The Assistant Merchant supports in delivering financial volume expectations of the business. Acts as the Subject Matter Expert on various retail areas and topics, including, but not limited to, customer intimacy, competitive intelligence, testing execution, product/sample management, visual and comprehensive systems management. The Assistant Merchant supports the strategy of the merchandise assortment through seamless execution.
· Drive and execute client intimacy activities developed by the merchant, sharing insights with merchant leaders while making business recommendations
· Provide product strategy recommendations by gathering competitive intelligence on current competition and trends
· Assist in seasonal hindsight process through the ownership of color ranking and client insights
· Be the voice of the customer through store travel for tests, market distortions, and new product launches.
· Be in stores and/or on campus on a weekly basis to gain customer feedback and business insights
· Understand the customers lifestyle by staying on top of trends, social media, and pop culture as it specifically relates to the VSL customer
· Understand the Brand target customer by tracking and experiencing customer attitude and lifestyle and participating in selecting product that appeals to the customer's taste
· Engage in competitive patterning to understand the current competition/market trends and influence product strategy.
· Support the merchant/leader in delivering financial objectives and maximizing volume and profit by leveraging intuitive client insights when building seasonal strategies
· Drive accuracy of product detail through excellent execution and management of assortment documentation and communication
· Support marketing/visual strategy and sales education/store operations through consistency and accuracy in line lists, brand guides, sign requests, product information, and assortment details, reacting with urgency while comprehending overall strategy
· Own the accuracy of samples as well as the physical samples for a book of business across multiple seasons.
· Assist in key meeting prep with sample availability, deck preparation, and ad hoc requests and analysis, always staying agile and flexible
· Manage product edits & inputs for multiple floorsets and seasons and by prioritizing tasks and balancing competing priorities.
· Understand financial parameters and applications needed to drive results in a fashion retail business
· Identify opportunities in regional and store performance in support of the merchant/leader; analyze detailed size and market trends and recommendations to impact a book of business
· Cultivate and maintain strong cross-functional partnerships with clear and accurate communication
· Constantly communicate with the Field to understand business results and report findings back to business.
· Actively participate in weekly cross functional meetings and calls.
· Consistently demonstrates open mindedness and free thinking when problem solving.
· Regularly share customer insights and business recommendations in cross functional forums.
· Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising, Business Administration or relevant area
· 1-2 years of experience in retail buying, or relevant experience
· Demonstrate an understanding of current and upcoming trends relevant to the customer
· The individual is highly curious, and influences leadership through client and competitive patterning and makes tangible recommendations for the business.
· Exceptional communication, prioritizing, collaboration, and problem-solving skills
· Ability to be a team player and to foster a commitment to teamwork among other associates
· Systems savvy
· Demonstrate entrepreneurial thinking