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One of the coolest online retail jobs around!

HARRY COMMENTS: We are working with Sharper Image in their search for a Director of Merchandising based in Metro Detroit which in last week’s WSJ drew serious praise for its recovery from JPMorgan Chase’s CEO, Jamie Dimon. Amazing. Since 2008, Detroit has come roaring back. There’s a dynamic and growing startup scene, and and check out these cheap-as-chips home prices

Anyway.

We’ve all seen the Sharper Image product: It’s usually something you never knew existed until you saw it. And then you had to have it. Founded in 1977, the Sharper Image has always excelled at providing gee-whiz solutions to everyday problems. Whether it’s a Zero Gravity Hammock Chair, a Potted Plant Mover, or a Digital BBQ Fork — Sharper Image products are always brought to life around three core principles: quality, innovation and design. And if I may add one: BUZZ-WORTHINESS.

Remember Trump Steaks from 2007? That’s classic Sharper Image …

Laugh … All … You … Want … The folks at Sharper Image have a long track record of sourcing products that can be sold on the back of a single story. They understand the value of a sales hook, and they appreciate that consumers want the unusual and they BUY STORIES. They also believe in products with “demonstrable” value propositions — sometimes targeted at specific niches and subcultures, such as this Star Trek Phaser, which is actually a working universal remote for your TV.

I mean seriously: How cool is that?

Now, you may think it takes deep pockets to constantly develop and market the kinds of products that keep Sharper Image one step ahead of Amazon. And you’d be right. Both SharperImage.com and its 74-page print catalog are operated under license by Camelot Venture Group — a private investment group that invests primarily in direct to consumer companies. CVG’s past portfolio companies have included Quicken Loans, 1-800 Contacts, and Red Envelope. Ring any bells?

CVG has dumped a ton of money into SharperImage.com, and it shows.

Sharper Image’s site offers fans an engaging way to find the world’s most buzzworthy home electronics and lifestyle products. The site’s features include extensive product search functionality, proprietary video clips, product ratings and reviews, order tracking, access to real time, toll free customer support, and more. It’s the perfect platform for a world-class online merchant to ply his/her trade.

That’s where you come in.

CVG seeks a Director of Merchandising to research, source, and merchandise unique products consistent with Sharper Image’s overall position as the authority and leader in the home electronics / lifestyle product space. If ever there were a company where a Merchant could be a STAR — this is it. For a look at how Sharper Image positions itself online, check out its Pinterest page, Facebook page, Twitter feed, and YouTube channel.

There’s absolutely nothing tired about what these folks are doing.

As Sharper Image’s Director of Merchandising, you’ll partner with vendors with the goal of expanding sales, margins and market share. You’ll define assortment strategies and develop tactical plans to achieve margin, sales and inventory objectives for assigned merchandise categories.

My kickoff call with this role’s hiring manager lasted 45 minutes, and there’s a LOT I can share with qualified candidates regarding what CVG is doing to (very creatively) source and promote its 2015 holiday assortment. But I won’t here. You’ll have to TEXT me for that information. What I can say is that these folks are bursting with great ideas about growing their business, and they understand completely the importance of great merch on customer acquisition.

In most IR-500 companies, merchants /sourcers play second fiddle to marketers and creative types. But not at Sharper Image, where buzzworthy products form the very basis for the brand’s existence.

Would you like to see my market research / company intel packet for this search? No sweat! TEXT your name to me at (404) 281-2025. Or simply apply below. I look forward to chatting with you!

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RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Meet with vendors, factories and other industry experts to source unique products befitting Sharper Image. (This involves attending relevant trade shows.)
  • Maintain relationships, resolve issues and conduct negotiations with vendors and agents as necessary (domestic and overseas).
  • Negotiate most favorable costs and terms possible.
  • Identify emerging trends. Develop business strategies outlining strengths, weaknesses, new opportunities and seasonal strategies.
  • Develop and recommend seasonal and core product mix for assigned categories.
  • Create a pipeline of new and innovative products for continuous growth.
  • Collaborate with Inventory Management to provide purchase quantities, delivery dates and flow for initial cost and production for new programs.
  • Perform market analysis, competitive shop and analyze sales trends to keep abreast of current trends.
  • Obtain and proof all vendor contracts, product set up forms, samples and creative files.
  • Prepare key selling points and FAQs for each product.
  • Participate with the Merchant Team in creating catalog assortment including analysis of repeat and new products, merchandising and pagination.

DESIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:

  • 3-5 years experience to include experience in high-end retailing, product sourcing and buying.
  • Skilled in anticipating and responding to changing competitive environment and consumer needs.
  • Experience with merchandising-related operations.
  • Excellent written and verbal skills with the ability to communicate at all levels of an organization.
  • Ecommerce merchandising experience.
  • Catalog merchandising experience.
  • BA/BS Required.
  • 3-5 years minimum of Buying/Merchandising experience.
  • Ability to successfully collaborate with internal and external partners.
  • Result-oriented and self-motivated with a strong sense of urgency.

UPDATE: THIS SEARCH IS CLOSED. To opt-in to our popular “Ecommerce Job of the Day” email, click here. (Simply unsubscribe at the end of your job search.)

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Harry Joiner

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