Director of Merchandise Planning

Garden Ridge   •  

Plano, TX

Industry: Retail & Consumer Goods


11 - 15 years

Posted 50 days ago

Job Summary:The Director of Merchandise Planning is a key leadership role for At Home.  This role leads the merchandise planning division through the successful development, execution and communication of financial plans and strategies to meet or exceed sales, gross margin and inventory goals.  This role will also be responsible for functional expertise and thought leadership in the development and execution of the systems strategy and vision for Merchandising, Planning and Inventory Management. The Director is accountable for the continual success of the division including articulating vision, measuring and developing talent and ensuring successful operations of teams.  The Director works collaboratively across many of our internal organizations such as Merchandising, Direct Sourcing, Store Operations, and Finance.

This position reports to the SVP of Merchandise Planning, Allocation and Inventory Optimization.

  Key Roles & Responsibilities: 

Annual & Pre-Season Planning Process

  • Strategize, lead development and present annual, seasonal, monthly and weekly financial plans
  • Collaborate with merchandising to support product strategies and vision
  • Manage the reconciliation of merchandise plans with finance and store operations for all divisional financial plans and budgets.
  • Establish sales targets that align with corporate strategies and historical performance
  • Reconcile top-down & bottoms-up department plans to division plans and forecasts

  In-Season Inventory Planning

  • Communicate the state of the business in weekly meetings and monthly OTB meetings.  Recommend strategic actions to maximize sales, margin, optimize inventory and mitigate risk
  • Responsible for leading the forecasting process for all departments to ensure adequate product flow based on business trends
  • Identify and address exceptions to forecast and plans monthly or as needed.
  • Create and present divisional forecasts and action plans for monthly OTB meetings.
  • Analyze key business trends and develop recommendations to drive profitable top line sales
  • Provide timely and accurate reports / summaries to include ad hoc requests
  • Responsible for the analysis, data interpretation and helping to develop solutions / action plans

  Business Process Management

  • Lead continuous improvement processes to ensure ongoing effectiveness and efficiency
  • Identify and provide recommendations for system enhancements and solutions that drive improvements and support the merchandising roadmap
  • Ensure our processes and systems are in place to optimize our assortments and inventory levels in conjunction with planning and forecasting efforts
  • Partner with IT to ensure that core MP&A systems and supporting infrastructure are meeting the business needs
  • Lead and/or participate in large scale cross-functional projects, assist in developing business cases, and driving accountability for systems adoption and stability
  • Work with cross – functional teams (Finance & Operations) to synch Sales / Margin goals and DC Receipt Plans

 People Management

  • Manage a team of Merchandise planners and managers and provide leadership by creating a collaborative, innovative and results-orientated environment.
  • Balance workload priorities across division and departments to ensure successful execution of merchandise plans
  • Accountable for career development and skill development of teams to ensure job satisfaction, retention and future talent development
  • Lead goal setting process to meet brand and individual development objectives




  • A strong track record of successful operation and management of a team of planning professionals
  • Strong analytical and problem- solving skills
  • High aptitude and desire to learn technical applications quickly
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Excel, Access or other Data Warehouse / Business Intelligence tools
  • Business Acumen:  Ability to evaluate business indicators and translate data into actionable results.
  • Analytic Skills:  Ability to think objectively and interpret meaningful themes from quantitative and qualitative data
  • Financial and Business Acumen:  Ability to evaluate financial and business indicators and translate data into actionable information to drive results; proficiency in retail math
  • Problem Solving & Decision Quality:  Able to use rigorous logic and methods to solve problems with effective solutions
  • Relationship Management:  Able to build constructive and effective relationships with a broad and diverse group of business partners
  • Presentation Skills:  Strong story-telling ability to synthesize data and strategies into conclusions and recommendations
  • Influencing & Negotiation:  Can present ideas and directions that lead others to action
  • Planning & Priority Setting:  Demonstrate an ability to set objectives and goals andorganize work appropriately to meet and exceed goals
  • Process Management:  Can identify and articulate the processes necessary to get things down efficiently and align resources effectively complete activities
  • Demonstrated ability to roll-up sleeves and work with team members in a hands-on management capacity


  • 10+ years retailexperience.
  • 5+ years people management experience.
  • 5+ years inventory planning and distributionexperience.
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience