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Become A Merchandise Planner

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Working As A Merchandise Planner

  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $52,940

    Average Salary

What Does A Merchandise Planner Do At Ross Stores, Inc.

* Responsible for developing seasonal business plans through partnership with Buying group and analysis of historical data to forecast trends
* Develop Pre
* Season chain plans at the class level and In
* Season forecasting of chain plans
* Monitoring monthly performance to sales, inventory and margin targets
* Manage weekly OTB
* Performs independent analysis and recommends courses of action to drive profitable sales
* Collaborates closely and builds trust among cross-functional partners to drive desired results
* Lead and inspire team.
* Builds environment that strengthens associates through training and development

What Does A Merchandise Planner Do At Advance Auto Parts

* RESPONSIBILITIESinclude the following.
* Other duties may be assigned.
* Financial Planning & Performance Processes
* Provide objective and holistic view to all forecasting and budgeting discussions by challenging forecast/budget assumptions, reviewing across categories, comparing to industry, etc.
* Identify and interpret short & long-term business trends
* Communicate cross-functionally to ensure integrated P&L
* Identify & quantify the financial opportunity and risk
* Provide reporting visibility to EVA P&L; effectively communicate financial data to team
* Enforce process timelines and gain stakeholder alignment.
* Grade merchant team insights to actions scorecards and provide appropriate feedback to stakeholders.
* Strategic Initiatives
* Collect and analyze information to support the strategic and operating plans of the business.
* Complete what-if scenarios and contingency planning analyses
* Provide financial analysis to support vendor negotiations.
* Provide risk analysis on troubled vendors and what-if analyses around potential financial options
* Provide variance analysis and business driver analysis to support decision-making.
* This includes effectively communicating and translating the results into business insights.
* The analyses include understanding the profitability by product line, vendor, channel, geographic area, customer and other appropriate category.
* Also includes understanding the mix/rate and volume impact of changes
* Provide financial information to support category management team as appropriate.
* Create “Tool Box” queries for IOM team to support business decisions.
* Provide information to other areas of finance as needed.
* Understand business drivers and processes of respective areas to drive business team results.
* Testing
* Provide support in product test design, complete analysis and share results with stakeholders

What Does A Merchandise Planner Do At Boll & Branch

* Demand planning for ecomm and wholesale business
* Create/review forecasted sales and recommend/implement adjustments to maximize opportunities while minimizing liabilities across multiple product categories
* Partner with merchandising on the Open to Buy process as well as alignment on optimal inventory levels to best serve customer needs
* Create and evaluate the recommended receipt quantities by SKU to maximize opportunities and minimize overstock risk
* Ability to provide insight into forecast variances
* Review historical sales trends and research demand drivers to effectively prepare forecast data and forecast models
* Coordinate cross functional analysis to reconcile significant variances and refine the forecast model to reflect sales and marketing assumptions
* Manage deliverables in accordance with the buying calendar

What Does A Merchandise Planner Do At Abercrombie & Fitch

* Develop and present seasonal/weekly merchandise financial plans in accordance with company goals, historical performance and market trend analysis
* Work closely with Merchandising to identify sales opportunities through effective strategic planning
* Develop and provide appropriate business analysis to influence future purchases and assortment strategies
* Forecast sales, margin and inventory at a department/class level in our planning system based on changes in trend, strategy, receipts or business climate
* Manage seasonal inventory and make recommendations in regards to markdowns or promotions
* Plan basic and fashion styles to ensure the flow of receipts supports the current and future business
* Collaborate with Brand Senses, Merchandising, and Inventory Management to create seasonal/weekly floorset plans

What Does A Merchandise Planner Do At Gap Inc.

