The Merchandising Associate, Sportswear is a key member of the Merchandising Team. The Merchandising Team is part of a broader Product Team and we are all committed to the Lilly Pulitzer® company strategy to be the Best in the World at Resort Chic Apparel and Accessories Inspired by Lilly’s Optimistic Palm Beach Lifestyle.
The Lilly Pulitzer® brand positioning is Lilly’s Resort Chic with three competitive advantages of (1) Print, (2) Authentic Resort and (3) Emotional Connection.
The Merchandising Associate, Sportswear has five primary goals. Achieving these is their role in executing the product strategy to create innovative designs that delight our consumer, have high retail sell through and contribute to the profitable growth of the company.
(1) Achieve the company financial goals set for Sportswear, specifically Shorts, Pants, Skirts and Skorts, Luxletics. This position does not specifically manage Key Inititatives and Multi-Seasonal Core Items but it is critical to collaborate on these for the success of Sportswear as a whole.
(2) Line Planning, Seasonless Chase and Development that Achieves the Goals
(3) Contribute trend insight and macro market information to help build the whole Product Team’s awareness, but specifically the Merchandising Team’s.
(4) Work with the other Sportswear Merchandisers and lead Design players to ensure that we are efficetively outfitting our consumer top to bottom to increase our UPT and ADT.
(5) Collaborate effectively with colleagues, operate in accordance with The Company Creed and Core Values, and demonstrate leadership in accordance with the Core Leadership qualities.
Achieve Net Sales and Gross Profit goals for the following categories: Shorts, Pants, Skirts and Skorts, Luxletics .
Create seasonal targets and strategies that will achieve the annual growth plans and build the assortments to achieve them.
Achieve 12% average weekly sell through for the year.
Contribute Surface Design insights and strategies that apply specifically to Sportswear. This includes a perspective and analysis on the performance of print, pattern and solids.
Seek innovative opportunities to improve margins and full-price sell throughs.
Seek out-of-the-box tools or tactics that can improve the business in volume or sell through.
Continue to define what Lilly Pulitzer can be THE BEST in and what Lilly Pulitzer can be successful in within Sportswear.
Fine tune the Positioning Statements for these categories with clear actionable goals. Build a consensus among the product team to ensure these are executed well. Develop a business that has a company wide perspective.
Contribute to the annual 3-year business plans laid out in September/October. Prepare recommendations of short and long term ideas to grow the business and budget recommendations. The senior management team members from Merchandising and Design will utilize these in the final evaluation and vision to grow the business.
Come to the table with ideas for Seasonless Chase each week. These ideas should be indicative of what is working and/or holes in the future assortments.
Manage the balance of structure and creativity to build assortments of Sportswear that will achieve the financial targets.
Identify AUR targets, patterns and selling indicators for each Sportswear segment and business unit.
Study, clarify and communicate the Sportswear business by channel, working with planners to understand their nuances and inventory depth opportunties. Be channel informed but ultimately consumer and design led. Meet regularly with channel managers and merchants to onboard them to the seasonal collections while gathering feedback that can be appropriately filtered and applied.
Touching base with them prior to developing plans or assorting, after design review or initial fit will help to be channel informed.
Inspire and lead the design team to realize the Sportswear strategies set forth. Anticipate the next trend, look or key item. Leverage retail experience and intimate understanding of the brand, competition, target consumer, Lilly specific patterns. Be the expert and advocate for this business all the way to the consumer level.
Understand the financial ramifications of merchandising decisions but be willing to take risks in order to play to win. Be willing to make decisions.
Line Planning and Development that Achieves the Goals
Merchants must prepare clear and actionable strategies, diagnose the results of each season and apply key learnings to future seasons. They must leverage an intimate understanding of the brand, the competition, the consumer, macro trends and Lilly specific patterns of selling. They utlize these daily in our product development process but particularly at these 3 key stages:
Expanding and Shaping the Vision Post Season Selling Recap Omnichannel Business Meetings/On Sale
To do this well:
Develop Sportswear Assortment Plans that achieve our goals of sales, gross profit and gross margin.
Create plans that clearly identify opportunities by Price Bucket, fabric, delivery, style/scp and key silhouette categories (i.e. Basics, Pullovers), keeping the Design Vision in mind and annual goals.
