VP, Merchandising

Job Description


The VP, Merchandising is responsible for the overall strategy and execution of product assortment, promotion, pricing, and placement in-store across all categories to maximize sales and profit. He or she leads a team of Category Leads (Directors). The role provides leadership by empowering direct reports with ownership over their individual categories and collectively is responsible for meeting the target metrics of sales, COGS, margin $, inventory productivity, market share, Private Label penetration, and overall profitability. The role sets the promotional strategy for sales and traffic and curates assortment to differentiate us. This Leader fosters a culture of collaboration across the organization to optimize work processes that improve quality, customer satisfaction, sales, and profitability. The VP, Merchandising is energized by challenges and establishes goals that achieve business growth.

Key Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Oversee Category Lead development and execution of category strategy, including product selection, allocation, approval of marketing materials, and execution of pricing strategies in support of sales and profit
  • Analyze promotional strategy and leverage product/consumer trends and historical data across all categories, to effectively support business strategies
  • Achieve sales, share, profit and Private Label penetration targets, while appropriately balancing customer loyalty, innovation and blended margin
  • Oversee Sr. Director of Private Label in development of innovation and merchandising strategy
  • Develop plans to maximize sales and traffic during holidays and other relevant promotional periods
  • Responsible for developing a competitive organizational pricing strategy to drive financial performance across all categories
  • Oversee Pricing Manager to develop pricing strategies
  • Demonstrate understanding of the customer perspective through business decisions that drive loyalty in varying customer segments
  • Draw insight from internal and external resources to generate new ideas and opportunities for Merchandising, as well as other areas of the organization
  • Build relationships (internally and externally) and identify new opportunities within the organization and act to effectively implement change to improve results
  • Foster a culture of collaboration across the organization to support merchandising decisions, directives and initiatives. Examples include collaborating with:
    • Marketing to maximize eCommerce growth
    • Store Operations Leadership to effectively execute promotions throughout the year to drive sales.
    • Pricing Director on strategy to achieve key metrics
    • Supply Chain to ensure product availability aligns with business needs, exit strategies are planned, and appropriate tradeoffs are managed
  • Ensure all merchandising operations align with the defined category management principles- develop processes and audit mechanisms where there are gaps, coaching and training others to develop competencies
  • Empower and challenge Category Leads to own their category by incorporating individual points of view and ideas into their strategy backed by data and analysis
  • Manage vendor relationships to maximize COGS in every negotiation. Is firm and is willing to push, will take a risk and ask for more, while maintaining professionalism and health of the long-term relationship



Skills Required:

  • Strong leadership and negotiation skills
  • Ability to set challenging goals and work through others to achieve results
  • Proven ability to negotiate and/or influence vendors or leaders for outcomes that are productive and beneficial both short and long term
  • Ability to build business relationship across departments and foster a culture of collaboration
  • Excellent communication skills – both verbal and written
  • Strong analytical skills; demonstrated ability to drive analysis into action
  • Ability to lead a team to build and manage a consumer-driven business
  • Understand the needs of the customer, retail locations and the overall organization
  • Understanding of competitive environment, trends and legal implications of doing business in the BevAlch industry
  • Ability to travel (approximately 25% of the time)

Education & Experience:

  • BA/BS or equivalent work experience, MBA a plus
  • 10+ years experience of multi-category management in merchandise buying
  • 10+ years using Nielsen, IRI or other market data information to formulate category strategy
  • Strong computer skills in MS Office including Access, and AS400 program,
  • Alcohol/beverage industry and project management experience is strongly preferred