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Seasonal Corporate Merchandise Category Planning Manager

Charlotte, North Carolina

Job Category: Merchandise/Retail

Req ID 22901
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The Seasonal Merchandise Category Planning Manager develops and executes the category business plan for assigned retail categories. The Manager will drive category performance including optimization of revenue, margin, and inventory levels. The Manager will partner with Product Development to build strategy and assortment plans which aligns with the Company goals and partner with park retail operations teams on location planning. The Manager will also oversee special projects including shipping logistics strategy for both domestic retail shipments and direct imports.

This is a 4-month temporary position.


• Work collaboratively with Product Developers and Park Retail Operations to develop annual merchandising strategy and business plans for multiple categories for Cedar Fair Parks and review with business partners. Set direction and establish annual timeline. Partner with the park retail teams to drive the business and deliver a compelling guest experience.
• Develops and presents business plans for multiple retail categories including revenue plans, assortment plans, margin plans, and open-to-buy budgets.
• Regularly reviews category performance, identifies areas of opportunity, and develops and implements strategic measures to improve category performance.
• Assesses item level performance, manages item replenishment to ensure appropriate inventory position, and manages SKU life cycles including markdown strategy.
• Prepares suggested markdowns for approval, executes markdown strategy, and communicates markdowns to park retail operations teams.
• Prepares weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual reports summarizing category business.
• Collaborates with Product Development to build Assortment Plans within assigned categories with appropriate SKU breadth.
• Communicates with Corporate and Park Teams on category strategy.
• Identify and drive opportunities to scale concepts and product initiatives across the enterprise.
• Identifies and prepares promotional offerings and collaborates with IT and Park Retail Operations teams for implementation.
• Partners with Location Planning and Park Retail Operations teams to ensure assortment plans align with location planning strategies.
• Presents to Divisional Leadership including presentations on business plans, category strategy, line reviews, and assortment plans.
• Manages Retail inventory control system. Manages product global hierarchy and ensures new users are trained on best practices. Identifies opportunities for SKU harmonization and inventory distribution to ensure data integrity and volume optimization.
• Trains new Category Planners and Category Planning Assistants on best practices including financial planning, assortment planning, inventory control, demand forecasting, and systems.
• Supports leadership initiatives including data integrity projects, advancement of reporting, collaborative projects with Business Intelligence, and modernization of processes and procedures.
• Oversees preparation of purchase orders for accuracy and alignment with business plans.
• Oversees the physical inventory process and prepares reports on results.


• Bachelor’s degree in Merchandising, Business Administration, Supply Chain or similar discipline
• 4+ years of relevant experience or equivalent combination of education and experience
• Proficiency in Microsoft Office

• Specialty retail, mass department store, or theme park experience preferred.

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