Work with Merch Planning to project the total company quantities for each style and scp. Create distortion to optimize the winners. Be clear in communicating the next winner.
The merchant’s knowledge of the business, consumer lifestyle and aspirations, future trends and past consumer purchasing trends should distort the rankings of each style and scp within the style considering the surface designs.
Establish IMU as the key margin metric. Communicate barometers of good IMU and poor IMU so that the product team can move forward from the language of wholesale margins. This may require speaking to both in the short term until all are comfortable with the new metrics but ultimately, we need to migrate forward to leverage IMU more in evaluating the product (rankings by IMU).
There will be more communication and measurement of Maintain Margin and Merchandising will need to be early adopters of this headset.
Shop the market to identify the trends and evaluate if they are relevant for Lilly Pulitzer®. Stay current on key competitors’ assortments and strategies behind them. Communicate these findings with regularity to the product team from fabric team to fashion design to surface design to product development.
Contribute trend insight and macro market information to help build the whole Product Team’s awareness, but specifically the Merchandising Team’s.
Identify a full list of events that would be helpful to have access to for trend responsibilities.
Contribute a monthly report on the latest trending looks, market buzz, concepts or designers to share with Fashion Design, PD, Retail, Ecommerce, Sales Merchandising and Marketing. Identify new creative ways to communicate this insight.
Contribute 10-minute summaries of these opportunities at the Post Season Sellign Recap, and help to identify which trends from all of the presentations are most relevant and should be incorporated into future collection.
Work with the other Sportswear Merchandisers and lead Design players to ensure that we are effectively outfitting our consumer top to bottom to increase our UPT and ADT.
Build the line with outfitting in mind starting with assortment plans. Be influential with any new outfit portions or strategies that you want to achieve in a season starting with plotting and re-iterating each stage.
Collaborate with other Merchandisers and to build the full outfit for the consumer. Working together to effectively make this happen is key.
Help build a tool to be distributed at the business meeting and to key associates in the field that depicts the identified key looks and outfit strategies for the season. These looks should be replicated online and in-stores.
Collaborate Effectively with Colleagues, fit with The Company Creed, Core Values and Demonstrate Leadership in Accordance with The Core Leadership Qualities.
Establish cross pollination and collaboration within the team and among the design, merchandising, product development and technical design teams, leading by example.
Fit with The Company Creed and the Core Values.
As a Merchandiser, it is essential to demonstrate leadership in accordance with the Core Leadership Qualities of:
ü Company First
ü See The Success
ü Inspire Others Positively
ü Foster Creativity within Structure
ü Develop Strategy and Deliver Results
ü Play to Win; and
ü Win as a Team
SKILLS REQUIRED TO PERFORM SUCCESSFULLY:
Sufficient fashion sense, market knowledge and consumer understanding to uphold the vision and strategy of the brand.
The ability to interact effectively with the Vice President Merchandising & Licensing and with several other departments, including fashion design, retail, e-commerce, communications, and sales as required. Credibility is critical to the success of the position.
Strong analytical skills and the discipline to summarize conclusions and recommendations.
Strong verbal and written communication skills are necessary.
Comfort in working in or observing an environment where the Lilly Pulitzerâ consumer shops for the merchandise and developing merchandising insights.
The sense of urgency necessary in the apparel industry.
Skills and proficiency with Microsoft Windowsâ, Excelâ and Wordâ, knowledge of Storyboard and other software, proficiency with the company’s Product Development Management software, Web PDM, experience with company’s Advanta Assortment Planning System.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE REQUIRED:
A four year college degree is required. A degree in fashion merchandising or a related subject is preferred.
Minimum of 3-5 years of experience in wholesale apparel or retail required, preferably in a merchandising or retail sales capacity for a women’s fashion branded Apparel Company.
This position is classified as full-time salaried; it is exempt and is not eligible for overtime. This position is eligible for standard company fringe benefits.
The position requires domestic travel to visit retail stores and wholesale accounts in order to conduct product, consumer and competitive research.
This position requires international travel to visit factories.
Given the seasonality of the business, this position requires flexibility and additional working hours during peak periods.
This position is based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
This position is reviewed annually.
Lilly Pulitzer® is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Lilly Pulitzer® participates in E-Verify. Details in English and Spanish . Right to Work Statement in English and Spanish .