Merchandise Planning Director

Job ID: 3920


Building a family of brands, for the world to love, generation after generation.


We are Pentland Brands, a global family business bringing some of the most loved active and footwear brands to millions of people around the world.


We own Speedo, Berghaus, Canterbury of New Zealand, Endura, Mitre, ellesse, Boxfresh, SeaVees, KangaROOS and Red or Dead. We’re the global licensee for Karen Millen footwear and Kickers in the UK.  We also have a joint venture partnership for Lacoste footwear.


All our brands have their own unique identities and every one of them is powered by Pentland. We have more than 1,400 employees worldwide and we’re always on the lookout for talented, enthusiastic people to help shape our future.


We celebrate differences and give everyone the freedom to innovate and develop, be it through creative working environments or learning opportunities. Our brands are there in the moments that matter - being there for more people, in more of those moments, drives everything we do.


At Pentland, we’re guided by four principles, we use these to make sure we’re not only doing a great job, but we’re doing it in the right way:


  • Success is a team game
  • With clarity and courage
  • Better as standard
  • In good conscience


To find out more go to or follow @pentlandbrands on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook. 

The role:


This is a new role within the Planning team, whose primary purpose is to optimise financial performance: sales, margin and utilisation of cash through effective leadership of both Demand Planning (Wholesale/Distributors/D2C/Marketplaces) and Commercial Strategy & Planning across the EMEA region.


Effective leadership of this new Planning function will coach and support the Head of EMEA Planning to overcome the challenges of high/incorrect inventory, misaligned forecasts, range proliferation and duplication of work. Furthermore, it will improve the commerciality of our Brand plans, ensure relevant and profitable regional product ranges are developed, create Go To Market plans and compelling Customer propositions, which are shared with Customers/Partners via virtual Launches (planned by CS&P).


Bringing CS&P, Teamwear Operations, Inventory Management and Demand Planning together into one function joins up the entire planning cycle from the Brand/Regional plan, into CTR, into Launch, into Buys and inventory management via the IBP cycle. This Planning function therefore spans both the longer-term strategic planning horizons and shorter operational delivery and execution horizons. It will provide healthy tension across the business, specifically Brand and Commercial, embodying a culture of data-led challenge.


The role you'd play:

  • Partner with the Financial Director, EMEA Regional President and Commercial Directors to agree and deliver the Pentland strategy and growth objectives for the EMEA region (including D2C)
  • Partner with the CMO and Brand Directors to agree and deliver Pentland strategy and growth objectives for each Brand with reference to channel strategy, product strategy, pricing strategy, clearance strategy and regional GTM initiatives
  • Coach and develop the Senior CS&P team, Head of Teamwear Operations and the Head of EMEA Planning
  • Be numerate and financially astute, working closely with the Finance team to have clear roles and responsibilities, avoiding duplication and providing the Finance team with inputs required for solid forecasting and tracking of performance initiatives

Key Responsibilities:


Embed and lead the new Regional Planning Function incorporating demand planning, merchandising, inventory management, Teamwear Operations and CS&P:

  • Ensure the right commercial insight, leadership and input is integrated into the Regional Brand and Go to Market plans and that the Commercial team are enabled to sell successfully
  • Ensure the efficient management of working capital via disciplined inventory management, ensuring necessary action being taken to clear excess inventory, release orders back to free stock or buy more in the event of shortages
  • Champion the development of robust processes to connect IBP sales forecasts with brand plans and stock purchasing activity, considering both financial and buying calendars and the increasing growth of demand led customers (eg digital)
  • Being a single point of contact for the Demand and Supply team to make EMEA inventory decisions on behalf of the Regional President and support the global roll up of stock with supply chain driving consistency across the region.
  • Partner with IT to develop tech solutions to empower and enable the function to become more data-led and drive efficiency in planning systems.
  • Support the embedding of the overall new Commercial & Planning OD, providing leadership across the regional leadership group
  • Lead the process for development of the EMEA Regional Commercial Strategy and Plan from the Global Brand plans
  • Champion region-informed product vision and strategy that delivers the brand strategy and the regional Commercial requirements through an integrated process resulting in relevant, viable and profitable Regional ranges curated into specific channel and priority customer recommendations.
  • Ensure the Channel Strategy and Go To Market plan supporting new Seasons and Brand/Commercial initiatives is Commercially compelling and deployed on time via Launch meetings
  • Create guidelines for promotion and clearance activity at maximum margin contribution
  • Raise the bar on cross functional working; champion cross-team and cross knowledge share through multiple forums
  • Deliver the go to market plan for Pentland Teamwear and POU Channels in the EMEA region; working with all cross functional teams to execute and support the exploration of future growth opportunities
  • Lead the cross-functional team to plan and deliver Launch meetings, providing a more virtual experience and digital outputs (eventually integrating into B2B platform).
  • Create opportunities for additional sales to achieve inventory KPIs 

Needs to have:

  • You have experience of working in Planning and Merchandising, have developed Commercial Strategies which enable successful and sustainable growth
  • You ideally have previous experience within a senior finance role with outstanding data analytics and articulation skills
  • You are able to identify truly value-driving regional initiatives among a wide range of opportunities, then driving action cross functionally to deliver that value
  • You have a working knowledge of the interdependencies of the associated business functions with a strong track record of delivery.
  • You have breadth of understanding of the multiple functions within the business (Commercial, Brand, Product, Digital, Supply Chain, Finance, Insight) and ability to navigate and join the connection points effectively
  • You are a strategic thinker and can translate business strategy into a robust commercial strategy and demand plan with a clear, concise and persuasive comms style that compels to action
  • You are credible and confident, and able to challenge and influence outside of the function as well as internally.
  • You prioritise building relationships and you’re a proactive communicator; you ensure all stakeholders are informed, engaged and prepared as required. Your ability to understand and influence a wide range of stakeholders gives you an advantage.
  • You are willing to challenge the status quo & lead on delivering new solutions.
  • You are keen to drive the business forward by championing new ways of working.
  • You coach and support the team to deliver, always pushing yourself and your team to deliver to a high standard.
  • You have strong business partnering skills with the gravitas to challenge constructively and proactively build trust across the EMEA regional leadership team
  • Strong leadership, able to bring together a new team, as well as motivate and lead a high-performing team with an inclusive attitude and a collaborative approach
  • You lead by example, modelling high standards of behaviour and delivery for others by own actions.
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