The Director, Men's Dress & Casual Footwear, will report to the Chief Merchandising Officer and will be responsible for leading the creation and management of a strategic footwear assortment to drive the business in all channels and geographies globally. This role will act as the product champion in driving strategies, line development, product briefing, and product knowledge for the Company. This role is an integral partner to departments within the Company as well as interacts externally with key accounts and partners to ensure products are successful in the marketplace.
You will devise the strategic direction for the growth of the Men's Dress & Casual business in partnership with the Chief Merchandising Officer, Design Leadership, and Product Innovation aligned with the seasonal business strategy and marketplace trends. You will honor the tradition of fine shoemaking while helping to bring inventive thinking to bear while you help reinvent it.
You will recruit and mentor a team of category experts and work professionally, proactively, and collaboratively on a daily basis with them as well as with cross-functional partners within design, product development, business units and marketing. Your entire team must be effective at consumer insight, dynamic product creation, creative briefing, and expert leadership across the enterprise.
You will create, lead, and communicate succinct and effective company presentations of seasonal concepts and product line composition to commercial partners at Sales Meetings 4x per year, account meetings, and to internal partners with clarity, confidence, and expertise.
- Develop competitive and innovative products across all channels of distribution that are worthy of the Cole Haan brand, and achieve marketplace excellence, revenue growth and profitability goals
- Maintain a current understanding of key consumer and competitive trends in the marketplace
- Create compelling product briefs, grounded in consumer insights and category expertise that compel designers and developers
- Develop brand right assortments across the channel of distribution to achieve marketplace excellence, revenue growth and profitability goals
- Communicate insights to inform Product Design & Development during seasonal kick off and use as an input to the development of merchandising strategies
Product Pricing & Profitability
- Manage the category to achieve revenue and margin goals
- Lead the development of line/assortment plan and pricing strategy
- Partner with Design & Development leadership to improve product margins
- Partner with merchandising, buying, and planning functions across Cole Haan to develop a deep expertise around the key drivers of the business across the channel and within each channel that can inform line plan and assortment development
Product Line Management
- Responsible for line building development, trends and current sales on a timely basis, to ensure opportunities are maximized and challenges are addressed
- Ensure that products are built and continuously maintained within the PLM framework to reflect changes in the plan
- Accountable for keeping the product line plans synchronized with the category and brand strategy.
- Partner with channel and planning leadership as required ensuring successful implantation of their channel assortment at buys and in store
- Own and prepare all materials, tools, PLM accuracy for commercial intersects (line sheets, product knowledge, etc) with business units
- As needed partners with Cole Haan cross-functional disciplines to create quick strike marketplace opportunities and special projects as needed
- Present the assortment at sales meetings and/or various marketing venues to ensure that channels and leadership understand the seasonal strategies underlying the broader assortment, key items and key strategies for their corresponding areas
- You will possess best-in-class product creation skills. You are a seasoned merchant with strong financial acumen and broad-based business perspective.
- You have a passion for innovation and a desire to rethink conventional models is essential to the success of this position.
- You have a proven ability to write compelling product briefs, based on consumer insight and category expertise, that compel designers and developers to create breakthrough, original products that work.
- You have an open, direct and non-hierarchical management style, with excellent verbal and written communication skills. Must be comfortable presenting to large audiences.
- You value dedication, drive and stamina. Energetic, resourceful and hands-on. An effective team player. A highly motivated person who creates an atmosphere in which people work together effectively to produce superior results.
- You are a natural leader with a curiosity about business, a strong desire to learn, and a commitment to continuously improve performance and professional excellence.
- You have a proven track record in quickly gaining credibility and partnering collaboratively with business leaders at all levels of management.
COMPANY EMPLOYEE ATTRIBUTES INCLUDE:
- Accountability: You make informed commitments and keep your promises. You align goals and work to obtain business and development objectives. You base actions on desired outcomes to achieve measurable business results. You hold yourself and others accountable.
- Model Integrity: You tell the truth. Always. You demonstrate professional, ethical and transparent behavior in all activities and decisions. You courageously model upstanding behaviors consistent, even in the face of difficult challenges.
- Value Individuality & Diversity: You recognize and value differences and seek inclusiveness. You are inviting and accepting of different viewpoints. You leverage the rich background and abilities of others.
- Inspire Teamwork: You work collaboratively towards a common goal and care as much about the success of others as you do about your success. You model the behaviors of an effective team member/leader.
- Encourage Creativity: You encourage intellectual curiosity. You believe there is a better way and push for it. You challenge conventional thinking/assumptions. You fail fast-you take calculated risks and accept failure as a learning opportunity.
- Bachelor's Degree in related field.
- 8+ years relevant experience in men's footwear merchandising/product line management within a vertically integrated retailer, experience working across price points, footwear classifications and channels.
- Strong, proven team leadership and mentorship capabilities.
- Proven success managing a line building process and meeting associated metrics (margins, revenue goals, etc). Demonstrated experience developing and managing assortments.
- Strong analytical skills.
- Strength in presenting to large audiences, storytelling, features and benefits, brand positioning, and commercial opportunity for seasonal collections.
- High proficiency of Microsoft Office, particularly Excel and PowerPoint.
- Must be able to travel to and from New York and New Hampshire as well as must be able to travel domestically.
- Ability to work under deadlines, manage multiple priorities, work independently, take initiative, and pay close attention to detail.