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Sr. Director, Divisional Merchandise Manager - Women's Seasonal Footwear (Hybrid)

DATE:  Jun 29, 2024
CITY:  Columbus
REQ #:  144736
LOCATION NAME:  Home Office, Columbus
DEPARTMENT:  Buying/Merchandising

General Summary

As the Senior Director, Divisional Merchandise Manager for Women's Seasonal Footwear, you will play a pivotal role in shaping and executing the footwear merchandising strategy for assigned business categories to ensure we offer the most compelling and on-trend seasonal footwear assortment across our omni-channel platform. This position develops and maintains strong vendor alliances and market relationships to ensure DSW offers a differentiated assortment of trend right consumer demanded product.


The role will drive vision and strategy for upcoming assortment architecture, lead consumer and trend awareness to transform consumer feedback and fashion trends into winning product assortments. Is responsible for researching market trends and patterns competitors to identify trend distortions; recognizes opportunities to drive fashion and maintain value.


Position based in Columbus, Ohio with relocation assistance provided.


Reports to: SVP, GMM – Women’s


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develops and executes the seasonal merchandise strategy for women's footwear, aligning with overall business objectives and customer preferences.
  • Responsible for achieving 4 wall profit, gross margin, sales and inventory objectives for assigned categories.
  • Directs the development and implementation of merchandise strategies and tactical plans for multiple product categories and new business opportunities
  • Leads a team of merchandisers to curate a diverse assortment of seasonal footwear products, ensuring alignment with brand positioning, customer demographics, and market trends.
  • Collaborates closely with Brands organization on the strategic plan for private label product for each upcoming season. This includes partnership through design and development processes to  ensure private label product aligns with overall assortment strategy and category needs.
  • Collaborates closely with cross-functional teams including buying, planning, marketing, and operations to drive cohesive strategies and maximize sales and profitability.
  • Analyzes sales performance, market trends, and customer feedback to identify opportunities and risks, and adjust merchandising plans accordingly.
  • Manages vendor relationships, negotiate favorable terms, and ensure timely delivery of high-quality products.
  • Ensures beneficial vendor alliances to get the best product at the best cost to differentiate DSW from the competition in assortment and value
  • Drive innovation and differentiation in product assortment through strategic partnerships, exclusive collaborations, and brand development initiatives.
  • Identifies new business opportunities consistent with DSW's short and long-term business strategies.
  • Works with Planning to achieve effective merchandise control for replenishment of key items, appropriate open-to-buy, and product turnover
  • Leads and challenges the merchandising and planning teams to appropriately price product to deliver on sales velocity, markdown and profit goals
  • Trains team and holds accountable to inventory management: ensures orders are placed in a timely manner, inventory is aligned with selling, goods flow appropriately, back ups are in place and goods can be received earlier as selling dictates
  • Ensures high standards for merchandise presentation and featured product through close coordination with Store Operations and Logistics
  • Evaluates Associate performance regarding performance management, training, staffing, rewards/recognition and Associate development
  • Drives succession planning and talent development at all levels of the Merchandising organization


Required Skills:

  • Strong analytical skills with the ability to translate data insights into actionable merchandising strategies
  • Excellent financial skills
  • High degree of negotiating skills
  • Excellent leadership and communication skills, with experience leading and developing high-performing teams
  • Deep understanding of market trends, consumer behavior, and competitive landscape in the footwear industry.
  • Demonstrates strong collaboration and influencing skills
  • Strong strategic thinking and ability to create business plans
  • Ability to develop long range plans and strategic partnerships
  • Experience using qualitative and quantitative data to develop strategic plans
  • Seeks out partners to hindsight; drives continuous improvement
  • Has strong track record developing and promoting talent
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment and effectively manage competing priorities.



STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP – Deliberately communicates overall business strategy and connects it to the work of the functional team. Anticipates future trends and implications accurately. Leverages market knowledge to anticipate, capitalize on and drive change. Articulate credible pictures and visions of possibilities that will create sustainable value. Creates competitive and breakthrough strategies that show a clear connection between vision and action. Is willing to champion an idea or position despite dissent or political risk. Tackles tough issues, sharing sensitive messages or unpopular points of view effectively. Influences inside and outside of functional area for positive impact on business performance. Owns the development of successors and individuals who have potential for further development.


LEADING & MOTIVATING – Serves as a champion and driver of DSW Values and culture. Attracts and selects the best talent to meet current and future business needs. Motivates and inspires others through rewards, authentic connections and meaningful recognition. Fosters diversity and an inclusive workplace where individual differences are valued and leveraged. Seeks new ways to evolve and challenge self. Develops team through delegation, challenges outside of the comfort zone and effective coaching and feedback. Shares ideas in a compelling manor that gains commitment. Champions change for positive impact on business results.


MANAGING FOR RESULTS – Establishes models and enforces accountability. Gets the most out of available resources and secures rare resources others cannot get. Anticipates and balances the needs of multiple stakeholders. Persists in accomplishing objectives. Pushes the team to elevate goals as results are achieved. Transforms functional area to achieve maximum results. Seizes opportunities and connects business insights to increase profit and revenue.



  • 12 - 15 years progressive retail merchandising experience
  • Proven track record of success in driving sales and profitability through strategic merchandise planning and assortment management.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Diversified background of wholesale, e-commerce, specialty or off-price retail experience
  • Footwear and Accessories background
  • MBA or Masters in Retail Merchandising



B.S. Degree in Retail Merchandising, Marketing, Business or equivalent experience


You must apply through our internal portal: 
click here

Why Choose A Career with Designer Brands?

Empowering associates and building strong teams poised to disrupt the retail and footwear landscape through positive change is at the core of who we are at Designer Brands.

  • Invested in helping our associates learn, develop, achieve and grow into strong leaders
  • Shared commitment to creating a culture fueled by engagement, excitement, optimism and fun
  • Dedicated to giving back and community involvement 

About Designer Brands:

Designer Brands Inc. is one of North America’s largest designers, producers and retailers of footwear and accessories. 

  • Designer Brands Inc. operates a portfolio of retail concepts in more than 640 locations under the DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse and the shoe co. brands. 
  • Designer Brands designs and produces footwear and accessories through Camuto Group, a leading manufacturer selling in more than 6,400 stores worldwide. 













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Nearest Major Market: Columbus

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