Kaplan Early Learning Company,a leader in the distribution of early childhood and elementary school products, is seekingto hire an Early Childhood Merchandiser.
Forover 50 years, Kaplan Early Learning Company has been a leading provider of educational products and services that enhance children's learning in the birth through elementary market. We bring to market innovative curricula, cutting edge assessments, teacher resource materials, classroom products and valuable professional development opportunities to early childhood and elementary school educators, caregivers and parents around the world.
We recognize people talent as the foundation of organizational excellence. A customer-focused company, we strive to select a diverse group of qualified candidates who believe in our brand and who value building customer relationships. Kaplan is a team of creative, resilient and performance-based thought-leaders who deliver best-in-class customer experience.
The merchandisers represent the "face" of Kaplan Early Learning Company acting as a dedicated expert in early childhood resources.A merchandiser must be the authority in sourcing and selecting products that support our core values and driveto provide the best products and services that enhance children's learning. Manage all elements of the assigned category, including product concept, product development, vendor negotiations, initial demand forecast and product presentation.
Incumbent plays a pivotal role in vendor communication, product procurement, supply chain, and information management for assigned product lines. In order to anticipate and/or solve problems, our Merchandisersmust actively stay abreast of all scheduling issues that may impact the team and be an integral part of the communication link.
We offer a competitive pay rate with an attractive benefits package that includes:
- Paid Time Off
- Medical, Dental, Vision Insurance Plans
- Educational Tuition Assistance
- Child Care Discount
- YMCA Discount Program
- Employee Referral Bonus
- LifeMart Discounts
- EmployeeDiscounts at Kaplan Megastore
- Matching 401(k) Plan
8am - 5pm Monday-Friday
Position Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Sample, test, and evaluate prospective new products to ensure quality and application with industry trends.
- Assess the market trends for assigned product categories, including new product availability, changes in state and federal requirements, curriculum or assessment adoptions, and trends on Pinterest/social media, etc.
- Develop product ideas. Do what is necessary to stay creatively inspired. This may include, but is not limited to, keeping abreast of market trends by shopping the market, attending shows, becoming a member of teacher and industry groups, and reading current books, curriculum materials, magazines and trade papers.
- Identify and attend key trade shows that are relevant to the lines merchandised.
- See how products perform in the field. Spend time each quarter with salespeople, talking to customers face to face. Use the knowledge from these interactions to positively impact the accuracy of product selection.
- Monitor competitor's offerings to identify product trends and threats.
- Work with vendors to meet market needs to include sourcing existing product or developing new product.
- Negotiate pricing with vendors to remain competitive within the market while maintaining an acceptable gross profit level. Set appropriate retail prices. Provide management with a topline overview of pricing position and rationale.
- Review past seasons' performance and formulate strategies that build on strengths. Strategies should include updating and evolving successful products to ensure a fresh, new product line.
- Work closely with Purchasing, Marketing, and Product Information to communicate product changes, updates, pricing, forecasts, etc.
- Enter product and vendor information into product database.Maintain and review product information for accuracy. Write product copy as necessary.
- Review product samples for quality and to ensure all specifications are met.
- Work closely with Marketing/Creative to provide complete merchandising information including item #, copy, pricing, and image.
- Work closely with in-house photographer to schedule photography including model needs, assembly, and any additional merchandise.
- Proof page layouts in all stages of pre-press to ensure the customer will have a clear understanding of product including features, benefits, and construction.
- Work with internal and external customers to resolve any concerns or questions regarding products.
- Provide product training on managed lines to order entry and Customer Service agents.
- Train internal customers, including outside sales force, marketing department, on features and benefits of product lines for which s(he) is responsible.
- Evaluate sales performance by product and page to ensure optimum yield.Identify and recommend opportunities to increase volume.
- Review product information for merchandised lines on website for accuracy.
- Stay current on technology that supports and streamlines the merchandising process.
- Four-year college degree in a related field required.
- Strong communication, negotiation, project management, organization, and analytical skills.
- Extensive knowledge of marketing and industry trends related to the early childhood industry required, with 3- 5 years of experience in the early childhood industry.
- Must be creative, and possess extensive understanding and knowledge of age appropriateness, licensing requirements, literacy product needs, etc. and the mental and physical needs of children in relation to product selection and design.
- Ability and willingness to travel frequently on domestic and/or overseas trips.
- Effectively work in a fast paced environment with ability to work well with multiple tasks.
- Proven ability to work well independently or collaboratively in a team environment.
- Ability to meet deadlines is crucial and problem solving skills is paramount.
- Working knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel are necessary.
Kaplan Early Learning Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We embrace differences, welcome diversity and value a culture of respect.
We look forward to receiving your resume.