September 20, 2022

What is an Allocation Analyst & Do You Need One?

What is an Allocation Analyst?


Jenn Provencher

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There are so many roles and responsibilities within the retail world, from planners to merchandisers/buyers, allocators and beyond. They’re all important, but it can be difficult to know which to prioritize, especially when it comes to some of the lesser-known titles. Here, we’ll take a look at the Allocation Analyst position, what it is and whether you need someone to fill it. 

What is an Allocation Analyst?

Requirements & Responsibilities

An Allocation Analyst should be many things, but one of the main things they should be is curious about the ever-changing retail world. As someone whose primary responsibility is driving sales and increasing revenue, through inventory management. They need to have their finger on the pulse of the industry and be eager to ask questions and discover answers. An Allocation Analyst position does require some type of Bachelor's Degree, as well.

Allocation Analysts in Action

The Day-to-Day of the Job

Specifically, there are a variety of tasks that fall under the Allocation Analyst’s purview. To start, they’re responsible for continuously analyzing and managing inventory to have seasonally appropriate merchandise on the floor. They also must create plans and forecast sales that are consistent with the store's potential to sell, and partner with the buying team to ensure vision is being executed.

Additionally, an Allocation Analyst should create and maintain smooth and consistent product flow to avoid stale inventory. They’re also relied upon for cross-departmental collaboration and communication, tying together different roles as needed. For example, they’ll partner with Legal to guarantee all laws and regulations are being adhered to, like country of origins, suitable for children, expiration dates, any recalls, etc. Similarly, they’re expected to establish consistent communication with Operations, Distribution Center and 3PLs to ensure strategies align.

Do You Need an Allocation Analyst? 

The Short Answer: Yes

Investing in Allocation Analysts is really important for a retail company, since they’re responsible for controlling and maintaining all strategies that involve inventory. Given that inventory is a company's most expensive asset, investing in your Analyst and systems will create stronger performers and less user errors. The end result is quicker reaction times that can help eliminate excess inventory, along with increased revenue. An Allocation Analyst can also be utilized with digitally native brands as well. Companies should be monitoring out of stocks, buying trends, and even ensuring that their inventory looks good on their sites- all tasks that an Allocation Analyst would do.

If you want to streamline your retail operations, have a better handle on your inventory management and boost sales - adding an Allocation Analyst to your team should be top of your list.

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