TJX Canada is known for its retail brands (Winners, HomeSense and Marshalls) in Canada, but with all of that product, have you ever wondered who’s supporting the process? Merchandise Assistants at TJX Canada are an integral part of the merchandising operations team, giving support to the buyers, vendors and the product lifecycle. We had the chance to connect with four – current and previous – Merchandise Assistants to get a glimpse into their work and share it with you. We learned all about their careers thus far, how they’re growing, and why they love working at TJX Canada.
From In-Store to Home Office
Ashley Cunningham previously worked in store management in retail before starting her career with TJX Canada as a Merchandise Assistant. “TJX Canada felt like the perfect place where I could learn everything about retail while growing my career,” she says. The Merchandise Assistant role piqued her interest because she wanted to gain a better understanding of the work put in behind the scenes to keep a store operating smoothly with plenty of products to offer customers.
In her role as a Merchandise Assistant, Ashley received training that set her up for success. “Merchandise Assistants receive great one-on-one and in-class training when they begin their careers at TJX Canada. There are e-learning and in-class training sessions available prior to placement within a department,” she says. On top of that, managers and supervisors provide ongoing support when it comes to learning and development. This support system, ongoing training opportunities and dedication to people is something that Ashley truly values about working for TJX Canada.
Supporting Teams and Individual Career Goals
Monica Gil loved her role as a Merchandise Assistant. “The fact that it’s so versatile, the exposure that it gives you to learn the business, and how it helps you connect the dots across the business…I see the Merchandise Assistant role as an extension of a Buyer. I loved being able to contribute to the success of a business, talking to vendors, working close to a buyer and having the opportunity to learn from them,” she says.
Now a Merchandise Operations Supervisor, Monica’s role focuses on coaching the Merchandise Assistants and developing their skillsets. “I ensure that [the Merchandise Assistants] monitor their merchandise flow closely and partner with them to troubleshoot situations they may encounter along the way. Each experience is a learning opportunity for [the team],” she comments.
When Monica is not interviewing, training or coaching, the most rewarding part of her role is, “being a part of the success of the business!” as well as “knowing that we worked hard at monitoring our inbound flow of merchandise and ensured that it arrived to our [Distribution Centre] as expected in order to execute our merchant and planning strategies. Receiving positive feedback from vendors, buyers and business partners towards my associates and recognizing the importance of their role,” are other things that make her feel fulfilled at TJX.
Culture of Growth and Skill Development
Andro Gayondato is currently an Allocation Analyst who previously worked as a Merchandise Assistant. “Ever since my university years, my intention was to become a buyer. I had heard that TJX Canada was fantastic with developing talent while keeping their personal goals in mind,” Andro comments.
After joining TJX, he recognized that the workplace culture lived up to his expectations. “The workplace culture is very welcoming and supportive…TJX encourages a culture of reaching out and asking for help when needed, as well as helping those who seek assistance. Everyone has your back,” he says.
Through this support, Andro was able to move from a Merchandise Assistant into his role as an Allocation Analyst. He recognizes that there were many skills he developed along the way. “I believe that the skill I strengthened the most during my time as a Merchandise Assistant is relationship building. The position requires partnership amongst a diverse set of roles from different departments such as planning, merchandising, logistics, and others. Developing genuine relationships with your partners make for a great work environment as well as an efficient one”.
Being Open To Innovation and Feedback
In a similar career path as Andro, Jenny Mourao is also currently an Allocation Analyst with TJX Canada with a background working as a Merchandise Assistant. Jenny loves the retail industry because of the pace and the challenge. “The retail industry is fast-paced and constantly changing. A student or recent grad can learn a lot and develop many skills in a short amount of time in the retail industry,” she says. “It’s also a great place for a recent grad to share their opinion and have input because we’re always looking for new ways of doing things,” Jenny adds.
In any role, it’s important that your values align with that of the organization you’re working for, which is exactly the case for Jenny. “To me, the TJX values really set the foundation for everything we do on a daily basis. I feel that I am a respected and valuable member of my team. I’m not afraid to share my opinions and ask for feedback. Partnering with my team and open communication is a part of my every day,” she says.
Jenny appreciates how collaborative and team-oriented the TJX team is. Having a supportive team helped Jenny to have a great experience as a Merchandise Assistant (MA). The most rewarding part? “As an MA, seeing a buyer’s vision come to life and executed in-store is extremely rewarding knowing that I played a key role in the process of making it happen. I was often asked for my opinion about product preferences and actually seeing the product in our stores is very exciting knowing I had input on it,” she comments.
A career at TJX Canada offers more than just a career in retail. From supportive teams, collaborative environments, to genuine career growth and skill development, TJX Canada puts its people first, regardless of your role or position. Working behind the scenes and ensuring that the product lifecycle is protected are both vital parts of the retail industry. If you’re ready to get your career started as a Merchandise Assistant, check out the open positions here.