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Assistant Merchandiser - Home Department

Leicester, Leicestershire
Closing date
19 Jun 2023
NEXT is one of the UK's leading retailers!! We boast a very impressive HQ with a restaurant, juice bar and coffee lounge, an onsite Nursery (and ample free parking!). We employ over 2,000 staff yet we are always growing and developing.

Working as part of our dynamic and experienced teams, this is for the role of an Assistant Merchandiser and is a great opportunity to join the Home team. We want to bring on board an Assistant Merchandiser who is passionate, hardworking and who will play a pivotal part in our growth and development.

As an Assistant Merchandiser you will be managing budgets, sales and stock levels; commercially ensuring customer journeys online pre and post sale are excellent, and that products are easily accessible with great stock availability to maximise sales. You will analyse sales and trend data, identifying key growth opportunities and implementing actions. Taking ownership of the critical path whilst building productive relationships with stakeholders internally and externally.

An amazing part of this role is the ability to work directly with brands such as, Swoon, Laura Ashley and many more. The ability to trade the ranges whilst being true to the brand DNA will be a vital skill, ensuring sales potential is maximised. As an assistant merchandiser forecasting sales, budget control, stock control and progressing new lines from development through to delivery will all be key skills required.

The day to day...

Planning the range through:
  • Range building meetings - preparing information for, and contributing to the meeting in preparation for selection.
  • Selection meetings - pack to be prepared beforehand, attend and present or contribute depending on experience.
  • Technical - loading and maintaining merchandising systems in a timely manner to ensure the planning of the range is in line with the critical path.
  • Supplier meetings - be involved in supplier strategy with the Merchandiser/Buyer and to attend/lead supplier meetings to discuss the planning and current seasons.
  • Held options/trigger dates - have a full and clear understanding of the lead times that are being worked to on their department & ensures that the range is planned to take account of this. Place held options in such a way that critical launch dates are met and the online and retail stock availability is maintained.

Buying the range:

Deciding the buy:
  • Rank the range following any changes made in Selection, reviewing comp curves & banding to ensure all changes are in accordance with agreed range parameters (options/budget/sell £/key attributes).
  • Review line flows checking sizing, trends & lead-time/trigger dates. Decide on buy, taking into account minimum/opening stock requirements & service level forecasts.
  • Manage the total spend across the product group within parameters agreed by the Merchandiser.
  • Consider ways to reduce lead-time & markdown risk with suppliers by agreeing production reservations & fabric backing through alternative freight modes.
  • Awareness of alternative freight modes in order to achieve launch & understand implications of different methods on the margin.

Placing the buy:
  • Generate supplier enquiries, ensuring correct delivery date/supplier/costs/freight & sizing is loaded. All to be completed within critical deadline dates to ensure the best possible launch date.
  • Negotiate delivery date with supplier considering launch dates, in-take phasing & critical path.
  • Confirm contract & agree a critical path with the supplier.
  • Establish good rapport with the supplier base to ensure the best support is provided.
  • Work with the Merchandiser to manage business effectively across the whole supplier base.
  • Work in partnership with the buying and design team to react and trade the ranges in season.

Progressing the range through:
  • Critical path management.
  • Progress meetings.
  • Impact on spend through considering any changes to the product within the approval process.
  • Take ownership and follow up on key issues.
  • Help to maximise service level on planned estimates.
  • Conduct regular reviews of launch reports.

Other responsibilities include:
  • Supplier management, meetings, appraisals, strategy and visits.
  • In season control via sales forecasting, stock management, allocation of stock, intake management, markdown management, supplier liaison, competitor awareness, future season planning and fabric backing.
  • Development and on the job training of departmental Trainee Merchandiser.

About you...
  • Can demonstrate prior merchandising experience.
  • You are organised and can effectively manage and prioritise a wide range of tasks.
  • A great communicator, you will build excellent relationships both internally and externally.
  • You have strong analytical skills and can interpret key sales and trend data.
  • You thrive in a fast paced, busy environment and love it when the day passes quickly.
  • Enjoy working in a team environment and want to succeed.
  • Advanced skills in Microsoft Excel and highly numerate.

About Us
You know Next, but did you know we're a FTSE-100 retail company employing over 35,000 people across the UK and Ireland. We're the UK's 2nd largest fashion retailer and for Kidswear we're the market leader. At the last count we have over 500 stores, plus the Next Online and it's now possible to buy on-line from over 70 countries around the world! So we've gone global!

About some of our Benefits
  • 25% off a huge selection of Next, Lipsy & Victoria's Secret products
  • Company performance based bonus
  • Sharesave scheme
  • On-site Nursery available; OFSTED outstanding in all areas
  • 10% off most partner brands & up to 15% off Branded Beauty
  • Early VIP access to sale stock
  • Access to fantastic discounts at our Staff Shops
  • Subsidised restaurant, coffee shop and juice bar
  • Access a 24/7 digital GP and other free health and wellbeing services
  • Free on-site parking

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