Our Inventory Management (IM) teams play a huge part in the success of our brands. They develop innovative ways to meet and exceed sales goals, and manage product sales and inventory plans through forecasting, allocation and more. While working in IM gives you a ton of transferrable skills, it looks a little bit different at each of our brands.
Meet Robert, Manager of Inventory Management at Old Navy. Robert started in Old Navy’s full-time training program Inventory Management Ready (IMR) as an Allocation Analyst, which set him up for long-term success in retail. The 90-day immersion program opens doors for those who may not have previous retail experience but have a passion for it by giving trainees real-life exposure to the business. All trainees in the program are matched with a coach, a mentor, and a buddy who help guide them through a series of learnings including classroom instruction, job shadowing, case studies, and more.
We sat down with Robert to see why he chose to continue to a career in inventory management. Here’s what he said:
It’s easy to see the impact you’re making.
The IM team manages the sales of the brand’s product – making sure all are purchased and distributed in a way that supports profitable sales in the stores. “We could have the best product in the world but if we don’t buy it or distribute it correctly, we’ll never reach our full potential. Inversely, when the product is bad, the company leans on us to profitably manage its exit.”
It doesn’t feel like work.
Working in IM has allowed Robert to parallel his love of business with a passion for fashion. Being able to blend those passions together is what makes him proud to work at Old Navy. “We create a quality product and make it affordable to everyone.”
You get the inside scoop.
Getting to see the product assortment for the upcoming year and build a new strategy is Robert’s favorite part of the job. It’s where he feels he can take the most ownership of the business. The entire team reviews the successes and challenges of the past year and pitches new product strategies to leadership – an important job as it determines how much funding they receive to buy product.
The reward is huge.
The best part of any job is seeing your work pay off. For Robert, seeing people walking on the streets – friends, family and strangers – wearing the product you worked on is a confirmation that the buys and strategies you’ve built are resonating. “It’s crazy to think that decisions you make can affect what millions of people around the world buy and ultimately decide to wear.”
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