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Chief Merchandising Officer

Forever 21

Los Angeles, California
posted July 9, 2020

The Chief Merchandising Officer (CMO) leads the organization’s merchandising team in the development and execution of merchandising strategies across all categories of business in order to achieve short- and long-term financial goals (sales, margin, profitability). The CMO is responsible for keeping pace with the customer-driven and digitally driven retail environment by using consumer insights and shopping patterns to influence their seasonal product assortments. As a leader in the organization, this individual will play a key role in driving the company culture through a customer first mind-set, fostering cross-functional team collaboration, developing merchandising talent, and supporting the continuous evolution of business processes to maximize resources.

Position Responsibilities:

  • Lead teams in the development of annual and seasonal merchandising strategies, drive the total business financial merchandising plans, and deliver strong brand and customer relevance assortments.
  • Identify and develop merchandise product categories that resonate with our customer, and understand the business levers to utilize in order to drive customer satisfaction, incremental sales, margin and overall growth across consumer touchpoints and channels.
  • Analyze and utilize consumer data to guide merchandising and pricing strategies as well as decision making across all channels of business.
  • Collaborate with the cross-functional leadership team to drive the company’s strategic objectives and achieve organizational metrics.
  • Partner with the cross-functional leadership team to develop an efficient product development calendar as well as lead the merchandising team in management of work to achieve calendar milestones.
  • Partner with design, sourcing/production and planning teams in concepting and developing commercially strong products within our targeted cost and margin plans in order to achieve our short- and long-term financial plans.
  • Partner with marketing, digital and e-commerce teams in the development of innovative omnichannel campaign strategies that drive traffic, conversion and sales across all channels.
  • Lead ongoing assessment of the product category mix by identifying opportunities and downward trends as well as developing merchandising initiatives for future seasons.
  • Lead team in ongoing competitive shopping and research to identify new and emerging relevant trends and translate into current and future business plans.
  • Encourage the utilization of creative methods to continuously develop an understanding of the current and future customer; apply that customer insight to the evolution of the brand and concepts.
  • Mentor, train and develop the merchandising team. Provide challenging opportunities to leverage strengths and improve abilities.
  • Create a strategic succession plan. Provide support, feedback and coaching to build future leaders.
  • Partner with the head of stores and field management team to support the execution of merchandising plans, visual merchandising presentation, and seasonal fashion direction.

Position Knowledge, Skills and Qualifications:

  • Must have 10-plus years of merchandising and brand management experience, preferably with prior experience in the fashion/youth market.
  • Must have proven experience leading larger merchant teams and driving cross-functional teams at an executive leadership level.
  • Ability to use consumer insights in developing merchandising strategies and collaborating with organization leaders on building a data-driven approach, with strong digital storytelling for efficient sales in all touchpoints.
  • Strategic thinker with the ability to communicate a vision and motivate teams to action.
  • Role model for customer-first approach and culture.
  • Excellent leadership, talent development, organizational, communication, and collaboration skills.
  • Ability to multitask and shift priorities.