The TJX Merchandising Development Program (MDP) is one of the best and most respected training programs in the retail industry. The MDP develops future leaders in the Merchandising Division and teaches our business, Off-Price Retailing. At TJX, we offer a structured career path with continuous training opportunities and the potential for unlimited growth in Merchandise Planning & Allocation, Merchandise Buying, and ultimately in Executive Management.
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Merchandising Development Program (MDP)
As your first step in our MDP, you will spend 8 weeks in classroom training learning about off-price retailing and your role within TJX. Classes are developed and taught by a team of dedicated Learning and Development associates. Your initial experience will give you the tools necessary to become a successful Allocation Analyst, the first step in the MDP. Training is provided to our Merchandising associates at every stage of their careers.
The MDP is comprised of classroom learning and exposure to off-price retailing. The classroom portion of the program will provide comprehensive training on critical topics, including: utilizing TJX systems and reports, analyzing your business, developing and implementing allocation strategies, and creating an exciting merchandise mix. Later, you will work in a Planning and Allocation department applying what you have learned in the classroom to your new responsibilities on the job.
In this position, you will be assigned specific merchandise classifications within men’s, sportswear, children’s, accessories or home for one of TJX’s domestic companies. You will take ownership of your assigned businesses, affecting millions in sales annually by identifying and maximizing business opportunities. Responsibilities include: analyzing sales trends, anticipating consumer buying patterns and fashion trends, evaluating in-store and competitors’ merchandise selections and developing distribution strategies for hundreds of stores nationwide. You will also act as a liaison between our distribution centers and our Buyers working to resolve merchandise problems. As an Allocation Analyst, you will be developing skills which will be critical to your career growth.
Senior Allocation Analyst
As your development continues, you will be responsible for a greater volume of your department’s business. In addition, you will plan, execute, and evaluate in store ads and events. You are also responsible for continually evaluating competition stores’ merchandise selection and pricing. You will continue working with the distribution centers, Buyers and Planning Managers to resolve merchandise issues and to identify opportunities to grow the business. As a Senior Allocation Analyst, you will develop and strengthen your leadership skills by mentoring and training Allocation Analysts.
In this role, you will partner with management to create and implement seasonal merchandising plans. You will have an elevated level of exposure to Management and Buyers. Your involvement with financial decisions affecting the department will increase significantly. You will gain management experience by working with Analysts and Senior Analysts to create weekly shipping strategies and will become an integral part of their training and development. While helping to supervise the flow of merchandise to the stores, you will ensure the most appropriate assortment for all stores in the chain. Additionally, you will evaluate current business trends in order to proactively make appropriate revisions to the plans. The Associate Planner experience will help to prepare you for your next role as either a Planning Manager or Associate Buyer I.
Associate Buyer Level II
As an Associate Buyer II, you will consistently travel within your own department and with other experienced Buyers. You will begin to utilize negotiation skills and make independent decisions for your assigned classifications. You will analyze your business to strategically drive sales for current and future needs. Through store visits and competitive shopping your knowledge of brands, price points and seasonality of merchandise will increase. Associate Buyer II’s build relationships with vendors through frequent communication enabling them to take advantage of opportunistic buys within the market.
Buyers are entrepreneurial and empowered to make the ultimate decision on merchandise for our stores. They are global shoppers traveling to over 75 countries building relationships with over 16,000 vendors. Buyers travel to market over 40 weeks a year allowing them to buy closer to need and be smarter about trends. They are responsible for millions of dollars in revenue and perform ongoing analysis to develop merchandise strategies to drive sales. Buyers continually shop stores to critique the merchandise mix and identify key opportunities to deliver exciting value. Their ultimate responsibilities are to provide famous name brands, quality and fashion at the best prices for our customers.
AVP, Merchandise Manager
AVP, Merchandise Managers manage and lead a team of up to eight Buyers within a Merchandising Division. They are responsible for millions in revenue and provide training and career development of their Buyers. They collaborate with Planning and Allocation to develop strategic business and financial plans. AVP, Merchandise Managers create and maintain a market presence by supporting buyer/vendor relationships to maximize negotiations. They balance inventory levels through timely markdowns and continually shop stores and competition to critique the mix and assess value. AVP, Merchandise Managers execute sales and profit objectives within their division, as well as company goals.
VP, General Merchandise Manager
In this executive role, VP, General Merchandise Managers oversee the buying and merchandising of billions of dollars worth of business. They partner with other Senior Management to set short and long-term business objectives. VP, General Merchandise Managers work closely with Planning and Allocation to create financial plans, implement margins, and set sales goals. They travel to both foreign and domestic markets to develop Buyers and enhance vendor relationships. VP, General Merchandise Managers play a critical role in conceptualizing both current and future growth opportunities for TJX.
As a Planning Manager, you will be responsible for developing and implementing seasonal plans for a business worth hundreds of millions of dollars. You decide the volume of merchandise to be shipped in a given week for each classification. You will partner with Buyers and Merchandise Managers to create and execute a department’s overall vision and goals while maintaining fiscal responsibility. Planning Managers capitalize on current and future business trends, both at the chain level and regionally. They ensure that department sales and inventory plans are being achieved and that merchandise is being shipped to the appropriate stores. Planning Managers provide direction for a staff consisting of 3-6 associates, and are responsible for their growth and development.
Associate Buyer Level I
In this role, you will be introduced to buying and gain experience analyzing and identifying business trends. You will learn about off price buying through training and interaction with experienced buyers. Your responsibilities will include vendor communication, writing purchase orders, store visits to critique merchandise mix and various projects. In time, Associate Buyer I’s will travel with Buyers into the market to observe negotiations and relationship building.
Merchandising is comprised of two divisions, Planning & Allocation and Buying. These divisions work together to drive sales and profits for TJX. The MDP teaches you how to run the retail business from behind the scenes. The training program begins with classroom training, which educates trainees in planning and allocation and introduces them to off-price retailing, led by the TJX Learning & Development Team. The Merchandising Development Program prepares you for your first position, Allocation Analyst, as well as future positions in the career path.
TJX invests in you, your development and your career. In return, we look for you to use your strong analytical, entrepreneurial, and leadership skills to strategically drive the TJX businesses. The MDP is a unique opportunity to learn about the world of Merchandising in a corporate setting where your growth opportunities are endless. As a global retailer, TJX has opportunities to travel or work internationally as your career in Merchandising develops. Our present and past CEO's were all Buyers, so whether you are interested in Planning & Allocation, Buying, or Executive Management, the MDP will give you what you need to be successful.
“In Planning, it is imperative to know what merchandise customers respond to in different parts of the country in order to maximize sales and profit. By analyzing what colors, trends & price points customers in different regions respond to, I have been able to create a mix of merchandise that caters to their varying lifestyles.”