Associate Merchandise Planner

  • Full-time
  • Department: Planning and Allocation

Company Description

*This position is open to candidates in Pittsburgh, PA and remote candidates in the Eastern Standard Time Zone.

Living Our Vision, Mission & Values

Vision: Affordable fashion, accessible to all. Values: Inclusivity: rue21 embraces all of you. We promote individuality and celebrate our differences. All are accepted, respected and welcome. Integrity: We own our words, our actions, and our results. We set our standards high by thinking big. It matters how we show up and how we play the game. Collaboration: Together we are rue21. We listen and support each other and achieve our collective goals together. Curiosity: We don’t ask why; we ask why not? We are agile and are driven by new ideas and original thinking. We are passionate and believe anything is possible. Community: Our power is our people; our community of customers, associates, and partners.

Job Description

The Associate Planner is responsible for developing plans and forecasts for assigned merchandise categories in alignment with top-down financial guidance and in accordance with bottoms-up planning processes for both pre-season and in-season milestones. The goal is to maximize growth and profitability by working closely with the planning manager and merchandising team and to implement effective strategies and action plans to achieve sales, margin, and sell through performance targets in support of department, division, and company-level goals.


  • Create pre-season plans in alignment with department and company targets by developing bottoms-up plans for assigned categories of product that meet the sales, inventory sell through, markdowns, and gross margin targets.
  • Conduct hindsight analysis of prior seasonal performance to drive favorable results or minimize unfavorable results in the development of the new season’s planning activities.
  • Partners with buyers to develop and present product line review presentations as part of pre-season processes.
  • Reads and reacts appropriately to the needs of the business as part of the in-season planning processes by analyzing daily, weekly, and monthly sales trends to inform actions needed to meet, exceed, or improve financial targets; re-forecast in-season plans accordingly.
  • Recommends necessary adjustments to the plans and promotions to maximize sales and profit, or to mitigate risk, including the active management of inventory performance and aging to ensure effective end of life cycle execution in an effort to mitigate markdown liability.
  • Works with planning manager to effectively influence and collaborate with merchants and other key partners, such as inventory planners and store operations, to ensure timely execution and/or to implement strategies that drive improvement.
  • Produces weekly and monthly reporting in support of the department and company.
  • Supports special assignments as needed.




Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in Retail, Business, Finance, or a related field.
  • Minimum 2-3 years’ experience in the retail industry, such as Buying, Allocation, or Store Manager.
  • Direct experience and knowledge of the retail industry
  • Strong financial acumen, especially as it relates to the retail method.
  • Excellent analytical skills: highly proficient in analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and presenting insights for action.
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills, including ability to present in meetings.
  • Technical knowledge in retail planning and reporting systems: MS Office Suite (Advanced Excel Capabilities), Blue Yonder/JDA, Oracle Suite, SAS, Aptos (Maple Lake, Txt)

Travel Requirements

• Ability to travel as requested to rue21 headquarters for key milestone merchandising and planning meetings, typically averages 4 trips per year for 2 to 3 days.

Additional Information

Please be aware that the Company requires employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19.  This position will require the successful candidate to show proof that they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.  The Company is an equal opportunity employer, and will provide reasonable accommodation to those individuals who are unable to be vaccinated consistent with federal, state, and local law.

At rue21 we believe everyone has a voice and a seat at the table. Inclusion is in our DNA, and we embrace each individual’s unique story they have to tell.

Our Benefits include:

  • Employee Discount
  • Generous PTO Allowance
  • Energetic & Innovative Culture
  • Casual Dress Code
  • Tiered Medical/Dental/Vision Plans & Life Insurance
  • 401k Retirement 
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