Merchandise Planner

Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Established in the 1930s as a trading business, Al-Futtaim Group today is one of the most diversified and progressive, privately held regional businesses headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Structured into five operating divisions; automotive, financial services, real estate, retail and healthcare; employing more than 35,000 employees across more than 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, Al-Futtaim Group partners with over 200 of the world's most admired and innovative brands. Al-Futtaim Group’s entrepreneurship and relentless customer focus enables the organization to continue to grow and expand; responding to the changing needs of our customers within the societies in which we operate.

By upholding our values of respect, excellence, collaboration and integrity; Al-Futtaim Group continues to enrich the lives and aspirations of our customers each and every day

Job Description

Merchandise Planner | Watsons, Al-Futtaim | Dubai (138561)

Overview of the role

Watsons is currently looking to hire a Merchandise Planner. In this role you will manage OTB, stock, sales, and margin at detailed level to maximise sales and minimise inventory levels.

What you will do

Delivering Top Line Performance and Profitability

  • Sets overall guidelines for margin by product area and ensures processes are established to analyse margin deviation.
  • Forecast weekly sales and margin by store and region highlighting risks and opportunities
  • Manages markdown and promotional strategies to ensure margin is maintained to achieve bottom line
  • Manages and owns Good/ Better/ Best pricing strategies
  • Drives the Business Planning process for the brand to arrive at the budgeted sales & Margin (BP)

Manages OTB, inventory levels and stock turn

  • Oversee full OTB process, sell through and markdown policy. Analytical and proactively manages sales, inventory and margin through effective range planning
  • Provides accurate OTB plans for each category maximising sell through
  • Forecasts intakes in line with OTB to give an accurate picture of weekly stockholding by brand.
  • Manages and creates category planning
  • Manages store clustering and distribution of stock to stores
  • Creates, manages and maintains MSSI/ WSSI reports
  • Manages monthly intake and timely deliveries in accordance with the brand and Market
  • Ensures all markets have optimum inventory levels at any given point of time
  • Manages the stock profile to ensure that aged inventory is kept to a minimum

Team Collaboration

  • Works in conjunction with buying team to develop effective, profitable assortment range
  • Collaborates with Financial Planner to forecast budgets and latest estimates by region and store
  • Builds and manages the range plans in conjunction with buying ensuring OTB is controlled
  • Works closely with other departments including Buying, Retail, VM, Operations and Wholesale to ensure the product offer is optimised at all times and sales opportunities are maximised
  • Collaborate with Marketing, Operations and the Brand teams to confirm the commercial calendar for all brands, which would include all key promotions in line with the markdown strategy
  • Provide support and direction to the allocators / admin assistants and groom them to become future managers in the organization
  • Provide periodic updates to the relevant stakeholders and conduct recurrent stakeholder meetings to ensure effective relationship and align with their expectation

SAP Inventory Management & Reporting

  • Ensure that SAP is maintained and is regularly and is operating effectively from an inventory point of view
  • Develop and publish reports which will give accurate and reliable information to the management and facilitate decision making
  • Support expansion by providing sales estimates and ensuring the availability of a proper stock package
  • Understand gaps in the existing inventory control process & take corrective action to address these gaps in a timely manor
  • Assist with the development and enforcement of robust inventory/ stock policies, procedures (SOPs) and ensure that the replenishment system in SAP is operating efficiently.

Required skills to be successful

  • A strategic thinker, with a methodical thorough approach, who can communicate effectively across all levels within the organisation.

What equips you for the role

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent preferred
  • Minimum 3-4 years’ experience as a Merchandise Planner in a retail environment
  • Candidates with experience in Beauty / Cosmetics / Skin Care / Healthcare industry will be preferred
  • SAP working Knowledge

About Al-Futtaim Retail

Al-Futtaim Retail has established itself as one of the leaders in Retail across the Middle East, Africa & Asia over the past 30 years. We have developed partnerships with some of the biggest and most respected Brands in the world including IKEA, ACE and Toys R Us in the Middle East and the Inditex Group of Brands (Zara, Mango, Bershka and P&B) across Asia. We are also one of the largest Global partners of Marks and Spencer’s in both regions with over 75 stores offering both fashion & food options.

Most recently we have been responsible for bringing brands to the Middle East for the first time with the exciting launches of Watsons and B&Q and we aim to continue to be agile and adaptive to our markets with new launches and further development. For this to be possible we aim to recruit the best talent from all backgrounds who will continue to challenge and develop our diverse workforce which includes over 100 nationalities across 12 countries. Join us today and make a difference…

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