Friday, September 12, 2008

CWDkids' Characters

Staff Profile #13 - A Day in the Life of Mary Lou, Executive Vice President

The best thing about my responsibilities is that every day is something different!

The day begins early, getting my 17 year old off to school. This is the first time in 18 years I am not carpooling a child to school! As Chris drives away, I put the odiferous soccer clothes into the wash, grab some coffee, take something out of the freezer for dinner, dress and I am out the door. I know it’s odd to think about dinner at 7:00am, but my 20 year old son Andy is coming home for the evening. I know he’ll enjoy a home cooked meal! You can see Andy and Chris on our blog posting of June 9th.

At my desk, the office day begins reading and responding to emails and voice mails. After this is completed, the first order of business is reviewing orders that are ready to be sent for Spring 2009. Yes, Spring 2009. We are 75% complete with selecting and designing the wonderful styles we will offer next spring.

We have a Wednesday staff meeting with the heads of each area. We discuss catalog mail dates, photography locations, email/ad schedules, customer service comments as well as our thoughts for the spring season. Time for my second cup of coffee!

The next item of the day is looking at new merchandise, a style out with the buyers. A style out meeting is where we review any new samples for the next season, in this case Spring 2009. We have a large room where we hang each sample needing review. We discuss the fashion trend, target age range, pricing and the ability to reorder. If the consensus is a yes that this is a CWDkids selection, the buyer will proceed with communicating the selection to the manufacture and writing the order.

Lunch today is a company event as our Customer Service Manager is leaving. After ten years with CWDkids, Kelley is moving to Ohio. She will be missed!

Back to my desk, I read and respond to the next batch of emails and calls. The inventory report is the task awaiting my attention, reviewing current Fall selling. What do we need to reorder, how many units per size and how fast can we get them to our warehouse? The inventory report used to make these determinations is 300 pages. Needless to say it takes some time and concentration to assess our needs, discuss with the various manufactures and give the order to our rebuyer. The results of the report will be sent to the creative department, the marketing area and inventory control. It is emailed in one spreadsheet, very efficient!

One last look at my emails to make sure all have been responded to! As I head out the CWDkids door, I have my list of things I need to pick up on my way home. I can’t wait to have Tom, Andy, and Chris all home for dinner. I need to remember to put those clothes in the dryer!

As you can see, being a merchant involves creativity as well as multitasking, good communication, knowing your customer, and a lot of numbers! I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring!

Mary Lou’s Tidbits:

  • I am a big sports fan, especially UVA. Go Hoos!
  • My passion is gardening. I completed the Master Gardener Program in 1992.
  • “I can not live with out books” Thomas Jefferson. Totally agree…books and music!

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