* Senior Planner, Global Planning oversees multiple global departments with the below responsibilities:
* Responsible for planning an assortment that hits the tops down product strategies and financial plan inclusive of sales, margin and inventory from division to department and from globe to region.
* Responsible for building the assortment that meets the framework targets inclusive of style/sku targets, in store dates, good/better/best framework, and season code (time on offer).
* Responsible for planning a range that meets IMU%, Sales and Inventory targets.
* Partners with global marketing on key investments aligned to big ideas, campaigns and marketing.
* Accountable for the Inventory investment (style level buy) for Gap global business including US, Canada, Europe and Japan.
* Partners with the Regional Inventory Management teams on delivering a comprehensive global hindsight to develop product and inventory strategies to service all global regions.
* Partners with Finance and Regional Inventory Management to create and manage to inventory budgets by quarter.
* Planning Specific:
* Manage the financial success of multiple divisions by meeting sales, gross margin, gross margin return on investment (GMROI) and inventory turn goals.
* Analysis of historical data and current trends to identify risks and opportunities for multiple departments.
* Collaborate with the global merchant team to develop and communicate a comprehensive pre-season strategy that aligns financial and product opportunities across multiple departments.
* Create pre-season sales, gm, and inventory plans by department and class that support product strategies.
* Manage the reconciliation of department targets and bottom-up plans.
* Recap and analyze actual sales results to plan.
* Validate and present department financial forecast and strategies in OTB process.
* Identify risks and opportunities across key product categories.
* Coach and train planners to identify key learnings and develop future strategies.
* Review buy plans/strategies and ensure plans meet financial targets.
* Support a collaborative, innovative, and results-oriented environment with peers and cross-functional team.
* Effectively influences senior leaders across the company both within Head Office and the Regional offices.
* Leads effective team development and identifies succession planning across the organization.
* Collaborates with peers to share best practices and develop strategic knowledge.
* Partners and collaborates with Snr Director Global Planning, Head Merchants, Regional leaders and cross functional teams.
* Reports to Manager or Director Global IM

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How To Become A Merchandise Planner

Although a high school diploma may be sufficient for some positions, many employers require buyers and purchasing agents to have a bachelor’s degree. Most entry-level positions require some form of on-the-job training.


Educational requirements usually vary with the size of the organization. Although a high school diploma may be enough at some organizations, many businesses require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree. For many positions, a degree in business, finance, or supply management is sufficient.

For those interested in a career as a buyer or purchasing agent of farm products, a degree in agriculture, agriculture production, or animal science is often beneficial.


Buyers and purchasing agents typically get on-the-job training for more than 1 year. During this time, they learn how to perform their basic duties, including monitoring inventory levels and negotiating with suppliers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

There are several certifications available for buyers and purchasing agents. Although some employers require certification, many do not.

Most of these certifications involve oral or written exams and have education and work experience requirements.

The Institute for Supply Management offers the Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) credential, which covers a wide scope of purchasing professional duties. To receive the CPSM credential, candidates must pass three exams and those with a bachelor’s degree must possess at least 3 years of relevant work experience while those without a bachelor’s degree must have at least 5 years of relevant work experience.

The American Purchasing Society offers the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) certification. The CPP certification is valid for 5 years. Candidates must earn a certain number of professional development “points” to renew their certification. Candidates initially become eligible and can renew their certification through a combination of purchasing-related experience, education, and professional contributions (such as published articles or delivered speeches).

APICS offers the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. Applicants must have 3 years of relevant business experience or a bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible for the CSCP credential. The credential is valid for 5 years. Candidates must also earn a certain number of professional development points to renew their certification.

The Next Level Purchasing Association offers the Senior Professional in Supply Management (SPSM) Certification. Although there are no education or work experience requirements, applicants must complete six online courses and pass an SPSM exam. Certification is valid for 4 years. Candidates must complete 32 continuing education hours in procurement-related topics to recertify for an additional four-year period.

The Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC) offers two certifications for workers in federal, state, and local government. The Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) credential requires applicants to have earned at least an associate’s degree, possess at least 3 years of public procurement experience, and complete relevant training courses. The Certified Public Purchasing Officer (CPPO) requires applicants to have earned a bachelor’s degree, possess at least 5 years of public procurement experience, and complete additional training courses.

Those with the CPPB or the CPPO designation must renew their certification every 5 years by completing continuing education courses or attending procurement-related conferences or events.

The National Institute of Government Purchasing (NIGP), Institute for Public Procurement offers preparation courses for the UPPCC certification exams.


An experienced purchasing agent or buyer may become an assistant purchasing manager before advancing to purchasing manager, supply manager, or director of materials management. Buyers and purchasing agents with extensive work experience can also advance to become the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) for an organization.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. When evaluating suppliers, buyers and purchasing agents must analyze their options and choose a supplier with the best combination of price, quality, delivery, or service. 

Decisionmaking skills. Buyers and purchasing agents must have the ability to make informed and timely decisions, choosing products that they think will sell.

