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Helen Studer

United States
September 11, 2008

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Helen Studer

*** ****** ** , *****, ** *****


I am an apparel Buyer with over 15 years experience in a “Big Box” retailer, developing product lines that are customer focused and financially viable. I am a self-motivated professional with a “can do” attitude. I have led and developed cross functional teams to control OTB, resolve issues, opportunities and achieve results in a timely manner. I possess strong negotiation skills and have developed lasting vendor partnerships, ensuring proper product mix and product positioning .


• Developed a high/low strategy in sweaters to drive sales and gross margin.

• Collaborated with market and sourcing teams to develop products that helped drive in customer traffic through advertising, increasing sales 10% and gross margin 2%.

• Worked with the fashion market to help develop an “on-trend” fashion woven department.

• Responding to unsatisfactory product quality, worked with sourcing and product development to get the right styles and quality in mix for the next season. Sell thru increased on fashion items 23%.

• Recreated a private label denim department with sourcing and product development, replacing all SKU's which increased sales by 10% and gross margin by 12%. Worked through old inventory in stores and with the domestic vendor. Facilitated shipping of new SKU's to arrive on time for BTS. Team was able to control loss gross margin on the old product through timely in store promotions and markdowns.


Sears Holdings / KMart, Hoffman Estates, IL 1992 to Present

Apparel Buyer

I led a cross functional team that developed assortment plans in categories that aligned with corporate strategies delivering sales up to $250,000,000. Working with product development, design, sourcing, advertising and domestic vendors, I built a product line that was customer focused, priced correctly and well balanced between Brands, key items and fashion. I had full accountability for sales and profit plans developed with the financial team that met corporate goals. I executed the plan driving sales through pricing, advertising, promotions and controlling markdowns. I coached and mentored assistant buyers to develop skills and understanding of the total buying process, including understanding of the customer. I gave guidance and suggestions encouraging and motivating the team to work together in making decisions and solving problems.

Helen Studer Page Two

KMart Planner / Asst Buyer, Detroit, MI 1989 to 1992

I was promoted to the Home office. I allocated hosiery and accessory products after analysis of sales and history, and worked with the buyer for future assortments based on sell thrus. I was then promoted to assistant buyer with the responsibility to work financial plans, advertising, allocation and procurement of product lines working with the buyer. I developed product lines that achieved planned sales and margin.

KMart, Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, NY 1980 to 1989

Field Operations

Apparel operations. I started as an assistant in Syracuse NY, then promoted to manager running 2 stores in the Binghamton area. I was promoted as a District manager in 2 NY districts. I had the total responsibility to achieve plan and maximized sales of $60 million and increased gross profit in the district. I mentored my teams giving guidance to procedures directed from the sales and operations departments. I coached and developed team members, strengthening assistants and managers for promotion to higher volume stores. I also had the responsibility to hire applicants for the corporate training program in field operations.


Purdue University

University of Eastern Kentucky

References upon request

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