Barnes & Noble College

Divisional Merchandise Director, Trade Books

120 Mountain View Blvd., Basking Ridge, NJ, United States, 07920

Position: Full-Time
Starts: 12/04/2017

REPORTS TO: Vice President Operations/Chief Marketing Officer



  • Trade Book Buyers
  • Store Managers
  • Regional Managers
  • Field Vice Presidents
  • Corporate Managers, Directors & Vice Presidents
  • Design & Construction Team
  • Manager, Research Insights


  • Publishing Executives
  • Publishing Sales, Marketing and Publicity Associates
  • College & University Faculty & Administrators


As Divisional Merchandise Director, Trade Books, you will be responsible for developing and executing a profitable, customer-focused merchandising strategy for trade books and related merchandise that grows revenue, while ensuring full integration with the department’s merchandising, financial, and marketing objectives.   You will drive financial results that maximize customer satisfaction, divisional sales, inventory efficiency, and bottom line profitability.

You will provide leadership to the buying staff on the preparation of assortment plans, merchandising, pricing, and inventory management to support both the ongoing and seasonal aspects of our Trade Book merchandise plans.

You will be the in-house expert on the trade book category and the transformation it is currently undergoing, the preferences of students, faculty, and our campus communities, to deliver an exceptional customer experience – in-store and online. You will orchestrate innovative programs, promotions, and events to build this category at Barnes & Noble College’s 770+ stores and 1000+ e-commerce sites.



  • Develop trade book business strategies that meet or exceed financial goals and customer expectations. Implement and/or direct activities that support merchandising strategies and drive the creation of a simple and compelling trade book product presentation that will inspire the customer to buy.
  • Gather insights from our Market Research team and field and store management to deliver inventory, merchandising and marketing support based on individual market and sales environments. Develop a strong understanding of the buying behavior of our core customer segments.
  • Establish, monitor and adjust sales, inventory, margin and expense budgets for all areas of responsibility.
  • Drive financial success of the Trade Book division by meeting and exceeding sales, gross margin, and inventory productivity goals.
  • Oversees daily buying, marketing (ex. author and promotional events) and related operational activities.
  • Analyze historical and industry data/trends to identify risks and opportunities for the division. Present business case to management to obtain implementation approval for new initiatives.


  • Partner with key publishing companies to strategize, review and drive marketing, purchasing, promotion and event initiatives. Negotiate and manage successful contracts on behalf of Barnes & Noble College.
  • Build strong partnerships with other members of the GM, marketing, and field organizations to share best practices, leverage opportunities, and communicate program specifics.
  • Serve as the primary contact point for the Trade Book area for client institutions.  Provide industry, store and market perspective to support a strong collaborative relationship.
  • Work closely with Design & Construction and Field Management on merchandise fixture needs and new store development to provide the optimum selling environments for Trade Books.


  • Direct and review daily responsibilities for all direct reports (Subject Buyers, Administrative Assistant, Project Manager, Event Manager and Department Coordinator). Provide guidance, improvement action and performance review within company timeframe.
  • Comply at all times with the Barnes & Noble College standards, policies and Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.


  • 10+ years buying management and operational experience in consumer retail environment. Direct experience in higher education retail, publishing, and/or store management or specialty retail are all pluses.
  • Experience with and understanding of central purchasing, inventory management and sales systems is required.
  • Possess a mastery of financial management and measurement including sales, gross margin, inventory productivity measures, etc., and how to impact them.
  • Strong internal and external communication and team building skills.
  • Proven high level negotiation and decision-making skills.
  • Ability to think out-of-the-box and bring new concepts and practices to the organization.
  • Experience with managing and directing a diverse working group with interactive responsibilities.
  • A love of books and reading is a must!

Barnes & Noble College is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer committed to diversity in the workplace.  Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status.  

To submit your application, click here.

About Barnes & Noble College:

Barnes & Noble College, a Barnes & Noble Education company (NYSE:BNED), is a leading operator of college bookstores in the United States. Barnes & Noble College currently operates 781 campus bookstores and the school-branded e-commerce sites for each store, serving more than 6 million college students and faculty nationwide. As a strategic partner, Barnes & Noble College is committed to offering a complete support system and an unmatched retail and digital learning experience to foster student success in higher education. Through its proprietary research communities, Barnes & Noble College is a leading voice in understanding and shaping today’s college student experience.

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