Job Description

Art Van Furniture, the Midwest’s largest Furniture and Mattress retailer, and one of the top 10 in the United States is seeking an experienced Manager of Product Development to join our Merchandise team.


In this high visibility / high impact position, you will manage the product development private label strategy and execution to ensure the best in class assortments across assigned categories along with development process for assigned areas from initial concept thru final approval. Research both assigned product development categories and the general market, Internet, publications, trade shows, manufacturers catalogs, shop visits, and WGSN trend forecasts and interpret results for the Art Van brand. Creation of a collaborative private label development process working with buyers and merchant teams with the goal of improving design, quality and reducing average costs. In addition, the position will be responsible for the following:

  • Works with PD director and buying teams to develop seasonal design concepts.
  • Pull inspiration images and sketch new design proposals.
  • Create and send out spec packs for new developments.
  • Initiate samples, track, and receive packages for timely review of developments.
  • Ensure each product adherence to Art Van merchandising process calendar.
  • Meet regularly with PD director regarding issues in assigned areas.
  • Schedule and conduct weekly meetings with merchants, sourcing/QA, partners in assigned areas to communicate progress on projects and review samples.
  • Manages the merchandising process calendar and development timelines from idea to launch working with buying agents, sourcing, and domestic importers as needed.
  • Create and maintain PD status spreadsheet and project binder for each season.
  • Submit outgoing PD projects to VP, Merchant and Director PD for approval.
  • Monitor approval process for quick turn-around.
  • WGSN trend service liaison to the merchants, weekly review to identify trend reports to communicate to the merchant teams.
  • Market recaps, prepare and share out market overview, with images and information to use as development inspirations and trend guides.
  • Attend line reviews, work with merchants to identify and plan new private label products from both domestic sources and direct sources.
  • Influence buyers to drive for newness and change to assortments incorporating upcoming trends and delivering on the value, quality and style proposition.


Skills / Requirements

Product Management

  • Manage product development roadmaps across categories
  • Manages the merchandising process calendar and development timelines from idea to launch.
  • Create and maintain PD status spreadsheet and project binder for each season.
  • Ensure products are produced according to design, quality, packaging and price specifications
  • Manage seasonal merchandising calendars, organize product development related meetings.
  • Work with buyers to understand and execute product specifications and pricing targets.
  • Coordinated new product information needs on Header Request spec sheets for merchants.
  • Maintain an organized archive of development projects.
  • Maintain PD & sample room, organization & clean out.


Product Development

  • Review and present product trends using research from trend services, markets and competition
  • Schedule and conduct PD workshops: collaborative working meetings with merchants, director of PD to present tear sheets and preliminary ideas.
  • Schedule development concept focus meetings: to establish key ideas and edit down to top potential projects, working with merchants.
  • Present seasonal product development concepts to VPs and CMO.
  • Be an early trend spotter to the company attending markets and shows, identify new product and vendors. Determines product pricing by unitizing market research data, production and sales costs with anticipated volume.
  • Works with marketing, stores and other teams to ensure seamless product launches.


The successful candidate will possess the following skills and experiences:

  • BA or BS in related field
  • 3-6 years in product development and design work or as a buyer with a product development background
  • Experience attending home products trade shows, overseas sourcing experience a plus.
  • Understanding of the product lifecycle and production lead times
  • Great taste level, knowledge of furniture and home product styles, manufacturing and trends.
  • Manage and prioritize projects, delegate tasks appropriately
  • Strong project management skills
  • Ability to organize product ideas and develop across merchants’ departments into collection and brands.
  • Strong presentation skills both visually and verbally.
  • Interior design or technical design background a plus.
  • Skilled in Microsoft Office, Power Point, Adobe InDesign.


Art Van offers a competitive salary combined with an excellent benefits package.  Interested applicants can apply on-line on our website at:  Learn more about Art Van by viewing our company video at


Application Instructions

Please click on the link below to apply for this position. A new window will open and direct you to apply at our corporate careers page. We look forward to hearing from you!

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