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Omni Junior Merchant

A Day in the Life

Omni Junior Merchant is the first step in the rewarding career path to becoming an Omni Buyer or Planner. In this role, you will be placed in the heart of our merchant organization, providing internal and external facing support to our merchant teams. You will ensure accurate representation of merchandise in stores and online, maintain strong vendor relationships and develop an entrepreneurial mindset to drive positive business results.

Omni Junior Merchant

8:30 AM

Start the Day

I arrive at work and check in with my team—Buyers, Planners and Assistant Buyer/Planners. After a quick hello, I head to my desk. First, I review and respond to emails. Then, I check price variance reports to update prices for our merchandise in stores and online. From there, my team meets again briefly to plan out our day. We determine where we need to divide and conquer and what projects we will need to collaborate on.

9:00 AM

Review Selling Reports

I evaluate the previous week’s sales reports and create a bestseller recap which I distribute to team members. This report is critical as it provides an overview of trends and helps the team to determine reorders. After, I review sales for each vendor as well as markdown selling to analyze full price versus sale business to ensure we are maximizing our business potential.

9:30 AM

Securing Samples

I reach out to my vendors to secure samples of upcoming orders to be photographed for Bloomingdales.com, as well as verify orders and ensure timelines are correct.

10:00 AM

“Turn in Prep”

“Turn in” preparation is critical for ensuring that all product on our website is accurate and ready for purchase by our customers. To prepare all of the product pages on bloomingdales.com, I begin by writing copy for each of the samples, which includes fabrication, color and size. Next I review the product description that will appear on the site alongside the product’s image. Then I determine how many images should be taken, and how they should be styled in order to best showcase the item. Today, I am focused on styling an image that will showcase the latest layering trend in fashion jewelry.

11:30 AM

Process Purchase Orders

I review and process all orders for upcoming advertisements and next month’s deliveries to stores and online.

12:00 PM

Lunchtime!

I grab a bite with some of the other Omni Junior Merchants in the Executive Development Program.

1:00 PM

Update Ship Logs

I contact all vendors and make adjustments to shipping dates if the vendor requests an extension.

1:30 PM

Final Prep for “Turn In”

I review and print all turn-in related documents. I double check that the copy and product descriptions are accurate. I then organize the samples I plan to showcase which will eventually be photographed by our studio team. I head to the weekly “turn-In” meeting with the site merchandising and creative teams.

2:30 PM

Product Edits for Bloomingdales.com

I head back to my desk to make edits in response to the feedback from the creative copywriting team. It is vital to our business that we include the critical product information that our customer is looking for.

3:00 PM

Buying Team Meeting

It’s time for the weekly Buying Team meeting. We discuss business updates and current trends. I present my list of the top five best-selling styles on our website and in our stores. With this information in mind the team strategizes ways to enhance the business.

4:00 PM

Coaching in the Moment

After our team meeting, I meet individually with my buyer to analyze the sell through reports together. Working from the recommendations I made, she helps me to identify other business opportunities. We then collaborate to determine next steps with the vendor.

4:30 PM

Style Review

I make changes to upcoming orders that will positively impact the business. By reviewing best and slow selling styles I am able to make recommendations to the team regarding styles to re-order or return to our vendor. It’s important to understand the styles that fuel our business and those that do not.

5:00 PM

Sites Up

The site team just called to say that my product pages from “turn in” are ready for approval. I access our site management system and review all the images and product descriptions to ensure accuracy. Everything looks good! It’s time to give final approval to get the page uploaded to the site for our customers to shop!

5:30 PM

United Way Fundraising Email

As the voluntary team captain of my division’s United Way Fundraising Efforts, I am working with other members of the merchant organization to organize a community service project to help raise funds and awareness for the worthy cause.

6:00 PM

End of Day Recap

As I prepare to leave for the day I do one last check in with my team. We had a productive day! We leave together and head to catch a subway home.

Buying

Being a member of the Buying & Planning teams gives you the freedom to be entrepreneurial under the safety of an established, innovative retailer. Buyers and Planners are responsible for the bottom line, but they’re also responsible for meeting and challenging our customer’s tastes and expectations. For as much as these roles are analytical, they’re just as creative.

8:30 AM

Start the Day

Arrive at work and check in with the team—Buyers, Planners and all assistants.

9:00 AM

Review Selling and Shipping

I go through our sales for all of our departments for the day prior, and check to see what vendors are trending. I update my daily sales log to see if there has been a major change in trend that will cause me to re-project my monthly sales. I quickly go through the ship log to make sure that everything is booking in as planned.

10:00 AM

Vendor Touch-Base

Review my e-mails and touch base with vendors. I start to plan out my day to see what tasks will take priority.

10:30 AM

Meet with Marketing

Work with our cross-functional partners in Marketing to prepare advertising film and copy, which means we review vendor advertising in our catalogues. The Marketing team just finished photographing our looks, so we review the art and product information and then send everything to our vendors for their approval as well.

11:30 AM

Profitability Plans with Vendor

Call between our team and a vendor to discuss profitability and our plans for the upcoming season. It is important that we talk to them frequently throughout the season so that we can work together to make their business as profitable as possible. We discuss changes we can make in upcoming orders that will positively impact the business, as well as RTV (return to vendor) and markdown allowance that will help us to move through inventory more effectively.

