Merchandise Director

Petco Animal Supplies   •  

San Diego, CA

Industry: Professional, Scientific & Technical Services


11 - 15 years

Posted 39 days ago

Position Purpose:

To conceptualize, develop, direct and implement creative and unique merchandise category strategies and tactics that effectively differentiate Petco from the competition, maximize sales, increase profit margin and continually align with the Petco value proposition of exceeding customers’ expectations and financial budgets.

Essential Job Functions: The incumbent must be able to perform all of the following duties and responsibilities with or without a reasonable accommodation.

  • Establish a clear vision for their business unit that fits within Petco’s overall merchandising and go to market strategy that compels customers to choose Petco as their preferred pet destination. Define a strategy to bring this vision to life in stores and on
  • Lead a cross-functional team and vendor partners to create and execute the most innovative product assortment. Heavily emphasize private brand development and exclusive products that provide the best offering customers can find anywhere (in stores or online).
  • Lead our omni-channel merchandising execution for specified product categories, defining assortment and tactics that meet channel-specific customer needs and expectations.
  • Select, lead, engage (inspire), develop and guide the business unit team to achieve the bold goals that support the vision and strategies. Develop a strong bench of talent capable of taking on roles across the business.
  • Ensure assigned business unit goals and objectives are strategically and tactically aligned to differentiate Petco from the competition, as well as deliver on Petco’s customer value proposition of exceeding customer expectations and financial budgets.
  • Create and nurture collaboration, partnership and open discussion with direct reports and other Petco team members and stakeholders, both internal and external, which establish and communicate clear and realistic goals. Ensure objectives and functional roles and are aligned with the category(s) strategic plan; use objective means to monitor progress toward those goals; effectively coordinate team members in order to meet timelines.
  • Negotiate profitable product costs and contract terms, including leveraged inventory, returned goods allowances, etc., with vendors to achieve sales and margin goals for assigned category(s).
  • Maintain expert-level knowledge of products, customer trends and market factors, utilizing the category review process to identify key factors affecting the performance of assigned category(s); solicit and maintain partnerships with private label sourcing to develop strategies and tactics that meet program objectives.
  • In collaboration with cross-functional teams, direct the creation, development and utilization of financial models which effectively manage assortment analysis and planning, product mix, pricing, gross margin, replenishment and promotional expenditures in order to ensure proper product allocation and inventory levels and meet the financial model’s goals for both stores and distribution centers; audit sales and business performance (by item and category) to ensure planned profit margins goals are being met and recommend adjustments accordingly if they are not.
  • Direct the development of advertising plans and promotions with vendors, which drive and increase sales and expand profit margins consistent with financial plans; partner with Advertising and Visual Presentation teams to maximize impact of promotions.
  • Direct and oversee the preparation of field and operations communications in order to ensure proper and actionable (timely) information is provided on special issues/concerns.
  • Ensure all activities comply and are conducted in accordance with international, federal, state and local laws, regulations and ordinances; remain cognizant of planned/proposed changes to same.
  • Interact professionally and effectively through verbal and written communication with all professional contacts with emphasis on company interests.
  • Perform other related duties, tasks and responsibilities as required, assigned and directed.

Supervisory Responsibility:

Direct and manage a staff comprised of merchandising associates, including Merchandise Managers, Merchandising Assistants and Merchandise Analysts. Responsibilities include recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training, mentoring/coaching, providing functional guidance, assignment delegation and follow-through, and, partnering with Human Resources, discipline up to and including termination. Other management tasks include, but are not limited to, providing input and direction on such topics as key goals and objectives; strategic and tactical planning, implementation and execution; budgetary issues; capital expenditures and associate management, training and development. Additionally, this position will direct, manage and drive the performance of a cross-functional team over which it does not have direct administrative authority. This position is expected to independently lead these teams through the successful development and execution of strategic plans and tactical imperatives to support the business plan for the assigned category(s).

Work Environment:

Operates in a standard office environment. The majority of job duties are performed while seated indoors with little or no exposure to hazards. Day and overnight domestic travel to vendors, seminars and/or conferences is required periodically throughout the year. Extended domestic and overseas travel may occur periodically throughout the year

Education and Experience:

  • Normally requires a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, preferably in merchandising, marketing or related curriculum. Master’s degree preferred. Requires a minimum of ten years progressively responsible, professional-level merchandising experience as a buyer or category manager in a superstore, mass market or specialty national or large regional, multi-unit retail chain store. Of this ten years, at least three to four years should have been served in a high level capacity involving work with a national or specialty chain, merchandise buying and marketing, product assortment, vendor negotiations, etc., as well as two to three years previous general management experience of professional-level associates.
  • Specific functional experience should include merchandising, inventory management, product assortment, and vendor negotiations. Also, requires advanced business acumen and analytical skills necessary for proper financial modeling and management of assigned category(s), including the ability to control financial metrics required to achieve profit objectives. Must have advanced computer skills, including MS Office Suite and the aptitude to learn and utilize new internal applications. Additionally, this position requires a highly advanced level of knowledge and competency in the following areas with the ability to effectively:
  • Lead a staff of direct reports and/or cross-functional team without administrative supervisory authority
  • Direct, persuade, and motivate others with the ability to flex style as the situation requires, and collaborate or empower as needed
  • Partner and negotiate with vendors, as well as with Petco associates
  • Understand and communicate with a diverse set of leaders and associates at various levels and within various functional areas that impact their category(s)
  • Manage multiple responsibilities with the skill to multi-task, as well as shift the focus from one task to another seamlessly
  • Develop long-range plans for assigned category(s) based on sound knowledge of category and corporate expectations
  • Recognize and seize upon opportunities to maximize sales and profitability
  • Champion change management efforts through the effective utilization of the talent of team members
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and the ability to obtain a US Passport for international travel.