Math skills. Buyers and purchasing agents must possess basic math skills. They must be able to compare prices from different suppliers to ensure that their organization is getting the best deal. 

Negotiating skills. Buyers and purchasing agents often must negotiate the terms of a contract with a supplier. Interpersonal skills and self-confidence, in addition to knowledge of the product, can help lead to successful negotiations.

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Merchandise Planner jobs

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Merchandise Planner Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Mandarin

  • Chinese

  • Italian

  • Hindi

  • Russian

  • Korean

  • Vietnamese

  • German

  • Lithuanian

  • Bengali

  • Polish

  • Arabic

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Real Merchandise Planner Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Merchandise Planner Saks Fifth Avenue New York, NY Apr 15, 2013 $125,000
Merchandise Planner Victoria's Secret Beauty Limited New York, NY Sep 10, 2012 $120,750
Merchandise Planner Beauty Avenues, LLC New York, NY Sep 10, 2012 $120,750
Senior Merchandise Planner Victoria's Secret Stores Brand Management New York, NY Sep 03, 2013 $115,149 -
Merchandise Planner Aeropostale Inc. New York, NY Jun 18, 2015 $110,000
Merchandise Planner Saks & Company New York, NY Feb 23, 2015 $105,000
Merchandise Planner Saks & Company New York, NY Jan 10, 2015 $105,000
Merchandise Planner, Private Label Saks & Company DBA Saks Fifth Avenue New York, NY Jan 22, 2015 $96,000
Merchandise Planner Bath & Body Works, LLC Reynoldsburg, OH Aug 10, 2015 $94,931
Merchandise Planner Pride Technologies LLC New York, NY Jun 13, 2011 $92,517
Merchandise Planner J. Crew Group, Inc. New York, NY Nov 12, 2012 $90,000
Merchandise Planner Saks Fifth Avenue New York, NY Mar 04, 2013 $90,000
Merchandise Planner Bath & Body Works, LLC Reynoldsburg, OH Oct 01, 2015 $75,005 -
Planner, Merchandise Planning Analytics The Gap, Inc. San Francisco, CA Nov 01, 2016 $75,000 -
Merchandise Planner Macy's Merchandising Corporation New York, NY Oct 15, 2009 $75,000
Merchandise Planner Macy's Merchandising Corporation New York, NY Sep 14, 2009 $75,000
Merchandise Planner MacYs Merchandising Corporation New York, NY Oct 15, 2009 $75,000
Merchandise Planner Macy's Merchandising Corporation New York, NY Oct 01, 2009 $75,000
Merchandise Planner Bath & Body Works, LLC Reynoldsburg, OH Nov 25, 2013 $74,000 -
Merchandise Planner-Produce Meijer Great Lakes Limited Partnership Lansing, MI Oct 01, 2013 $70,619
Associate Merchandise Planner L Brands Service Company, LLC Columbus, OH Oct 24, 2016 $59,600 -
Assistant Merchandise Planner Saks Fifth Avenue New York, NY Sep 17, 2009 $56,000
Assistant Merchandise Planner Saks Fifth Avenue New York, NY Oct 12, 2009 $56,000
Merchandise Planner/Analyst Draper's & Damon's, LLC Irvine, CA Aug 22, 2012 $54,659
Merchandising Planner PPF Syracuse, Inc. Syracuse, NY Mar 11, 2015 $50,000
Retail Merchandise Planner Hanky Panky Ltd. New York, NY Feb 15, 2015 $50,000

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Top Skills for A Merchandise Planner


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Top Merchandise Planner Skills

  1. Financial Goals
  2. Seasonal Financial Plans
  3. Vendors
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Partnered with buyers to develop and execute seasonal business plans that delivered seasonal financial goals of sales, margin and turn.
  • Created seasonal financial plans to guarantee optimal inventory investment, increase merchandise flow, and reduce markdowns to ultimately maximize profitability.
  • Reviewed forecast and inventory plans with vendors to endure product availability.
  • Identify opportunities/risks in current business trend; execute strategies to keep appropriate inventory levels as needed.
  • Managed open-to-buy, developed key item unit plans, managed all markdowns.

Top Merchandise Planner Employers

Merchandise Planner Videos

Careers in Fashion : Fashion Merchandising Jobs

Career Advice on becoming a Fashion Buyer by Sahar K (Full Version)

Fabulous Fashion Careers: Life As A Fashion Buyer for Urban Outfitters