Lakeland logo
FacebookLakeland Facebook logoLinkedInLakeland LinkedIn logo

Divisional Merchandiser


Job Details



Contract Type

Fixed Term

Working Pattern

Full Time



Closing Date

04/12/2020 18:00

Job Purpose


  • Deliver total company sales (circa £150m per annum), achieved margin and, stock & working capital targets under guidance of Head of Merchandising and Senior Management Team.
  • With the support of the Head of Merchandising responsible for:
    • financial planning and forecasting at divisional level in line with budgeted KPIs
    • replenishment and channel availability maximisation
    • retail space optimisation and grading
    • MD control and achieved margin maximisation
  • Take the lead on the development of processes, systems and training around best practice stock control, budgeting & forecasting, sales & margin optimisation.
  • Management of full company SKU assortment of circa 3,800 SKUs sourced from up to 400 suppliers worldwide. 
  • Responsible for multi-channel stock management across 68 retail stores,, Amazon & international franchise partners. 

About The Role

Drives Business Success

Financial Planning, Forecasting & Trading

  • Assist the Head of Merchandising with the preparation, analysis and presentation of weekly trading data at company & department level (sales, stock & achieved margin), identify trends against plans and pinpoint possible solutions to poor sales performance
  • Assist the Head of Merchandising with the creation and ownership of:
    • 3 year departmental financial plan
    • annual departmental KPI budgets
    • cascade to teams to build weekly financial plans in line with agreed framework
  • Prepare, analyse and present weekly trading data to review total B&M company performance (sales, stock & achieved margin)
  • Assist the Head of Merchandising in rolling monthly re-forecasting process to give latest view of B&M departmental sales, MD, AM%, stock & intake
  • Identify weekly & monthly risks and opportunities to delivery of company plans and make action focused recommendations to Head of Merchandising to reverse under performance.
  • Manage, with the support of the B&M the rolling supplier funding tracker, ensuring month end submissions to finance are timely and accurate.

Replenishment & Channel Availability Maximisation

  • Manage the effective replenishment of stock from our Distribution Centre to all channels ensuring targeted KPI’s are hit (availability by channel, stock holding by channel)
  • Develop and optimise systems and processes that ensure the right stock is replenished to the right channels in a timely manner; proactively identify & investigate any availability issues in order to understand underlying causes, minimise supply risk, improve availability and identify potential process developments
  • Provide weekly sales and inventory summary reports and analysis, summarise store inventory & availability status to wider business
  • With the support of the Merchandising team agree replenishment planning targets for retail stores and digital channels to meet agreed availability parameters
  • Manage overall retail inventory levels based on store capacity, seasonality and selling curves in line with stock and intake plans
  • Manage the Merchandising team to ensure output from weekly automated min / max exception reporting is actioned to achieve maximum in store availability; action relevant recommendations for stock push to stores & online channels.
  • Identify and implement effective allocation strategies to manage forward seasonal, promotional, event, and VM requirements ensuring alignment with cross-functional stakeholders
  • With input from B&M teams manage new season launch allocation process monitoring new line availability dates and ensuring stock arrives on time to hit planned batch release; manage late running SKUs by exception; clearly communicate risks, opportunities or remedial actions to wider business

Retail Space Optimisation & Grading

  • Develop thorough knowledge of store estate to include variances in regional and store location performance, trends and attributes (store and product) through extensive data analysis and communication with the Retail team
  • Apply local store knowledge and analysis to enhance range planning & allocation strategies and maximise sales & profit density returns of retail selling space
  • Develop further the heat mapping of store space to make recommendations for space amendments and refined store grading plans for the future eg grading by high street, garden centre, OOT location
  • Work with Store Operations, VM and Merchandisers to manage the allocation of new store and remodel store stock packages that ensure appropriate opening stock levels
  • Develop and provide appropriate ad-hoc analysis and recommendations to inform and influence future ranging decisions and improve the replenishment process

MD Control & Achieved Margin Maximisation

  • Manage divisional promotional & MD plans to include standardised planning & tracking documents and wider business communication plan.  Aspects to include:
    • Rolling 12 month supplier funded promotional plan
    • Seasonal events (Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Back To School, Halloween, Black Friday and Christmas)
    • Calendar events (Spring Savings, Autumn Savings, myLakeland Customer Events)
    • End of season Sale management
  • Attend monthly Campaign Planning meetings to represent B&M and ensure that the wider business is aware of planned future promotional / event activity, incremental sales and margin targets, supplier funded activity. 

Operational Excellence

  • Deputise for Head of Merchandising in their absence
  • Represent Merchandising function as a stakeholder for special projects and company initiatives benefit customers and employees alike
  • Collaborate with Merchandising Team to ensure consistency and accuracy of information, share best practices and maximise systems knowledge
  • Partner with Merchandising team to constantly evaluate critical path in order to streamline processes, reduce duplication, roll out training
  • Propose appropriate enhancements to reporting systems working with the Head of Merchandising and IT on potential system improvements or Merchandising requirements
  • Partner with Store Operations to provide consistent communication regarding inventory, promotion and MD activity, product and range launch updates for retail stores and proactively seek feedback
  • Work closely with Store Operations team to deal with store allocation queries and providing appropriate support and action as needed
  • Develop effective working relationship with Kendal DC to ensure timely pick, dispatch & tracking of key products to stores
  • Continuously monitor market activity, through regular competitor shop visits, evaluate risks and opportunities, recommend appropriate commercial action; understand market share information and position

People Management

  • Ensure effective communication at all levels and encourage open communication within the wider B&M team; sharing best practice
  • Effective communicator and influencer who is proactive in seeking out feedback from all stakeholders to ensure both sales and margin are optimised
  • Develop and maintain effective working relationships with retail stores, e-commerce and other business partners

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

Essentials: The must haves

  • Minimum 4 years in a Merchandiser role or equivalent
  • Educated to A level standard or equivalent qualification
  • Broad knowledge of computer systems, minimum of intermediate Excel skills
  • Understands and simplifies complex strategy so that the teams can focus on key issues and priorities; uses judgement and experience to balance risk
  • Thinks ahead to identify and anticipate potential opportunities and threats; make tough decisions to support long term business benefit
  • Works independently; plans own time effectively; can multi-task, prioritise and ensure that targets and deadlines are met; understands when to escalate issues
  • Challenged by a fast pace role with a high interruption level; able to cope well under pressure
  • Communication is clear, simple and well structured; ensures messages are understood
  • Adapts leadership and influencing styles to get the best out of others so that they can work with enthusiasm and confidence
  • Identifies opportunities for change that will deliver market leading growth and benefit customers and employees alike
  • Creates and leads strategic change initiatives whilst balancing short term business needs
  • Effectively handles ambiguity and leads people to embrace and embed change
  • Team player who works in partnership with others, shares information, knowledge & experience freely; builds and maintains positive relationships
  • Build sound working relationships with internal departments including Merchandisers, DC, Retail, Marketing, Contact Centre
  • Demonstrates broad business thinking and sound commercial judgement in generating ideas and robust strategies to shape our future business
  • Proven negotiation skills
  • Ensures all activities and decisions make life better for customers; responds energetically to customer feedback.

Desirable – the ‘nice to haves’

  • Work experience in a multi-channel retail business
  • Knowledge of Lakeland products
  • Use of a WSSI planning system at category or department level
  • Understanding of Lakeland’s internal software system.




Your place in our world

Head of Merchandising
Divisional Merchandiser
Assistant Merchandiser