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Associate Manager, Merchandise & Planning (Spirits, Wine, Tobacco)


Los Angeles

Job Description

Purpose and Objective of this position:


The candidate will work in partnership with the global Spirits/Wine/Tobacco (SWT) merchant and store operations teams to deliver the strongest product assortment and store execution.  The candidate is expected to have category product knowledge and plan effective promotional and marketing campaigns for their locations. The candidate is also responsible for maximizing Sales and Gross Margin, conversion of aged inventory, sales forecasting, stock ordering, price management and support store renovation projects.   Candidate will be building vendor relationships, driving local assortment strategies, and communicating both within the division/group and the Global Merchandising team.  

Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities:


Category Management and Financials


·       Delivers category sales, gross margin, and inventory turnover performance to budget

·       Monitors overall inventory levels to plan and forecast

·       Support global financial objectives and targets for the team that focus on category, brand growth and profitability

·       Identifies and evaluates sales and gross margin opportunities


·       Manage conversions and Aged Inventory/and delisted SKUs


·       Rationalization of Store Profiles and advise assortment that best delivers category target.


Strategy Execution



·       Identify and execute local event opportunities that support localization strategy


·       Communicate localization strategy and SWT global/location strategies to the stores



·       Support and monitor inventory integrity and communicate where necessary

·       Work closely with global Replenishment & Allocation team (R&A) on replenishment levels to the right store


·       Advise floor space and productivity through planogram


·       Support global merchandising team on Promotional calendar and execution


·       Provide direction to stores on visual presentation and merchandise presentation standards


·       Organize and provide product knowledge training

·       Drives decision-making and problem solving on at the merchandise issues at the division and location level



Localized Strategy Development


·       Own localized category strategy and align with the Global Merchandising and local Store teams

·       Evaluate, react, change strategy proactively


·       Delivers competitive strategy, including assortments, promotions, pricing, seasonal conversion, etc.


·       Conducts regular visits to domestic market to understand competition, activities, brand introductions, maintaining a “pulse” on the industry trends

·       Works closely with the team partners specifically, Store, VM, Marketing to ensure alignment with the merchandise strategy and quality execution

·       Works closely with the vendor to ensure alignment with the merchandise strategy and execution support

·       Establishes and maintains assortment plan pipeline by determining order quantities and placing orders

·       Determines markdown strategy and ensure communication/execution with divisions on local assortment



Vendor Relationships


  • Manage relationships and communication with local brands



·       Negotiate local promotional support

·       Be the face of the merchandising team in the US with global vendors when they visit stores or at strategy meetings


People Development


  • Support staff development
  • Manage SAVF related issues and communication with HR, store operations and vendor

·       Co-ordinate Vendor Trainings


  • Co-ordinate DFS in-house training


Standard Division Initiatives


·       Loyal T Program & support CSM team

·       Facilitate marketing in home country (pre-departure, editorial, etc.)


·       Facilitate Major Division Events – i.e. Chinese New Year/Oshogatsu/Golden Week/OBON/Festivals


Competencies Required:


·       Effective communication both oral and written.

·       Strong ability to multitask and remain agile


·       Ability to organize and prioritize workload to meet established deadlines.


·       Strong multidimensional leadership ability. Able to effectively operate in a culturally diverse environment with astuteness and sensitivity.

·       Must have strong interpersonal skills and be able to work well with personnel at various levels.

·       Must have high degree of integrity and confidentiality with a keen sense of business/financial acumen.

·       Accuracy and attention to detail

·       Able to make sound decisions with relevant facts at hand. Does not shy away from conflict.

·       Able to work flexible hours to meet the seasonality needs of the business

·       Good problem-solving skills.



Position Requirements:

             Minimum of 5 years in buying, merchandising or planning function with experience at buyer/planner-level or

Equivalent preferred. 

             University Bachelor’s Degree

             Able to travel up to 12 weeks per year

             Financial and analytical merchandising with a background in buying and/or planning

             Leadership experience developing, managing, and influencing people

             Negotiation experience required

             Luxury market experience preferred

             International business experience preferred

             International mobility, for career advancement opportunities, to Hong Kong and other major Asia Pacific cities 

Other Information

Posted On: 5/14/2021

Industry: Spirits, Wine, Tobacco

Position: Associate Manager, Merchandise & Planning (Spirits, Wine, Tobacco)

Salary: $74,000 thru $133,000