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Manager, Merchandise Planning


Boston, Massachusetts
posted May 13, 2022


Provide financial guidance to retail merchandising and finance teams to meet or exceed target key performance indicators. Manage the merchandise planning for assigned retail category to deliver category-level targets with key item intelligence to buying team. Analyze product sales to provide guidance in buy-planning and monitor in-season inventory levels for maximized profitability.

Job Responsibilities

Key Accountabilities

  • Lead pre-season sales and receipt guidance and post-season hindsight to drive product category sales growth by season and product buy plans by season.
  • Drive the OTB process to meet sales, margin and inventory turn targets and develop recommendations for space planning improvements, category-level inventory receipt plans, and markdown plans.
  • Develop channel sales, margin and receipt plans for annual budgeting process.
  • Submit monthly financial and inventory guidance and forecasts to D-to-C Buying Team by channel and sub-department.
  • Develop in-season forecasting; report on and analyze sales results to plan, making recommendations to influence business decisions. Manage business trends to identify sales and gross margin performance and to capitalize on profit-driving opportunities.
  • Participate in major go-to-market milestones to gain insight into key seasonal brand and BU strategies and initiatives, contributing financial plans for D-to-C outlook.
  • Work with Director of Planning and peers to incorporate new tools and processes into way of doing business.
  • Seek opportunities for new business processes and drive analytical needs to increase productivity and profitability.
  • Develop best practices for the planning function and partner with RFC/IT to ensure that we're getting the best and necessary data for the team to analyze the business.
  • Supervise and manage Associate Planner, including prioritizing, assigning and directing workload, managing performance and development

Knowledge, Skills and Ability

  • Familiarity accessing data from a database structure
  • Familiarity with the athletic industry, trends and/or athletic product lines preferred
  • Familiarity with retail KPIs and retail math a must
  • Proficiency with MS Office Suite and familiarity with merchandising systems/applications
  • Advanced Excel skills and a thorough understanding of macros, pivot tables, lookup formulas, formatting, etc.
  • Exceptional attention to detail
  • Good planning and organization skills, resulting in the ability to meet critical deadlines
  • Strong analytical skills and a thorough understanding of retail math
  • Strong communication and presentation skills, written and verbal
  • Ability to manipulate large amounts of data and create reporting tools from data
  • Ability to work on several projects simultaneously
  • Ability to successfully multitask and problem-solve
  • Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations
  • Ability to read, write and speak English
  • Ability to travel by aircraft domestically (about 5 percent of the time)


  • Four-year degree in Business, Finance or related field
  • Two years to four years experience in merchandise planning in a retail environment
  • Inventory management experience required
  • Prior experience creating and publishing reports

Requirements and EEO Statement

SPARC Group LLC is an equal opportunity employer. We value a culture of inclusion and diversity within our workforce, and are committed to maintaining a workplace free from prohibited employment conduct, including discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, domestic partner status, civil partnership, status as a covered veteran, status in the Uniformed Services of the United States, citizenship and any other characteristic protected by law (“Protected Characteristics”).
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