LinkedInLaura Gardner

Laura Gardner

Senior Merchandiser at Sweaty Betty

Location
London, United Kingdom
Industry
Retail
Previous
  1. Banana Republic,
  2. The White Company,
  3. Levi Strauss & Co.
Education
  1. University of Westminster
267connections

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267connections
University of Westminster

University of Westminster

Fashion Merchandise Management

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Background

Experience

Senior Merchandiser

Sweaty Betty
– Present (1 year 7 months)

European Womenswear Merchandiser

Banana Republic
(1 year 6 months)London, United Kingdom

Responsible for Banana Republic European Womenswear – 50% of total Europe Banana Republic, planning 500 options a season for 10 stores (8 in UK, 1 in Milan & 1 in Paris).
Responsible for creating financial, range and stock plans which support the brand strategy maximise business and profit potential, whilst mitigating risks.
Conduct midsight and hindsight reviews to ensure lessons learnt and opportunities are input into future seasons.
Work with Buying to translate the overall brand strategy & ensure a balanced range is produced – taking into account brand aesthetic, design, competitive analysis, customer insights, historical analysis, and financial goals.
Develop and communicate a pre-season merchandising strategy with Allocator and guide in-season replenishment.
Develop and implement balanced assortment plans that fit the available space and deliver against sales, inventory and profit targets and order quantities to required deadlines.
Identify customer behaviour, competition and brand specific fashion trends & propose & implement appropriate actions.
In partnership with the Buying team deliver balanced price architecture to ensure competitive price positioning that aligns with profit targets.
Manage stock profitability, optimising stock levels and phasing intake to the agreed plan and budget.
Manage the financial success of the department by meeting sales, gross margin and stock targets, taking the necessary steps to optimise sales and margin, proactively identifying risks and opportunities on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis.
Lead the Open to Buy process for the department and present accurate monthly forecasts to Senior Director.
Propose clearance and promotional activity to achieve profit potential and terminal stock objective.
Review size selling and balance stocks accordingly with repeat orders. Make adjustments to future seasons on fashion styles.
Manage old season inventory making sure correct prices are implemented both systemically and in stores.

Merchandiser

The White Company
(6 years 7 months)London, United Kingdom

Plan and manage annual multi-channel departmental OTB of on average 200 options at a time.
Develop and manage an Assistant Merchandiser & Allocator.
Seasonal category & channel planning of sales, markdown, margin & stock intake through use of WSSI.
Plan and manage each new season from strategy through to presenting to senior management to ordering quantities by SKU with help of range plan.
Optimise multi-channel planning to ensure each channel is as profitable as possible with correct product mix.
Work closely with buyer to develop the range, make sourcing decisions, ensure the department is reflecting the needs of the customer and ensure most profitable and effective supply base is maintained.
Trade department weekly to make trading decisions such as markdowns, rebuys & phasing changes.
Manage the delivery schedule within the critical path to ensure orders ship on time and are phased into warehouse as needed to keep both seasonal and continuity stock levels in line with sales.
Ensure that website is accurate at all times through thorough checking at season launch and by optimising photography and web categories.
Provide in season and end of season analysis to make immediate trading decisions and to influence future ranging decisions.
Use space planning tool to ensure space is optimised in retail with most profitable and high density products – use allocations system weekly to keep store covers controlled.
Plan catalogue to ensure each page is maximised with the correct number of products and that all copy information is correct and accurate.
Plan sale book which includes forecasting BTA to end of season, selecting photographs, planning page space and managing sale buys.
Key driver & planner for Microsoft Dynamics system to ensure Merchandising system changes are as required, tested and trained to team.

Replenishment Analyst

Levi Strauss & Co.
(1 year)Brussels Area, Belgium

Employed in the retail department of the Levi Strauss & Co European headquarters replenishing the stores with stock every week and ensuring each store had the best product mix. Utilised problem solving skills and the ability to work under pressure, especially when dealing with queries from stores and when allocating stock at the beginning of the season. The ability to be adaptable was important when working in different European markets notably France, UK and Spain. Carried out analysis and provided reports showing stock and sales figures of stores and countries. Conversational French written, spoken and understood. Knowledge of other software acquired; Business Objects, Laris and Arthur Planning.

Skills

  • Merchandising
  • Retail
  • Fashion
  • Forecasting
  • Planning
  • Microsoft Office
  • Inventory Management
  • Budgeting
  • E-commerce
  • Teamwork
  • Analysis
  • Strategic Planning
  • Excel
  • Replenishment
  • Word
  • Coaching
  • Category Management
  • Negotiation
  • PowerPoint
  • Allocation
  • Vendor Relations
  • Troubleshooting
  • Inventory Control
  • Outlook
  • See 9+  See less

Education

University of Westminster

BA (Hons), Fashion Merchandise Management

A four year sandwich course focusing on merchandise management including a business placement and one semester studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Modules include Merchandising, Law, The Future of Fashion Merchandising, Finance and Accounting, Buying Cycle and Range Planning and Brand Management.

Fashion Institute of Technology

BA (Hons), Fashion Merchandise Management

Modules including Consumer Motivation, Fundamentals of Textiles, Apparel Manufacturing and Product Development. Studied the practical and technical aspects of the fashion industry.

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