Category Manager

General Summary:

Reports to VP of Retail

The Category Manager position manages assigned categories within the Marketing & Merchandising team with major responsibilities in achieving both financial and department goals. It is responsible for all buying functions of assigned products and is the resident expert for all products within the assigned category. Fosters strong business relationship with suppliers to maximize program opportunities for members.

Primary Responsibility:

Develops strong relationships with suppliers, assessing capabilities and evaluating performance.  Ensures products are sourced and delivered at lowest possible cost.  Monitors buying network and trade channel to keep up to date on ongoing special buys, promotions, and new opportunities.  Manages the marketing of assigned products along with maximizing category program funding for members including retail pricing architecture.  Determines SKU offering (new and discontinued items).  Maintains high executional standards to ensure vendor and member compliance.

Essential Functions:

  • Creates and develops a long term plan and strategy for development of the category
  • Plans for and negotiates annual programs, cost, delivery and payment terms for assigned categories.
  • Develops income and expense budgets with responsibility for category revenue.
  • Manages vendor contracts to ensure timely receipt of rebates and promotional funding.
  • Manages category business plans, budgeted allowances and margins within assigned categories.
  • Establishes new product selections. Identifies emerging trends, brands and items within assigned categories through lifestyle research, industry publications, supplier meetings, trade shows and market data.
  • Planogram development and recommendations based on results and market data.
  • Manages promotional activity, seasonal activity and merchandising selling events within assigned categories.
  • Manages new and discontinued items process to include an exit plan for all discontinued item inventory.
  • Manages warehouse inventory (if applicable) on slow movers, discontinued items, items with zero movement and develops plans for minimizing each. 
  • Develops and communicates reporting on category item performance trends in markets we operate with regular updates.
  • Updates and maintains all essential information such as cost, package, size, SRP and projected margins
  • Works effectively with members, vendors, and internal departments to determine market needs.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Experience and Skills:

  • 5 years retail/wholesale purchasing experience with manufacturers, distributors and alternative buying sources
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Very strong negotiation skills
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills
  • Good communications skills
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision
  • Excellent understanding of Microsoft Office

Educational Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred

Physical Requirements:

  • May be standing or sitting for extend period of times
  • Occasional light travel
  • Extended period of time working in front of computer monitor

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The above statements reflect the general duties and responsibilities necessary to describe the principal functions of the job, as identified, and shall not be considered an exhaustive list of job responsibilities which may be inherent in the job.  Responsibilities are subject to change.