• Merchandise Planning Manager

    Job Locations US-MD-Annapolis
    Regular Full-Time
  • Overview

    At South Moon Under, our mission is summed up in four words – love. create. drive. imagine. We love this tribe - We create and curate beautiful things - We drive to be our best and we inspire others to tap into their power - We imagine and execute on our visions every day. Our Tribe, is filled with smart, skilled, dynamic, creative and passionate employees who drive to be better every day. Our customersare our inspiration. We personally curate our products to make our customers look and feel good. When our customers walk into our stores, we aim to connect and spread the love. Our history – originating as a small surf shop in 1968, South Moon Under has evolved into a national fashion retailer. We are building a vibrant, diverse team of creative, friendly, skilled and passionate people who want to work hard and win even harder. We value our employees and we enable them to deliver their best work. If you want to work for a company where we drive for success every day, without compromising human connection, you’ve found your Tribe!


    We are currently looking for a Merchandise Planning Manager to join our Tribe!


    The Merchandise Planning Manager will be responsible for directing the development, execution, and communication of the strategic merchandise financial plans.  This individual will partner with Merchandising in driving and maximizing sales and margin. They will also be responsible for the following duties: 


    • Manage, in complete partnership with Merchant partnership, the six-month Seasonal Merchandise Plans for their respective areas of responsibility and with respect to the company’s financial goals and targets. Guides their Planners in the development, presentation and defense of these plans to Senior Management. 
    • Manage, for their areas of responsibility, the Monthly Business Review (MBR) process by guiding the Planners in their development of sales, margin, receipt and inventory forecasts; the support of these forecasts with unit projections; and the reporting of unit performance, unit forecasts and receipt issues during the MBR meetings.
    • Present top-line, cross-channel total results and forecasts at the Monthly Business Review meetings (MBR).
    • Manage receipts and inventory against targeted weeks of supply objectives and partner with merchandising to recommend actions that drive sales and maximize gross margin by ensuring best receipt flow.
    • Manage and guide the Planners in the development of ideal assortment to maximize sales and margin for each buy period, ensuring the appropriate costs, retails and number of customer choices to achieve each period’s targets. Review and approve the Planners’ unit quantities to buy and to reorder (to the color and size levels), which will effectively maximize the ability of each channel to maximize sales and margin for each buy period.
    • Manage markdown and promotional strategies and ensures exit strategy for seasonal programs to effectively mitigate aged inventory.
    • Create Conceptual Assortment Plans (CAP) for Design needs and final Customer Choice (cc) counts by store level for assortments.
    • Evaluate test results to identify opportunities.
    • Maintain open and continual communication with Merchandising, Sourcing, Allocation, Marketing and Visual teams.
    • Attend monthly Allocation Meetings to partner with their Planners and the Allocation team on allocation strategies.
    • Manage and provide direction to their Planners to partner across channels to ensure optimal inventories to best serve the customer needs, sharing inventories as needed which will maximize overall sales and margin.
    • Prepare cross-channel department overviews to be presented at Weekly Business Meetings.
    • Prepare comprehensive monthly hindsight recaps (dept, style, size range) and present at monthly meetings.
    • Guide the application of the lessons towards the framework for future deliveries and reaction to current business trends.
    • Guide the development of their Planners’ Weekly Unit Plans and Key Item programs to exploit category opportunities to drive sales and margin.
    • Travel to stores on a regular basis with their Retail Planner, Allocator and Merchant partners to observe the work of their Allocators and the performance of their merchandise; to review markdown racks for future decisions on the purchase quantities of merchandise; to gain an understanding of the customer base, store layouts, fixturing and fixture quantities, and back stock space; and to foster a strong working relationship with the store teams.
    • Adhere to the Corporate Calendar in preparation and ownership of meetings, due dates, delivery dates, etc.
    • Be a leader.
      • Recognize personal areas for growth and act on them.
      • Lead by example.
      • Inspire open, passionate, inquisitive and innovative thinking.
      • Foster a positive working environment where failures are celebrated for their opportunities.
      • Develop team members to the next level.
      • Foster team work, collaboration and accountability.
      • Cultivate honesty, integrity and openness.
      • Remain composed and directed under pressure.
      • Prepare self for broader responsibility.
      • Deliver superior performance.
    • Have fun with the work each day and enjoy the unique ability to be part of a creative and energetic team at South Moon Under.



    • Bachelor’s degree.
    • 5 -8 years of specialty retail experience with a minimum of 7 years as a Sr. Planner or Planner in Apparel or Accessories.
    • Strong analytical and financial skills.
    • 2 – 4 years of demonstrated team leadership experience.
    • Demonstrated knowledge of industry practices and current trends

    Preferred qualifications 

    10+ years of planning experience 

    3+ years as a Planning Manager or Director 


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