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Merchandise Planner

Function: Supply Chain/Logistics/Inventory Planning
Location: Staples Corporate Center, Framingham, MA US
Date posted: 4/30/2018 2:55:58 PM
Type: Full-time
Permanent / Contract: Regular
Job number: 1044740

The Merchandise Planner is responsible for forecasting, creating and maintaining  item/location key item, ad ,promo and seasonal plans for their assigned categories and channels. Responsible for analyzing and forecasting  inventory  and purchase levels  to increase inventory turns, maximize fill rates, manage end-of-life inventory risk, and minimize lost sales.  Collaborate with merchandising and form sales and margin forecast plans for select channels and assigned categories.  Partner with replenishment to balance service and inventory.

Supply & Demand Planning

  • Utilize planning and replenishment tools to accurately forecast key items to maximize sales, margin, service level and turn while identifying risks
  • Create and maintain key item ladder plans including target inventory levels to ensure optimal level of inventory is available between vendor order cycles factoring in safety stock
  • Analyze key item trends and seasonality, adjusting forecasts, receipts and inventory levels as needed to support plans
  • Communicate all plans to IA’s, Vendors, Merchants(multi-channel where applicable) and collaborate with team to ensure plans can be supported 
  • Manage Inactive inventory, working with Merchants on dispositions to ensure product is either returned, or proper markdowns are in place to help turn the goods


  • Forecast units and inventory for Ads and Promotions to maximize sales, margin and service levels while minimizing residuals
  • Working with Merchant, analyze historical information and current business trends to develop accurate item and financial forecasts for Ads and Promos
  • Communicate seasonal, ad and promo plans to Vendors and IA’s
  • Identify any risks and communicate to team
  • Manage seasonal purchases, identifying items with seasonality, planning purchases and sell through to maintain high service levels
  • Monitor event sales and take action to optimize sales and turn and reduce overstocks

Financial Planning

  • Utilize planning tools to accurately forecast both period and year sales and margin
  • Utilize planning tools to accurately forecast inventory, purchases and turn
  • Ensure plans to support objectives
  • Create department, class, category level financial plans by analyzing historical, seasonal and current trends
  • Utilize OTB process to maintain budgeted inventory, working with IA to synchronize purchasing plans
  • Manage Vendor Purchase Planning process to accurately identify volume and mix for financial reporting

Supply Chain/Vendor Relations

  • Partner with Supplier Relationship Manager, Merchandising and Supply Chain to assist in minimizing key supplier lead times to warehouses and fulfillment centers with improved reliability
  • Drive collaborative planning process with Vendors, ensuring plans are aligned and can be supported. 
  • Working with IA, monitor Vendor performance and identify any issues to Merchant 
  • Work with vendors, SRM and Supply Chain to improve vendor reliability in meeting metrics
  • Manage flow of inventory to optimize FC/DC capacity levels

Ongoing and Ad hoc Analysis to supplement planning and decision making

  • Prepare and communicate analysis identifying strengths and weaknesses within the business
  • Develop recommendations to capitalize on opportunity and mitigate risk


Basic Skills:

  • Bachelors Degree and 1- 3 years of related work experience 
  • Ability to build and foster business relationships, especially with Merchandising, Supply Chain, Stores and Sales; exhibit strong influencing skills
  • Strong business acumen with multi or channel specific experience: Retail, Dotcom or B2B environment
  • Proficient to Advanced PC skills, especially Microsoft Excel. 
Preferred Skills:
  • Demonstrated analytical and problem solving skills
  • Flexible, detail oriented, strong planning and organizational skills
  • Experience with SAP, Evant, MarketMax, Arthur, MMS or comparable Merchandise Planning System preferred

Staples is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local law.


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