- Makes effective organization and people decisions in a manner consistent with REI's values and ethics.
- Delivers on commitments and holds others to same.
- Champions 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.
- Fosters change in company direction.
- Effectively plans and executes changes.
- Ecommerce background is preferred, understand digital space and metrics (Digital role only)
Why you'll love it here
We’re a passionate community of people who believe in one simple truth: an outdoor life is a life well-lived. REI is a co-op, born in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest in 1938. We’re here to help our 5.5 million members have amazing experiences outside—and do the same ourselves. Bring your creativity, customer focus and enthusiasm for living life outdoors—we can’t wait to meet you!
At REI we offer an enviable work environment that has been recognized on the "100 Best Companies to Work For" list since the award's inception – 22 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 150 retail locations (and growing), REI offers unique competitive benefits to its more than 13,000 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