Danielle joined Forever 21 in 2013 as the international team was being formed. Over Danielle’s 5 years at Forever 21, she grew from managing the buying and merchandising for Canada and Europe, to overseeing the international merchandising team for all non-domestic markets including Asia, Latin America, Europe, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and the Middle East.
As a part of establishing new franchise partnerships, Danielle also traveled to new markets to confirm store locations, layout, and assortment strategies. From 2016 to 2017 Danielle oversaw Store Cluster Merchandising, a newly formed merchandising team set to treat the global merchandising processes as regions, as had previously been done for international markets but now also encompassing domestic markets.
Global Store Cluster Merchandising, August 2016 – May 2017
- Responsible for the development of assortment plans for the company’s global business across departments and channels to an annual volume of $4 billion dollars.
- Revitalize company’s global merchandising efforts to stabilize market erosion and successfully maintain resiliency of brand.
- Develop vendor strategies that support corporate initiatives and provide leadership to execute these strategies.
- Develop merchandising training programs in partnership with Directors of Buying, Planning and Allocation.
- Guide the merchandising team in the creation of cohesive merchandise plans to optimize sales volume, profitability, and overall variation of items offered by store grouping including: four season stores, hot weather, cold weather, top tier, ecommerce, Asia and franchise stores resulting in incremental product plans totaling $400 million in annual sales.
- Collaborate with Planning to create top-line Open-to-Buys and regional/department OTBs to ensure merchandise and financial plans reflect strategic initiatives and global potential, resulting in 12% YOY growth.
- Create and execute new operating procedures creating efficiency across all global offices resulting in reductions of up to four weeks in lead time, 10% transit cost reductions, and 5% vendor cost savings.
- Propose annual currency conversion updates to optimize global gross margin based on company and market trends, customer expectations, and forecasted currency fluctuation resulting in gross margin increase of 100 basis points.
International Merchandising Manager June 2014 – July 2016
- Accountable for International Merchandising team’s performance and the results of 250 stores across 50 countries generating $1.4 billion in annual sales.
- Lead team of eight Merchandisers, fostering growth and development resulting in a retention rate 3x the company average.
- Guide International Buying Managers in the development of incremental assortments for Asia, Latin America, and Europe through anticipation of market trends, seasonality needs and customer demands, to a volume of 1 million units a month, amounting to 10% of regional store inventory.
- Plan and revise strategies for merchandise flow, based on shipping dates, seasonal/fiscal calendars, and open-to-buy parameters.
- Cultivate strong professional relations with Franchise partners by creating focused assortments and strategies to drive long terms business development as the Franchise business grows 60% YOY.
- Direct launch of international stock and branded merchandise, the leading category in sell-through and web traffic, contributing $250 million annual sales and driving global AUR.
- Direct Marketing, Visual Merchandising, and Store Operations on the global assortment and regional nuances, adjusted launch dates and assortment details, to ensure company vision is properly executed across all markets and ROI is maximized.
- Support the conceptual develop of future lines by generating style recaps, account/regional summaries, trend analyses, and competitive market research reports.
Sr. International Merchandiser, July 2013 – July 2014
- Identify strategies to maintain comparable and new store growth through optimizing retail price and volume sales opportunities during phase of rapid expansion with 100 new stores across 30 countries.
- Analyze market needs, forecast growth, and implement product and marketing strategies globally.
- Partner with Executive management to identify margin opportunities across countries and platforms.
- Develop product mix strategy for new markets and extended seasonal climates.
- Identify distinctive, dominant and exclusive merchandise assortments opportunities around the world to optimize assortment growth.
- Review and approve markdowns and promos for all categories, ensuring our GM meets targets, and increasing markdown comp sales by 3% YOY by aligning the timing to relevant selling periods in each market.
International Merchandiser, February 2013 – July 2013
- Achieved double-digit comparative growth in all managing regions year-on-year.
- Set regional buy-plans and incremental goals for buyers to fill in gaps from the global assortment.
- Execute vendor strategies that support company goals, brand strategies, and drive assortment diversification.
- Perform competitor and market analysis by researching competitors’ price points, promotional campaigns, and emerging trends in colors, materials, and categories.
- Collaborated with Regional Marketing Teams to develop special assortments and marketing plans for holidays, promotions and new store openings.
- Performed sales analysis and developed seasonal forecasts on a style, color and category trends.