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Divisional Vice President, Product Returns and Circular Commerce


Bellevue, Washington
posted November 2, 2020

REI has a unique opportunity to support its quadruple bottom line by improving the customer experience, driving revenue and profitability and supporting a sustainable planet. This opportunity involves evolving and innovating in the areas of returns, damages, and recommerce, currently a $600M value stream. As a co-op with 19 million members who share a love of the outdoors and passion for bringing equality and accessibility for all, REI is setting the standard for all retailers and driving meaningful long-term change.

The Divisional Vice President, Product Returns and Circular Commerce will develop a sustainable re-use channel by optimizing existing functions such as product returns and the sale of used and end-of-life product while also developing and integrating new concepts like a digital re-commerce marketplace, seasonal leasing, and product trade-in programs. This role will ultimately develop and own a P&L focused on the value stream of circular commerce. This new organization will collaborate across the Co-op to create best in class customer experiences around returns and recovering product which will keep thousands of tons of waste from landfills and create new options to help customers find the product that meets their needs. This DVP will develop the vision, KPI’s and measurements of success for circular commerce at the co-op, with the potential to significantly grow the existing $600M program.

The successful candidate will do this by:

  • Exhibiting unquestionable integrity, ethics and judgement. The courage and ability to take a strong position when required for the good of the company.
  • As a member of the Leadership Forum, developing a deep understanding of the circular commerce value stream and its associated customer experience, while effectively communicating and broadly supporting execution of company strategies and priorities.
  • Displaying excellent communication, relationship building and influencing skills. The ability to be collaborative and drive progress  and the ability to help the organization evaluate ideas from a circular commerce perspective and keep the organization focused on its goals.
  • Bringing a product mindset, driving innovation in a matrixed, cross functional environment.
  • Being highly intelligent (a balance of EQ and IQ), and possessing the intellectual curiosity to prove and understand complex  business, economic, political and social issues and trends.
  • Being a natural leader with proven abilities across a broad range of internal and external constituencies. A collaborative teacher and mentor.
  • A team player with a high level of self and cross-cultural awareness. Demonstrated track record of building strong and enduring  relationships and teams.
  • Having confidence, being authentic and assertive.
  • Having a high level of influence and the ability to inspire through, around and with people in a fast-growing, dynamic organization.
  • Leading the Co-op Way and role model REI’s Values in Action at all times.
  • Working cross-divisionally to drive execution of specific divisional and company strategies, initiatives and projects.
  • Driving the engagement of their team and builds trust in REI’s leaders.
  • Identifying and communicating key responsibilities and practices to ensure the organization promotes a successful attitude, confidence in leadership, and teamwork to achieve business results.
  • Supporting the implementation of company programs, procedures, methods, and practices to promote REI key messages.
  • Challenging and inspiring employees to achieve business results.
  • Ensuring employees adhere to legal and operational compliance requirements.
  • Overseeing training and development of employees directly and indirectly managed and makes effective staffing decisions.
  • Conducting and ensuring the completion of performance reviews.
  • Providing coaching, direction and leadership support to employees to achieve department, company and customer results.
  • Monitoring operational statistics, reports trends, variances and issues, and takes appropriate action.

Essential Leadership Behaviors

The Essential Leadership Behaviors required by the future DVP, Product Returns and Circular Commerce connect directly to the mission, the strategy and the quadruple bottom line that measures success for the Co-op.

The Divisional Vice President, Product Returns and Circular Commerce will:

  • Develop and foster strong relationships with the Leadership Team, including Supply Chain, Digital, Marketing, Merchandising and Retail Divisions.
  • As a product leader, bring innovation in an open loop system from strategy to operational execution.
  • Map the Value Stream which encompasses Returns, Damages, and Re-commerce, identifying areas where value can be optimized and/or added as well as those where value “loss” can be addressed.
  • Research, create and implement an end-to-end strategy that encompasses all internal and customer-facing aspects of Returns, Damages, and Re-commerce, along with cost-to-serve and economic analyses. Working closely with stakeholders, this strategy should be developed with a customer-centric, data-driven “product” view and approach to returns to serve upstream customer needs and downstream demand, profitability, conversion, while reducing friction in the system.
  • Drive the multiple aspects of the circular economy for REI – returns, damages, Re-commerce as well as new concepts like leasing and trade-in programs.
  • Bring a commercial mindset delivering innovative circular commerce concepts.
  • Execute an end to end strategy that leads to the optimization of inventory recovery and liquidation opportunities.
  • Develop and deploy analytical methods, tools and resources to identify areas of opportunity for customer returns, including cost savings and customer experience.
  • Provide oversight to the REI returns process to identify and implement design enhancements – both process and systemic - to drive down costs to the business.
  • Work effectively cross divisionally with relevant cross-functional groups and applications (Logistics, Retail Operations, Merchandising and Co-Op Brands).
  • Ensure critical business issues and core product strategies are addressed in product decisions and driving process changes based on feedback.
  • Champion change and galvanizes others into action around building inclusive approaches to product returns and circular commerce.

Professional Qualifications and Experience

The Professional Qualifications and Experience required by the future DVP, Product Returns and Circular Commerce are imperative to the success of the candidate and the long-term success of the Co-op.

  • Significant product leadership experience with customer centric retail solutioning, ideally experience in and collaborating with operations, analytics, supply chain, digital product management and retail management.
  • Customer-centric leader with experience leading data-driven product teams, continuous delivery, test and learn.
  • Strategic commercial operator with experience running a large scale P&L.
  • Executive leadership, relationship and communication skills.
  • Entrepreneurial and analytical.
  • Data gathering and analysis skills and experience, including translating large amounts of data into clear, actionable solutions.
  • Product mindset – thriving in a matrixed environment working collaboratively.
  • Demonstrated experience taking ownership and driving results to solve highly complex problems
  • Self-starter with ability to manage multiple large projects, prioritize workloads, remain flexible, and maintain a strong attention to detail in a fast-paced, ambiguous, and technical environment.
  • Communicates a clear vision and obtains buy in from key stakeholders.
  • Setting a vision, build a team that drives the vision with flawless execution and is accountable for results.
  • Experience using customer insights to solve for a better customer experience.
  • Innovator, able to think beyond industry norms.
  • Creates a strong, mutually supportive work spirit and culture where people can do their best.
  • Makes effective organization and people decisions in a manner consistent with REI's values and ethics.
  • Experience working with tech teams to build technology-based tools/solutions.
  • Utilization of Financial, Cost and Business Analysis to create and drive metrics for monitoring and continuous improvement.
  • Strong background in designing processes and systems.
  • Change Management – strong understanding of key steps to ensure a smooth transition with no disruption to the business.
  • Highly effective oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills with senior corporate leadership and internal business teams.
  • Undergraduate degree and MBA from a leading program are highly desirable.