We know that buyers and planners have different skill sets and that their roles are often seen as complementary, but what are the attributes of a great merchandise planner?
- Analytical and organised
First and foremost, anyone considering a career in planning needs to be extremely numerate and analytical. After all, the role involves looking at and analysing numbers 90% of the time. They also need to be extremely organised with a high attention to detail.
- Driven and self-motivated
Like anyone working in merchandise management, you need to be a self-starter, extremely hard-working and resilient. The role is often high-pressured, particularly when trade is poor.
- Flexible and collaborative
The very nature of the role means that the planner has to be able to work collaboratively within a team environment. From the buyer to the shipping, store operations and supply chain, the planner needs to be able to connect with people. This is not a role that will suit someone with an arrogant or pompous nature.
- Decisive and agile
Not only do you need to be analytical, but you need to be able to take action and that requires a strong decision-making ability. With the speed of fashion retail, you also have to be able to work in a fast-paced environment, juggling many balls at once. No two days are ever alike, and there is always something that crops up you were not expecting, so you need to be able to move from one thing to another fairly quickly.
- Ethical and integrous
When dealing with suppliers or preparing promotional offers for customers, being ethical in your dealings and maintaining one’s integrity is essential for a long-term career in the industry. Cutting corners, or being less than truthful may bring short-term rewards, but in the long run, honesty and integrity is the best policy.
If you think you have what it takes for a career in buying or merchandise planning, take a look at our buying and planning courses. https://www.iwanttobeafashionbuyer.com/