AKIRA Merchandise Planning Manager

In 2002, AKIRA opened the doors to its first women's clothing boutique in Chicago. Since then, the company has extended its reach to 35+ stores across the United States, as well as a thriving eCommerce business (shopAKIRA.com.) AKIRA is extremely well-poised for sustained growth as we continue to build a nationally recognized brand.

AKIRA’s culture has one very large, distinct difference from other high fashion competitors: Fanatical, Obsessive Attention to the consumer’s needs and desires. The core principle for all employees at AKIRA is to Act and Think Like an Owner, and this belief can be reflected across all areas of the company.


The Position

Merchandise Planning Manager



Chicago, IL (On-site)



The Merchandise Planning Manager will lead and support the Merchandising function by providing leadership to the Planning & Allocation team to drive sales and margins to support financial objectives. This person will maximize profitability by optimizing margins and inventory supply to meet customer demand. In this role you will develop and maintain a strong partnership with department heads, key stakeholders, and store leadership to successfully run the business.


Essential Functions:

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive planning strategy to support the business's goals and objectives
  • Analyze sales data and market trends to identify opportunities and risks, and provide recommendations to improve performance
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams, including merchandising, marketing, and operations, to ensure alignment on business plans and objectives
  • Monitor industry trends and emerging technologies to identify opportunities for innovation and improvement
  • Develop and maintain key performance metrics to measure the effectiveness of planning initiatives
  • Partner in leading the forecasting processes
  • Provide sell-thru data and classification performance to planning partners in executing top-down planning strategies
  • Executive and non-executive reporting providing direction and overview of plans and any associated risk/opportunities
  • Partners closely with buying and product development teams on planning/executing new products as well as managing other product life-cycle phases
  • Spearhead process and software implementation to optimize data processing, analysis, and accessibility



  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 6+ years in Merchandise Planning, Allocation, or Merchandising in the retail industry
  • 2+ years in a management role
  • Proven track record of driving sales and profitability through effective planning and forecasting
  • Ability to create a vision, set priorities, and empower teams to deliver expected outcomes
  • Understanding of analytical capabilities to develop strong demand planning forecasts


The Ideal Candidate Has/Is:

  • Exceptional work ethic and motivation to meet strict deadlines
  • Excellent written and verbal communicator
  • Outstanding organizational skills, with keen attention to detail and diligent task follow-through
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize in a fast - paced, dynamic environment
  • Highly collaborative, responsive team player


Diversity & Inclusion:

At AKIRA we believe that treating everyone in a first-class manner is essential to fostering an inclusive environment that reflects our values and our community. This is deeply rooted in our company's principles, culture, and fashion. We continuously strive to cultivate a company where employees feel a sense of belonging and contribute to a culture that values differences, ideas, and experiences. Our unique workforce is directly linked to our success and makes us stronger collectively.


Benefits and Perks:

AKIRA offers competitive benefits for full time employees, including Medical, Dental, Vision, Pet, Life, LTD, FSA/HSA/Dependent Care FSA, Flex Transit (CTA), 401(k), and employee discount. We are committed to encouraging internal development and providing significant career enrichment opportunities. Most importantly, what has propelled AKIRA’s growth and success over the years has been the dynamic culture within the company - if you’re filled with passion, have a strong desire to get things done, and if you want to go to a place where you know your work matters and where you can implement your ideas and decisions, then AKIRA just might be the place for you.


Job Type: Full Time

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