Meet Eric! A member of our Merchandising group, he leads a team that creates innovative product campaigns and business programs through strategic buying, sourcing and product development. Eric didn’t always work in core merchandising though. He began his career in retail management before transitioning to a global sourcing and product development company. During this time, he spent 40% of his year working in Asia and working with retail companies to bring exclusive private label products and programs to market. This provided him experience in purchasing and product development, paving the way for his transition to Staples. Today, a Divisional Merchandising Manager, Eric focuses on our technology product offerings.
I sat down with Eric to learn more about his experience, the qualities that he believes lead to a successful career, and what advice he would give to someone just starting out in the field. Here’s what he had to say:
What’s something surprising about merchandising that many don’t realize?
Many don’t understand that merchandising is very much a team effort. From product and project specialists to inventory analysts and promo managers, nothing is accomplished effectively or productively without the cross-functional team atmosphere Staples encourages.
Fill in the blank. To be successful in merchandising one should be “_______”.
Confident. Calculated. Collaborative. I believe creative thinkers and those not afraid to take risks also tend to be quite successful.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their career?
In my early merchandising days, one of my mentors shared with me her career rules to live by. They’ve helped me immensely throughout my professional growth. I’ve tweaked them slightly over time to make them my own, but they still hold strong.
- Family first.
- Take care of the customer.
- Listen, listen, listen.
- Continue to learn.
- Take risks.
- Don’t be afraid to fail.
- Believe in yourself.
- Have fun!
- Never say “can’t”.
- Go get it.
What’s the best part of being a leader at Staples?
For me, it’s teaching and mentoring others. I thrive on encouraging my team and vendors to think differently.
What’s your favorite aspect of #StaplesLife?
I have found that the people here truly care about one another. A good example of this is the Share Fund. This internal program empowers employees to support one another through times of need. For me, this is the foundation of #StaplesLife.
Eric and his merchandising team are focused on anticipating customer needs and providing the best Worklife solutions available. Interested in joining the team? Check out our current openings today.