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HARRY’S COMMENTS: We are working with Academy Sports + Outdoors in their search for a Manager of Omnichannel Category Merchandising – Sports & Recreation based in truly affordable Katy, Texas, just 30 minutes from downtown Houston (where it almost never snows) and 90 minutes to Galveston beach.
About the Company
The concept behind Academy Sports + Outdoors is dead simple: The company makes it easy for everyone to enjoy more sports and outdoors. Period. A typical Academy store carries a wide range of hunting, fishing and camping equipment, patio sets and barbecue grills, along with sports and recreation products, at everyday low prices.
Ever been to one of Academy’s 250+ stores? A 20-minute visit might cost you two hours because you’ll simply lose track of the time.
In a good way.
This spring I wandered into my local Academy for a slingshot. An hour later, slingshot in tow, I’d also grabbed a $10 jump rope for the same reason people climb Mount Everest: Because it was there. Within two hours I had firmly secured bragging rights for the summer by shellacking my 12 year old daughter in a jump roping contest. #AWESOMESAUCE
Honestly, what’s not to like about Academy Sports?
Anyway. We have recruited for Academy before and it’s a hoot. These folks are always looking for resourceful, business-oriented problem solvers who will try new things and lead by example. Academy’s customer centric culture is all about teamwork and inclusivity, and going the extra mile for the customer will ensure that you go far in your career.
About the Role
Reporting to Academy’s Senior Director of Omnichannel Merchandising, we’re looking for a proven change agent who understands margin, profitability, forecasting, inventory management and can lead / influence a team in a way that’s analytically biased — yet inspiring.
You MUST understand both buying and managing by the KPIs.
Ask yourself: “Can I look at the category sales and margin data and understand what it means to the overall business? Can I glean actionable insights from it — and then drive the relevant change in a way that’s hard on the issues and soft on the people?”
Because this job is all about constantly monitoring improving your category, the business, your team members, and most importantly — the customer experience — in ways that are lasting and meaningful.
But boy! What a great time it is to be in the sporting goods retail business! According to IBIS World Research, two major tailwinds support this industry’s growth:
- Per capita disposable income: Demand for sporting goods and equipment is driven by the relative income that consumers can allocate toward such expenditures. Per capita disposable income is expected to increase in the future, representing an opportunity for the industry.
- Participation in sports: As the sports participation rate increases, more consumers will require athletic footwear, apparel and sporting goods, which stimulates industry revenue growth. Like so …
This is a VERY high profile job.
Wimps, dishrags, and shrinking violets need not apply! At the end of the day, we’re looking for someone who is …
Optimistic, meaning … You usually wake up happy and have an uplifting demeanor. You approach new tasks with eagerness, and you almost always find something good to say even in a bad situation. You look forward to the future and move in a purposeful way.
Proactive, meaning … You’re a rational A-player who thinks before acting. You have strong foresite and are typically able to see how things are interconnected. You’re great at prioritizing and can think on your feet, too.
Analytical, meaning … You love running experiments and can be found reading up on new topics to gain a better understanding of them. You love posing theories and attempting to prove them, and you’re always digging deeper for patterns and cause / effect relationships.
Organized, meaning … It’s your nature to schedule events in advance and co-workers describe you as detail oriented. You have a great time management skills, partially because you can anticipate setbacks and difficulties. You’re a “list person” who can keep to a schedule without being married to it. You tend to think sequentially (in terms of steps), and you often find yourself thinking “We need a process for this!”
Confident, meaning … You tend to walk with purpose and meet challenges head-on. You’ll always try new things, yet you’re humble enough to learn from failure. You’ve got a great work ethic and you know how to “work a building.”
You won’t believe how much we know about this search …
We spent nearly an hour on the phone with Academy’s Senior Director of Omnichannel Merchandising teasing out exactly what you’ll need to KNOW and DO to hit the ground running in this role. Some of the things I can share with highly qualified candidates include …
- The “real” background requirements for this position, along with the top five things all resumes MUST have to be considered for the role.
- The top five problems that exist due to this position being open. These are the little brush fires you will be expected to put out during your first month on the job. Every job has these — and this one’s no different.
- What your average day / week will look like in this role. There’s what you read in the standard job posting … then there’s reality. We’ve got the reality.
- The leading and lagging KPI’s that will determine your success in this role. In a nutshell: How you keep score in this role.
- The major projects you’ll need to complete by Day 100 to be considered a home-run in this position. We’ve got the lowdown on how you can plug-and-play and drive REAL value in this job.
We have a massive amount of proprietary intel to share with qualified candidates. Our industry research for this assignment exceeds 50 pages! Be sure to TEXT Harry Joiner at (404) 281-2025 for this info. Or simply use the email link when you apply for the role below.
- Partner with GMM and DMMs to create effective and innovative online merchandising strategies to drive total category sales and profitability.
- Influence assortment for Academy.com to achieve online sales, merchandising margin and gross profit goals
- Influence cross-functional business leaders in establishing business objectives and goals specific to Omnichannel
- Stay highly focused on current trends, opportunities, assortment, competition and merchant vision by category and apply knowledge to drive conversion growth
- Partner with marketing to activate enterprise marketing plans as well as develop Omnichannel supporting campaigns to drive awareness and conversion
- Partner with merchant group to activate all significant product launches with the necessary supporting marketing and web specific activities
- Manage and oversee the Omnichannel Category Management team
- Collaborate with Buying and Omnichannel teams to drive drop ship SKU and sales growth
- Position and present products within the online store to drive traffic, conversion, and average order value
- Work with the analytics team to measure the effectiveness of all online merchandising activities and supporting marketing campaigns
- Lead category merchandising team to use data driven business insights to address customer opportunities through site improvements
- Identify unique, underdeveloped, emerging or new, products or categories, based on statistical analysis, competitive landscape, customer feedback, and web analytics
- Partner with major external and internal vendor partners to ensure their brands are well positioned to deliver against customer and brand expectations
- Duties may change and associates may be required to perform other duties as assigned
- Bachelor’s degree in Business, Marketing, Merchandising or relevant field of study preferred
- 5+ years of work experience within the ecommerce or buying verticals
- Demonstrated experience creating and implementing the online merchandising plan for a multi-channel retailer.
- Proven history of managing sales and profitability targets as well as a solid understanding how those levers impact the P&L
- Excellent interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills, with the ability to interface effectively with individuals at various levels, both internal and external
- Self-motivated, with the ability to work on multiple projects in a fast-paced environment
- Leads by example and models a passion for the business as well as demonstrates a proactive and solution orientated style
- Ability to remain organized, pay strict attention to detail, and meet critical deadlines within a high volume, fast-paced environment
- Excellent analytic skills and financial acumen.
- Ability to analyze, organize and integrate large amounts of complex information into clear, concise presentations
- Strong Excel capabilities preferred and capability to use Web Analytics platforms