Assistant Planner
Toys R Us and Babies R Us South Africa
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
Posted 05 February 2020

Job Details

Job Description

Welcome to the Toys R Us world of awwwesome, where we want your little one’s imaginations to run free!  Toys R Us and Babies R Us are well established international brands. Commonly referred to as the “World’s Greatest Toy Stores”, Toys R Us SA currently boasts 50 physical stores, three of which are located in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia, as well as an ALL NEW AWWWESOME online store. 

The key focus of the group is to ensure that customers, young and old, from children to grandparents, are offered an amazing range and experience, complimented by great value!  Are you a dynamic, energetic and passionate individual?

We are looking for an Assistant Planner for our Durban based Head Office, who would like to join our amazing team!!

The Assistant Merchandise Planner develops, maintains, analyzes and executes category level item plans for one or more departments. The Planner is also responsible for store allocations and works directly with Buyer and Merchandise & Planning Manager to achieve strategic goals. The position works directly with suppliers to exchange orders, sales data and item availability information. Manage, train and monitor the Orders Clerks.


Key Skills needed:

  1. Strong analytical and financial skills
  2. High attention to detail
  3. Inventory management
  4. Sales planning
  5. Forecasting
  6. Expert level skills in retail merchandising tools and Microsoft tools/applications such as Excel and Outlook
  7. Must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  8. Proven ability to work with all levels within an organization
  9. Replenishment system
  10. Able to interpret numerical data, form conclusions and make quick decisions based on this
  11. Able to multi-task and prioritise time/workload effectively
  12. Highly driven, motivated and confident with a diverse range of people
  13. Imaginative and creative in identifying workable solutions
  14. Taking responsibility for development and have a hunger for autonomy and accountability
  15. Passionate about retail with a desire to progress through to Buyer and beyond


Job description

Chain Item Planning

  1. Develop and maintain item sales and inventory plans
  1. Overall management and utilization of inventory procurement plan
  2. Develop item unit plan using the replenishment system software
  3. Develop inventory plan by week by chain.
  4. Recommend changes to assortment, markdowns, markups, and to promote items based on current rate of sales and go forward plans
  5. Track weekly sales performance and make adjustments to sales, forecast receipts and markdowns as needed
  6. Review item plans (forecasted sales and inventory) with Buyers and suppliers to ensure product availability
  7. Communicate inventory concerns for promotional and inline sales through the proper communication vehicles.
  8. Work with Buyers to develop consensus on forecast sales
  9. Provide Buyers with promotional forecast for input into ROI and marketing submissions

Replenishment / Allocation

  1. Order and manage inventory investments according to OTB and to ensure the right product arrives in the right location in the right quantity at the right time
  1. Analyze and determine allocation methods for items (Supplier to DC or Direct to Store), based on range profile, store profile and ranking
  2. Analyze, determine and execute initial orders for new items to include quantity and timing
  3. Utilizing the ordering, replenishment and inventory procurement plans, review, maintain and execute vendor orders to ensure proper flow of product from supplier to all stores/DC, within given Open To Buy, Weeks Of Supply, and in stock goals
  4. Works directly with suppliers sharing orders, information on sales plans, performance metrics, and gathering data on item availability
  5. Maintain the supplier/category ordering calendar to optimize inbound flow of goods.
  6. Analyze store and DC inventory and in-stocks to ensure appropriate store replenishment; execute changes either manually or utilizing allocation tools
  7. Collaborate with stores and marketing team to develop specific allocation segmentations, support critical roto and Key Item processes, and store specific merchandise requests
  8. Collaborates with Sales and Operation Team to address supply chain and system issues
  9. Collaborates with Logistics Team to ensure proper prioritization of hot/ needed product.
  10. Manage exception reporting to ensure proper allocation down to store level                           

Assortment Planning

  1. Maintain and partner with Buyers in understanding of store profiles for each category
  2. Work directly with Buyers to ensure that assortment plans and item eligibility directly coincide with replenishment plans
  1. Working with the same team and store planning, suggest appropriate store groupings and bin allocations
  2. Validate presentation minimums to ensure enough inventory is available to support periodic events like end caps and feature space

Financial Analysis, Pricing / OTB Planning

  1. Responsible for maintaining financials including Open-to-Buy planning based on the inventory procurement plans.
  2. Engage with Buyers to manage current and future OTB status, identify issues and opportunities and develop strategies to optimize OTB planning
  3. Develop financial plans with Buyers to achieve the department’s annual sales and net margin goals
  4. Analyze sales data to identify key performance drives of sales performance and opportunities for expansion
    • Analyze margin data to ensure budget goals are met
    • Prepare and develop, plan and implement pricing strategies; implement price reductions



SKU/Product/System Management

  1. Review outliers, focus on items that doing well as well as those that are less successful to guide buying
  2. Consistently evaluate SKU count to ensure dominance of best-selling products and optimal range.
  3. Liaise with Buying team on system maintenance updates and changes, which include - delisting’s (product and/or suppliers), price changes (sell and cost), product loading, promotions, conditional pricing, product hierarchy, supplier details etc.

Marketing/ Advertising & Promotions

  1. Partner with the Buyers and Marketing team to review promotions and proofs all advertising before release
  2. Process catalogues and insert submissions on the system
  3. Track shipping and local orders on all advertised items and prioritize orders for warehouse and locals
  4. Proof ad copy/photography and proof advertising (pricing, codes, pagination)
  5. Track sales on advertised material and report to respective teams
  6. Manage the marketing ROI template by entering deals, prior and actual projections
  7. Communicate all promotions related activity to store teams

Leadership/Talent Enhancement & Training

  1. Continuously update knowledge and skills in both technical and non-technical merchandising competencies to handle new challenges
  2. Develop and train Orders Clerks
  3. Provide feedback, coaching and guidance where appropriate to enhance skill development

Cross Functional Partnership

  1. Communication across company departments/cross functional teams
  2. Manage tasks and responsibilities within cross-functional teams and cultivate networks across divisions and functions to improve business processes; ensure honest, direct and ethics in dealing with others (Shipping, Finance, Marketing, Warehouse, Ops, HR, Store Design, Property etc.)






  1. To undertake all mandatory training as required and participate in appropriate in-service training as and when required
  2. Maintaining the strict confidentiality of all information acquired especially with regard to trade procedures, policies, system data, and all company information and assets
  3. To undertake an appraisal and personal development review quarterly and through self-development, continuously update and improve knowledge and competencies
  4. To take responsibility for being up to date with current policies and procedures and to adhere to these
  5. Co-operating fully in the introduction of any new technology and new methods as appropriate
  6. To undertake any other relevant duties requested by the Buyers, Directors and / senior management
  7. All of the above tasks and responsibilities are a summary of the typical functions of the job and may not be exhaustive of all possible responsibilities, tasks and duties of the Planner. The Planner will be required to perform any other tasks necessary for the conduct of the employer’s business, as the employer may from time to time direct