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Merchandise Planner

Function: Supply Chain/Logistics/Inventory Planning
Location: Staples Corporate Center, Framingham, MA US
Date posted: 2/27/2018 1:23:13 PM
Type: Full-time
Permanent / Contract: Regular
Job number: 1041449


The Merchandise Planner is responsible for creating and maintaining period and yearly financial plans for their assigned categories and effectively partnering with Merchants and Inventory Management on identifying and implementing strategies to achieve or exceed them. Additionally, the Merchandise Planner is responsible for item planning and analysis to ensure merchandising and inventory plans are synchronized to achieve or exceed sales, inventory turns, margin and service level objectives.


Primary Responsibilities:

Financial Planning 

  • Utilize Planning tools to accurately forecast both period and year inventory and turn. Ensure plans support objectives 
  • Utilize OTB process to maintain budgeted inventory, working with IA to synchronize purchasing plans
  • Manage Vendor Purchase Planning process to accurately identify purchase volume and mix for financial reporting
  • Create department, class and portfolio level financial plans by analyzing historical, seasonal and current trends
  • Identify the impact future promotional and ad plans to margin, and work with Product Manager to minimize risk and meet targeted goals
  • Introduce opportunities to increase sales, margin and turn to meet or exceed budget

Item Planning

  • Utilize Planning tools to accurately forecast key items to maximize sales, margin service level and turn 
  • Create and maintain key item ladder plans 
  • Analyze key item trends and seasonality, adjusting forecasts, receipts and inventory levels as needed to support plans 
  • Reconcile key item plans with financial plans 
  • Communicate all plans to IA’s, Vendors, Product Managers (multi-channel where applicable) and collaborate with team to ensure plans can be supported 
  • Support Product Manager in Assortment Planning process, compiling and analyzing assortment data utilizing the planning tools available, culminating in the yearly line review to upper management 
  • Manage Inactive inventory, working with Product Manager on dispositions to ensure product is either returned, or proper markdowns are in place to help turn the goods


  • Forecast sales, margin and inventory for Ads and Promotions to maximize sales and service levels while minimizing residuals
  • Working with Product Manager, analyze historical information and current business trends to develop accurate item forecasts for Ads and Promos
  • Based upon analysis, identify and challenge items that will could have a negative impact on inventory and turn due to their low performance
  • Communicate plans to Vendors and IA’s for all Ads and Promos
  • Identify any risks and communicate to team
  • Ensure event databases are maintained with accurate information
  • Work with IA to ensure top level plans are appropriately executed at DC and store level to achieve targeted sales, turn, and sell through
  • Manage seasonal purchases, identifying items with seasonality, planning purchases and sell through to maintain high service levels
  • Monitor event sales and take action to optimize sales and turn and reduce overstocks
  • Work with Product Manager to proactively address Ad and Promo residuals 

Supply Chain/Vendor Relations

  • Partner with Merchandising and Supply Chain to assist in minimizing key supplier lead times to warehouses and fulfillment centers with improved reliability
  • Develop and maintain positive and effective relations with vendors, operate as key contact for inventory team 
  • Drive collaborate planning process with Vendors, ensuring plans are aligned and can be supported. 
  • Working with IA, monitor Vendor performance and identify any issues to Product Manager 
  • Work with vendors and Supply Chain to improve vendor reliability in meeting metrics


Basic Qualifications:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Minimum 3 years related work experience required in merchandise planning or retail financial analytics


  • Bachelors Degree 
  • Retail, .com, or Catalog experience in Inventory Management preferred
  • Experience with Evant, MarketMax, Arthur, MMS or comparable Merchandise Planning System preferred
  • Flexible, detail oriented, with strong planning and organizational skills
  • Demonstrated analytical and problem solving skills
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Solid retail Inventory Management experience, with an emphasis on financial and item analysis and planning
  • Proficient to advanced computer literacy

Staples is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local law.

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