This position is responsible for developing and managing the category / department strategy, assortment plans, vendor relations, private and exclusive product development, retail price management, seasonal merchandise plans, promotional planning and achievement of the financial objectives. Implementation responsibility is shared with Planning Manager, Communication Coordinator and Product Sales Managers. All activities are channeled through the SVP, in order to ensure alignment with overall Team goals and strategies.
Develop Category and Assortment Strategy
- Develops and communicates an inspired vision and strategy for merchandise departments.
- Leads the merchandise team in formulating an assortment strategy that is consistent with overall business strategy.
- Defines and leads the development and execution of the key business drivers (key brands, items and stores).
- Develops brand exclusives, promotional and sampling strategies.
- Manages the proper execution of the merchandise strategy at the division and location level; takes appropriate action when necessary.
- Drives and executes the brands' floor space planning and allocation for all key locations.
- Works closely with the team partners specifically Planning Manager, Product Sales Managers and Distributor to ensure they are aligned with the merchandise strategy and executing appropriately.
- Evaluates ongoing performance with Senior Vice President GMM, brand partners, planning, division and distribution merchandising team and take action as appropriate.
- Determines seasonal transition strategies.
- Monitors performance on new developed products, determines further opportunities based on results.
- Interprets trends appropriate to Japanese, Chinese and local consumers.
- Selects/deletes assortments as appropriate.
- Delivers category sales, gross margin and turnover performance to plan.
- Works with Planning Manager partner to monitor overall inventory levels to plan and forecast.
- Develops financial objectives and targets for the team that focus on category and brand growth and profitability.
- Identifies and evaluates sales and gross margin opportunities at the department level.
- Works closely with Senior Vice President GMM, planning, division and distribution partners to develop and manage financial plans.
- Identifies, recruits, and develops their merchant team.
- Encourages and supports the development of our talented people. Offers honest and constructive feedback to direct reports and business partners fostering individual and group development.
- Continuously stretches the Team to perform at higher level keeping each Team member focused on the business strategy, plan and opportunities.
- Manages the overall performance of all team members developing and recognizing the top talent and addressing the performance of team members with developmental areas.
- Identifies and develops emerging brands for the core customers.
- Develops three-year brand strategy and financial plans as required.
- Develops assortment strategy for products that are exclusive to DFS or have limited distribution.
- Drives decision-making and problem solving on brand partner issues.
Division Partner Relations
- Develops and maintains effective working partnership with divisions particularly Product Sales Managers and Distributors, while ensuring divisions execute category strategy appropriately.
- Drives decision-making and problem solving on at the merchandise issues at the division and location level.
- Building Effective Teams
- Comfort Around Top Management
- Conflict Management
- Dealing with Ambiguity
- Developing Direct Reports
- Directing Others
- Innovation Management
- Interpersonal Savvy
- Managing and Measuring Work
- Managing Vision and Purpose
- Presentation Skills
- Minimum of 5 years merchandising experience at buyer-level or equivalent required.
- University Bachelor's Degree preferred
- International mobility, for career advancement opportunities, to Hong Kong and other major Asia-Pacific cities.
- Able to travel up to 12 weeks per year.
- Luxury market experience preferred.
- International business experience preferred.
- Financial and analytical merchandising with a background in buying and/or planning preferred.
- Leadership experience developing, managing and influencing people required.
- Negotiation experience required.