Category Manager

Company Description

The Greater Houston Retailers Cooperative Association, Inc. (GHRA) is one of the leading independent convenience store cooperatives in the nation. GHRA provides many benefits and value to its members through its marketing and member services programs.  The company franchises its quick serve restaurant, Big Madre Taco Y Tortas, throughout the South, Texas market.  GHRA operates the GHRA Warehouse and distribution center supplying goods and services to the convenience store industry.

Job Description:

Category Manager

General Summary:

Reports to Marketing and Procurement Manager

The Category Manager position manages assigned categories within the Marketing and Procurement 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 relationships with suppliers and supports the Marketing and Procurement Manager. Manages and updates an ongoing network of reliable suppliers.   

Primary Responsibility:

Developing strong relationships with suppliers throughout North America with the goal of selecting vendors, assessing vendor capabilities, compiling wholesale and retail programs and evaluating vendor performance.  Strong understanding of shipping requirements to ensure products are sourced and shipped at lowest possible cost.   Find and develop appropriate buying sources to assure proper variety and pricing for members.   Also responsible for monitoring buying network (online, email, etc.,) to keep up to date on ongoing special buys, promotions, and new opportunities. 

Essential Functions:

  • Negotiates annual programs, cost, delivery and payment terms for assigned categories.
  • 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.
  • 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 inventory on slow movers, discontinued items, items with zero movement and develops plans for minimizing each. 
  • Develop wholesale and retail programming for vendors in the assigned portfolio.
  • Facilitates all retail programs between members and vendors in the assigned portfolio
  • Develops and communicates reporting on category item performance trends in markets we operate with regular updates.
  • Plan-o-gram development and recommendations for our members based on results and market data.
  • Manages vendor contracts to ensure timely receipt of rebates and promotional funding.
  • Ensures the maintenance and update of all essential warehouse information such as cost, size, UPC, etc.
  • Resolves all supplier product issues
  • Performs other duties as assigned

Experience and Skills:

  • 5 years retail/wholesale purchasing experience with manufacturers, distributors and alternative buying sources
  • Existing network of alternative buying sources in consumer goods.   
  • 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 an extended period of times
  • Occasional light travel
  • An extended period of time working in front of a computer monitor
  • Some days of prolonged walking

Additional Information:

Number of Openings:     1

Starting Date:                    Immediate

Interested applicants are request to submit their resume to 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.