LidsU Director of Buying

Date:  Nov 27, 2023

Indianapolis, IN, US, 46278

Store # - Mall Name:  Corporate Office

About Our Company

Lids U partners with Barnes and Noble Education managing all aspects of the emblematic general merchandise and hard goods for almost 800 college bookstores across North America. Lids U is a general merchandise company that provides all emblematic apparel, hard goods and backpacks to Barnes and Noble Education’s college bookstores. Lids U strives for excellence by bringing the highest quality of products, range of assortment and at the best prices possible for each of our partners.


If you enjoy a fast-paced environment and ever-changing fashion trends, then perhaps this is the place for you. We’re always looking for our next big playmaker, so if you’re ready to lend your expertise to a like-minded company that’s exciting, fun and shares your passions, we want to hear from you.

General Position Summary

Reporting to the VP of Buying, the Director of Buying is responsible for the purchase and promotion of all product for their department(s) of responsibility. The primary objective for this position is profitable sales and achievement of all departmental financial goals through proper product assortment.

Principle Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop and set short-term and long-term merchandise goals and metrics.
  • Oversee the development of annual, seasonal, monthly & weekly merchandise plans across Lids and manage buying team that is executing those strategies.
  • Manage weekly department level open to buy activities 
  • Oversee delegation of priorities and tasks given to team of buyers responsible for executing buying strategy in your designated cluster. Ensure your team is working effectively and efficiently, and staying on track with buying schedule.
  • Work closely with store leadership to ensure proper allocation and division of merchandising products. Implement project management tactics to effectively guide and manage team responsible for executing buying strategy to meet these demands.
  • Provide expert analysis on trends and recommendations to influence cancellations, future purchases, and assortment strategies. 
  • Analyze historic performance to identify areas of opportunity or risk.  
  • Prepare preseason promotional and markdown strategy through partnership with buying and merchandising.
  • Directs buying to ensure adequate volume/inventory levels, integrity of quality and pricing, and to maximize all aspects of open to buy for the division. 
  • Drives merchandise strategies behind business plans; works closely with planning to ensure all product opportunities are pursued and appropriately planned.

Additional Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Collaborates with global merchandising and supply chain to ensure that we have the right assortment at the appropriate target costs.
  • Provide continuous top tier customer service and support to schools and stores within your cluster. You will be your store’s go-to person responsible for ensuring all client and customer needs are met, and that the allocation of products meets the needs of that school.
  • Devises new and innovative business strategies for the division, driving bottom-line and top-line growth.
  • Acts as product/market expert on competition and industry trends; works closely with design team to translate knowledge into innovative, relevant business opportunities
  • Oversees assortment skew plans and final product selection for the division, ensuring costing goals are met while maximizing item impact and incorporating appropriate penetration of fashion. 
  • Ensures brand consistency from design concept to in-store execution. 
  • Visits stores regularly to review presentation, stock content/levels; identifies issues and solicits suggestions and comments from field team.
  • Works closely with visual and merchandising teams to strategize initiatives and marketing campaigns.
  • Ensures the buying department is organized and staffed to meet the objectives of the division.
  • Manage career paths, development, and succession plans of divisional buying team.

Job Required Knowledge & Skills

  • Experienced merchant leader with diversified background in product development, planning/distribution, and visual merchandising
  • Prior management experience required; must have experience in successfully developing talent
  • 5+ years relevant buying experience, with specific knowledge and expertise in vertical retailing environments
  • Must have experience in driving a retail division in merchandising/buying
  • Comprehensive knowledge of current fashion/retail trends; ability to introduce innovative business ideas to the team 
  • Prior management experience required; must have experience in successfully developing talent

Preferred Job Required Knowledge & Skills

  • Strong communication skills and people development skills
  • Prior customer service and account management experience preferred
  • Collaborative leadership style and strong cross-functional partnership abilities, particularly with design, marketing and planning
  • Must exhibit open and encouraging leadership style, a defined point of view
  • Strong presentation skills and ability to communicate brand strategy and vision across all levels of an organization
  • A well-organized and self-directed individual who is a team player
  • A high energy, roll-up-the-sleeves attitude with a positive approach to dealing with challenges
  • Balance of strategic business/analytical skills, creating merchandising and tactical execution
  • Proven track record of leading and growing a team
  • Outstanding leadership and people skills. Ability to manage up, down, and vertically
  • Ability to collaborate across functions and levels
  • High taste level – Experience working in elevated brand(s)
  • Must be able to multi-task in a fast paced environment
  • Must have a strong sense of urgency and ability to quickly prioritize workload
  • Excellent communication and analytical skills


Bachelor's Level Degree

Reports To

  • Chief Merchant



EEO Statement:
Hat World, Inc., Lids Holdings, Inc., dba Lids and subsidiaries is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to complying with all federal, state, and local EEO laws. Hat World, Inc., prohibits discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on the individual's race or color, religion or creed, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, marital status, sex, pregnancy status, age, military status, disability, or any other protected characteristic or class protected by law. Hat World, Inc. provides reasonable accommodation for disabilities in accordance with applicable laws.

Notice to Applicants:
In connection with your application, we collect information that identifies, reasonably relates to or describes you (“Personal Information”). The categories of Personal Information that we collect include your name, government issued identification number(s), email address, mailing address, other contact information, emergency contact information, employment history, educational history, criminal record, and demographic information. We collect and use those categories of Personal Information about you for human resources and other business management purposes, including identifying and evaluating you as a candidate for potential or future employment or future contract positions, recordkeeping in relation to recruiting and hiring, conducting criminal background checks as permitted by law, conducting analytics, and ensuring compliance with applicable legal requirements and Company policies.

Need accessibility assistance to apply?
Applicants who require accessibility assistance to submit an employment application, please email us at A member of our Talent team will respond as soon as reasonably possible. This email address and is only for individuals seeking accommodation when applying for a career at Lids.

Req ID: 14973 

Location: Corporate Office 

Nearest Major Market: Indianapolis