12:30 PM

Lunch with the Team

We walk out together to grab something from Whole Foods or Toasties and get some fresh air.

1:45 PM

Catch Up on Orders

I have a few orders from market this week that I still need to complete. I review the styles and our plans and make sure that the assortments by door and channel look good and are within our receipt plan.

3:00 PM

SVI (Single View Inventory) Training Meeting

As a result of our Omni channel integration most of the merchant organization has converted to a single view of inventory, (SVI) empowering buyers and planners to make bigger, bolder, business decisions. Our new Omni Enterprise requires extensive training in the new systems and programs that will enable our organizations’ success. The meetings include our entire team, ensuring we are all knowledgeable about effectively utilizing the tools necessary for future success.

4:00 PM

Market Prep

Review bestsellers, slow sellers, profitability and upcoming on order for my vendor meeting. I make sure that my laptop has all of the necessary information on it and that I have updated plans. I print selling reports and profitability projections to give to the vendor.

4:30 PM

Market

The Dresses Buying team takes the subway to the garment district to meet with one of our vendors to write our October and November deliveries. We take a few minutes in the beginning of the meeting to discuss current business, and then the vendor shows us the options for the deliveries we will be writing. We assort the line, choosing styles for bottom doors and top doors, and making sure that we address regional differences as well in our assortments. We write a preliminary order in market to see how it all rolls up. It is paramount that we curate the right assortment for all channels.

6:00 PM

Recap

The team takes a few minutes without the vendor to discuss how we felt about the deliveries overall, and what our strategy will be with this vendor. We agree to touch base the following day to review our final orders. We walk to the subway together to end the day!

Planning

Being a member of the Buying & Planning teams gives you the freedom to be entrepreneurial under the safety of an established, innovative retailer. Buyers and Planners are responsible for the bottom line, but they’re also responsible for meeting and challenging our customer’s tastes and expectations. For as much as these roles are analytical, they’re just as creative.

8:30 AM

Start the Day

Arrive at work and check in with my team—Buyers, Planners and all Assistants. I settle in to my desk and review my e-mails.

9:00 AM

Review Selling and Prepare for Team Meeting

I review sales for all of our departments for the prior day’s business, and check to see what vendors are trending. I start pulling some key reports and looking at my business ahead of my Manager of Planning and Distribution’s team meeting. I’ll need to be ready to provide an update on how the latest fashion delivery is doing in stores, as well as provide an overview of topline sales performance and stock liabilities by product classification and location.

9:30 AM

Analyze Replenishment Assortment by Location

As I continue to prepare for my team meeting I am also sure to review my replenishment assortment. Replenishment products are items we consistently carry within our stores. I am reviewing my assortment to ensure all locations are set up with the appropriate replenishment merchandise as designated from the assortment plan. I partner with merchant team and the replenishment planning team to discuss strategies and actions for any additions or edits to the replenishment assortment.

10:00 AM

Attend Team Meeting

At our weekly team meeting hosted by my Manager of Planning and Distribution. We discuss current business results as well as future sales growth opportunities. Each member of the team has a chance to review a portion of the business, ask questions and make recommendations. We use this time to collaborate on location plans and Omni-Channel strategies we might want to implement.

11:30 AM

Update with my Supervisor

Now that I have prepared my sales reports and vendor analysis, I am reviewing the current season’s performance versus last year and plan by location. This way, I can call out successes and liabilities. I will review my findings with my supervisor before our market appointment at the vendor’s showroom. We’ll want to discuss actions for driving additional sales with the vendor.

12:15 PM

Lunch with the Team

We walk out together to grab something from Whole Foods or Toasties and get some fresh air. After lunch, we're off to our market appointment.

1:45 PM

Attend Market Appointment

The vendor is presenting the assortment for the following season. We walk the showroom with the buying team and talk about each new program.. We take a few minutes in the beginning of the meeting to discuss current business. Next, I will be presenting my analysis in an effort to react to current business and influence assortment decisions for next season’s buy. The vendor shows us the options for the deliveries we will be writing. We assort the line, choosing styles for bottom doors and top doors, and making sure that we address regional differences as well in our assortments. We write a preliminary order in market to see how it all rolls up. It is paramount that we appropriately plan and allocate the right assortment for both channels.

3:00 PM

SVI (Single View Inventory) Training Meeting

As a result of our Omni channel integration most of the merchant organization has converted to a single view of inventory (SVI) empowering buyers and planners to make bigger, bolder business decisions. Our new Omni Enterprise requires extensive training in the new systems and programs that will enable our organizations’ success. The meetings include our entire team, ensuring we are all knowledgeable about effectively utilizing the tools necessary for future success.

4:45 PM

Recap

The team takes a few minutes without the vendor to discuss how we felt about the deliveries overall, and what our strategy will be with this vendor. We agree to touch base the following day to review our final orders.

5:30 PM

Review Assortment Plan

I am partnering with the buying team, my planner and the replenishment planning team and discussing strategies for next month’s allocations. We are ensuring strong performing locations have enough depth of fashion merchandise and that replenishment parameters are appropriate.

6:00 PM

Wrap-Up

I take the last few minutes of my day to review my e-mails and complete any pending tasks in preparation for tomorrow. I head out with some teams members and catch the subway home.

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