If you see me walking around the building in flats it can only mean one thing: I’m headed to POG. POG, Plano, Planogram, or “Pee-Oh-Gee” as one of my vendors likes to call it… is a visual representation of how we want our products to look in stores. We have multiple rooms in our HQ where buyers can set up actual product samples to figure out how to best merchandise future assortments. I’d show you what these rooms look like, buuuut I’d rather keep my job. That’s right – these rooms are über-VIP, top secret, no photos | intruders | strangers allowed… so for the sake of understanding what I’m talking about, just picture a ginormous room with all the same fixtures + shelves you see in our stores littered with a ton of product samples of things you’ve never seen before.
I’ve been spending a lot of time in my flat shoes, setting up boxes + displays of my appliances, playing around with different iterations, and figuring out juuuust how many slow cookers I want to offer our guests for Crocktoberfest this fall. It’s transition time, which includes a series of events all meant to get us to our final assortment decisions for Fall 2012. Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know it’s April and you’re just seeing our most recent transition in stores NOW (if you haven’t checked out the small appliance dept at your local Tar-zhay, you need to get there stat… we had a sexy makeover at the end of March and our aisles are lookin’ goOOoood)… but we’re planning the rest of 2012 now. That’s how we roll.
The whole transition process involves a lot: meeting with new + old vendors, scoping out new product offerings, negotiating business terms, kicking out old items, adding in new items, data-mining to understand market trends, scrubbing financials to gain profitability, and spending time in POG to make all the data-driven decisions look beautiful on the shelf. It’s the art + science of being a buyer. My small appliance CEO hat drives tried + true business decisions, and my merchant hat allows for calculated risks in the curation + editing of the assortment. A lot of great decisions come from data. A lot more come from a good eye and a knack for trend spotting.
I’m pretty excited to see how all my POGgin’ plays out in stores this fall – this is my first official transition and I have to say, I picked out some gems for all you kitchen aficionados. But you don’t have to wait til October – I do have a sweet quesadilla maker to help get you ready for your Cinco de Mayo soirees 🙂 Arriba!!!
(oh, and erm… maybe I should have clarified that by “flats” I really mean heels under 4”… hence, my “flat” shoes pictured above. Yup. I like tall shoes.)
Interested in a career in buying, planning and brand management? Search and apply for jobs here.