Retail Space Planning Community

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Advisory Board Member Spotlight: Imran Ali 

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Imran Ali

Director of Assortment Planning

Private Brands & PMO

The Home Depot

What is your favorite thing about working in Space Planning? 

I love the highly dynamic & fast-paced nature of the space planning function and its critical role in translating merchandising strategy & intent into physical reality & execution in the store.  Hence it appeals to both my brain’s creative-visionary side and the practical detailed-oriented side. 

What is the most exciting development you have seen in Space Planning since you started your career? 

It has been exciting to see Space Planning rightfully earn its place at the ‘big table’ where strategic business decisions are made.  Our senior leadership team at The Home Depot has started to view space planning as a competitive and strategic lever to drive category & store financial performance vs. a tactical downstream activity.  As a result, there have been more company investments in advanced space management tools, analytics, and associate development to elevate the capabilities of the space planning function. 

What advice do wish you could give to 25-year-old you? 

The one piece of advice that I would give my younger self is not to be afraid to take risks.  Do not let the fear of failure get in the way of taking on tough challenges and trying new things.  Some of the biggest learnings in my career and personal life came as a result of overcoming those “failures”.   

What do you most want to get out of being a member of the Space Planning Community? 

I believe the Space Planning Community is an invaluable platform and forum to engage and learn from other space professionals who are tackling similar challenges.  I am looking forward to further engaging my peers to understand their journeys to elevate the space planning function in their organizations, adoption of best practices around process, analytics & tools, and development of the ‘space planner of the future’.   

When you’re not at work, where are your favorite places to be? 

My family and I love to take family vacations and travel overseas to experience new cultures, world history, & exotic foods.  It is a great learning opportunity for our kids and broadens their global perspective. Closer to home, we love watching movies and playing soccer over the weekends.  

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