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La Quinda Williams

10+ years Experienced Retail Professional

Work experience

Jul 2014Apr 2015

Director of Merchandising

Intimacy, Specialty Intimate Apparel Retailer

Drove KPI's to achieve sales and margin plans for +$25M business; also managed P & L.  Developed seasonal product strategy and managed aggressive seasonal budgets for 16 stores + eCommerce.  Created, reviewed and analyzed financial plans pre-season and in-season for over 40 brands .  Analyzed merchandise performance and identified and acted on optimization increasing in-season sell thru's.  Built and managed professional partnerships with all merchandise vendors as well as negotiated conditions.  Lead team effort to build and edit buy based on knowledge of global and local market.  Defined and executed the pricing strategy.  Developed eCommerce strategy to increase sales potential by expanding inventory in key SKU's and diversifying mix of fashion and replenishment.   Organized seasonal sales in stores and online, shifting inventory to maximize profitability. Established KPI's for sales, margin, inventory for each brand / category.  Ensured all deadlines were met to obtain all vendor discounts attributing to an increased GM% +77bps YTD in 2015.  Established cross-functional relationships with Marketing, Finance and Regional Managers.  Provided consistent leadership, motivation and direction to team of Buyers and Merchandisers as well as within the greater cross-functional team.  Held position on the Management Team, reported to CEO.   

Apr 2012Jul 2014

Merchandise Planner, eCommerce

Carter's,  Recognized brand marketers of children’s apparel

Created and maintained merchandise financial plans for $150M+ representing over 50% of total eCommerce, communicated financial impacts of promotional pricing and strategy changes to teams. Partnered with Buyers to develop collection plans for seasonal buys for 3 categories. Collaborated with Retail / Forecasting partners on product strategy and flow leading to a favorable conversion rate of .22 YOY.  Managed OTB, re-forcasting based on performance and evolving strategies which lead to exceeding the sales goal +8%, AUR goal +2.1%, and GM% +248 bps over goal. Trained Assistant Planner on managing an OTB, empowering to make informed business decisions leading to a promotion as an Associate Planner, then Planner. Worked on implementation of JDA from conception to completion increasing financial visibility to company and division.  Created tools for planning weekly/monthly business – markdowns, hindsight’s enabling team to make informed in-season decisions.  Led weekly meetings reviewing business with VP of Merchandising and team and acted on outcomes.  Generated ad hoc analysis to support buying process.  Supported Finance team with key metrics needed for overall company performance.  

Aug 2011Jan 2012


zulily, Flash Sale Site

Responsible for identifying,  sourcing compelling product and negotiating with brands that represented customers demand and the zulily brand to create product assortment.  Drove sales through selection of product, pricing and promotion for the greatest return on investment.  Negotiated buying terms with vendors – pricing, quantity, delivery and payment terms.  Supervised, trained and develop Assistant Buyer, who was later promoted to Buyer.  Built strong relationships with vendors.  Negotiated exclusivity for brands/items to set our assortment apart from other flash sale sites.  

Jan 2011Aug 2011

Sr. Merchandise Planner

Nordstrom, Luxury Department Store

Developed financial plans for multi-channel spa and skincare departments with annual volume of $70M+ and managed OTB.  Managed sales/receipt plans for replenishment buyers by location/supplier to ensure inventory flow.   Incorporated departmental merchandise strategies within the creation of financial plans driving overall customer experience. Developed demand plans for the direct channel through net sales incorporating returns and transfer impacts to all channels within the company.   Created location level sales plans and established inventory turns by store at each half to generate sales and inventory targets.  Worked with marketing to ensure proper stock levels for featured products.   Led bi-weekly business meetings to go over strategies and performance to ensure we were meeting KPI's.  Received a Sales Plan Accuracy Award for top performance of all 20+ planners company wide.

Nov 2008Jan 2011


Nordstrom, Luxury Department Store

Executed the buy for 115 locations & eCommerce, driving annual volume of $100M.  Implemented strategies to improve performance of low penetrating classes to maximize inventory resulting in Sales +18.8% to LY, +7.6% to plan and GM$ +19.6% to LY, +7.3% to plan.  Analyzed business for new opportunities within classes and departments  Forecasted top replenishment items for vendors, ensuring stock availability for the season; led to in stock rate increasing from 84.7% to 92.4%.  Worked with vendors daily, created solid working relationships.  Negotiated RTV’s and markdowns for slow sellers to protect margin.  Worked with 400 counter managers – created event tracking tool to ensure orders were in store prior to event to ensure event success and customer satisfaction. Collaborated with Market Buyer and Financial Planner for seasonal planning and brand development.  

Dec 2006Nov 2008

Merchandise Planner

Nordstrom, Luxury Department Store

Created financial plans for spa and skincare departments with annual volume of $90M+ for 105 locations.  Developed and managed OTB and inventory and gross margin goals that supported division targets.  Re-forecasted plans based on actual performance and trend giving buyers an accurate OTB.  Constantly worked to improve turn, gross marginand GMROI by analyzing inventory flow.  Increased turn by 8 basis-points and increased GMROI by 8 basis-points to LY for spring 2008.  Analyzed business performance results each month and made adjustments at dept/region and dept/store level; recommended strategies for departments based on opportunities and challenges.  Supported buying teams with brand analysis and ad hoc reporting; developed tool for Buyers to better analyze merchandise flow and presentation strategies to make informed business decisions.  Launched new Oracle merchandise financial planning system  Acknowledged for outstanding performance for spring 2008

Apr 2005Nov 2006

Sr. Assistant Buyer

Macy's, Mass Department Store

Responsible for $10.4M in purchase orders from entry to tracking.  Monitored markdown budget and accurately input markdown allowances of $2.6M.  As the Senior Assistant I worked as the division liaison with Advertising ensuring accuracy and compliance with federal regulations.  Strengthened analytical skills by planning sales, projecting markdowns, and ensuring proper receipt flow.  Responsible for training an Executive Trainee on all systems and general knowledge of business.  Due to the high level of training the ET received, they attained a Senior Assistant buying position. Worked on division projects and organized General Sales Managers Meetings, becoming a valuable team player.  Created a GWP tracking form in Excel for the division that is used to track GWP results by region.  Six Sigma trained; was able to lend support on Fast Tracks.  Managed all new launches and marketing for brands.  

Nov 2004Apr 2005

Executive Trainee / HR Assistant

Macy's, Mass Department Store

A twelve week program which provided opportunities for development in leadership, business skills, people skills and buying systems.  Worked with a Buyer and Assistant learning the basic skills needed to become a successful Assistant Buyer.  Responsibility included entering orders, price changes and advertising on system programs.  Became proficient on all the systems and learned how to use Microsoft Excel for business needs creating tracking sheets and recaps for our departments.  Became system expert.  Networked with Vice Presidents and Directors of each pyramid while defining job titles for all positions within the Northwest division. 


B.A. English / Pre-Law

Washington State University