Back to Resumes
Retail Merchandising/Planning & Project Management
1400 Hi Line Dr, Apt 807
Dallas, TX 75207
ZALE CORPORATION, Irving, TX 07/2015-5/2017
Director of Merchandise Planning & Allocation
· Directed and oversaw the plan, forecast, and allocation processes for 2 departments within 3 divisions (Outlet, U.S. and Canada) producing $178MM annually in sales in 988 stores to ensure company financial objectives were achieved.
· Led and managed merchandise planning & allocation team and provided training and career development to a team of 2 Senior Planners and 4 Planners.
· Provided strategic and analytical support to Merchandising team through all phases of product life cycle (pre-season, product development, and in season).
· Partnered with cross functional business partners to ensure sales, gross margin, and inventory productivity goals were achieved.
· Provided merchandise analysis to inform and guide executive decision making, including weekly promotional events and quarterly markdown decisions.
· Partnered with Merchandising Director on the timing and quantity of new and existing product flow into the stores.
· Developed and ensured compliance of planning process improvements, standardizations, and best practices.
· Collaborated with Merchants on identifying unproductive inventory which resulted in vendor negotiations for quarterly RTV’s.
· Led team in monthly OTB review process with management by providing call outs and action plans to achieve sales, margin, and inventory targets.
· Partnered with Merchandising Director to present merchandising strategies and financial goals to management during holiday line reviews.
· Developed and executed strategy to transfer cross sell product between brands to minimize markdowns and drive sales.
· Drove 12 months of consecutive double digit comp store sales increases while reducing inventory by 15%.
SEARS HOLDINGS CORPORATION, Hoffman Estates, IL 04/2012 – 07/2015
Director of Inventory Management
- Responsible for all planning and placement processes used to achieve key metrics for a $90MM division.
- Advised General Merchandise Manager and Business Finance Manager on opportunities for improving inventory asset utilization to drive sales and margin.
- Provided financial analysis and what-if-scenarios for monthly forecast meetings.
- Participated in weekly and monthly in season business management meetings, presenting analysis, calling out issues and action items.
- Provided leadership and direction to the planning and allocation teams on the preparation of merchandise plans and store allocation plans that align with the merchandise strategy.
- Served dual role as Strategic Development Manager supporting roll out of iPlan Assortment Planning system to Kmart Apparel team consisting of 27 Planners and 4 Directors.
- Promoted from Inventory Planner role May 2013.
ULTRA STORES, INC, Chicago, IL 07/2011 – 03/2012
Director of Planning & Allocation
- Acted in partnership with the AVP of Finance to develop annual budgets and manage open to buys for 10 merchandise departments with annual sales of $140MM.
- Managed planning and allocation team consisting of two Merchandise Planners.
- Assisted in rollout of new merchandise planning and allocation system (Celerant).
- Developed strategic goals to maximize sales and gross margin by sku analysis, replenishment forecasting, and product procurement.
- Created min/max recommendations by sku by store for 165 stores and forecasted future need based on these inventory levels along with current sales trends and anticipated future sales.
- Analyzed item replenishment reports to review future on order as well as recommend pricing changes for over 9,000 active skus.
- Facilitated transfer of $4MM in aged inventory to 15 closing stores which resulted in significant sales increases.
- Developed pricing strategy and executed retail pricing revisions to ensure competitive pricing and acceptable margins and inventory turnover.
- Collaborated with merchandising team and distribution center to execute merchandise recalls and RTV’s.
CHERYL ZEMPEL PAGE 2 OF 2
CLAIRE’S STORES, INC. Hoffman Estates, IL 10/2010 – 07/2011
- Created and monitored financial plans for two product categories producing $100MM in annual sales.
- Presented sales, inventory, and markdown forecasts for 29 classes during monthly open to buy reviews.
- Recommended initial assortment for Ecommerce launch. Also responsible for replenishment of 600 skus online
based on analysis of weekly sales reports.
- Developed quarterly and seasonal assortment plans for 1,580 stores.
- Built and maintained class buy plans by subclass.
- Created and maintained key item performance reports.
- Advised on the timing and depth of markdowns in order to optimize profitability.
- Presented markdown recommendations to management team in monthly promotional meetings.
- Responsible for merchandise reorders which comprised 60% of total buy.
SEARS HOLDINGS CORPORATION, Hoffman Estates, IL 07/2007 – 09/2010
- Assisted in rollout of new financial planning and assortment planning systems (iPlan).
- Created and monitored financial plans for three product categories producing $100MM in annual sales.
- Provided sales, inventory, and markdown forecasts by category for open to buy reviews.
- Collaborated with buying teams to develop assortment and flow plans at the item and store level for 800
stores and communicate plans to Analysts for execution.
- Recommended and developed replenishment programs through partnerships with vendors and merchant
- Created and maintained seasonal melts to assist in developing liquidation strategies.
- Developed JIT conversion plan for core replenishment items throughout RTW Division.
- Initiated GMROII analysis resulting in partnership with vendors to reduce NPI and maximize profitability.
- Analysis resulted in inventory reduction of $3MM through RTV’s and an extensive product re-balance
- Selected to be on a team to facilitate training of new buying teams in San Francisco.
- Managed inventory team consisting of three Senior Inventory Analysts and two Inventory Analysts.
NORDSTROM, Oak Brook, IL 02/2001-06/2007
- Assisted in rollout and training of new financial planning system (MFP) to buying and inventory teams.
- Created and maintained financial plans for a division with annual sales of over $100MM and 100 stores.
- Assisted buying teams with analyzing and managing open to buys.
- Created monthly vendor plans by department and store.
- Partnered with buying team to determine vendor mix and budgets for 19 new store openings.
- Acted as Interim Financial Manager supporting two Financial Planners (10/2006-2/2007).
- Developed new processes for reporting, planning, and analyzing the results of a $40MM division by researching
trends, competitors, and best practices.
- Created and managed a budget for 75 stores.
- Reviewed detailed class buy plan by vendor to ensure fit to department strategy and market.
- Resolved significant performance issues with over 30 vendors.
- Promoted from Financial Buyer position January 2000.
- Held various roles within Buying and Finance departments March 1991-January 2000.
TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY, Fort Worth, TX
Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance
- Excel, Oracle MFP, JDA Arthur Merchandise Planning, SAS iPlan, Microstrategy, Profit Logic, Inforem, Business Objects, Celerant, Word, and PowerPoint.