National retailer headquartered in the western US.
This position will report directly to the Divisional Merchandise Manager and lead a team of buyers assigned to the category.
The Category Manager will be expected to shape the category strategy, be accountable to achieve sales and margin goals, develop and maintain vendor relations, and collaborate across the organization to develop industry-leading growth plans. The successful candidate will use all available tactics, including assortment, promotions, marketing, in-store visual plans, private brand, and supplier capabilities to reach or exceed goals. As a leader of a team, the Category Manager will develop assortment plans with a disciplined, structured approach and consumer-first mindset, and will need fact-based decision-making capabilities grounded in consumer research and data.
Specific duties will include, but not necessarily be limited to:
- Manage and motivate staff, including training and development according to company policies and procedures.
- Maintain in-depth product knowledge of assigned product mix.
- Assist in developing and managing an inventory plan and a sales forecast at the class level, report on sales, maintain merchandise calendar, inventory, and business performance according to company requirements.
- Manage the negotiation and administration of relative merchandise selection, purchasing contracts and vendor payment terms, returns, and advertising programs.
- Manage and resolve potential purchasing problems; supervise follow-up to ensure timely and accurate product delivery.
- Plan and implement advertising and promotional strategy and activities.
- Develop and maintain relationships with suppliers at the management level.
- Seek and continuously develop knowledge and information about competitor activity, pricing, and tactics related to the assigned category, and communicate this to relevant departments in the company.
- Maintain an understanding of national markets and product trends relating to assigned area that are impacting current performance and potential future sales.
- Determine and manage product mix, additions, phase-outs, and liquidation of items to ensure achievement of sales, inventory turn, and margin goals.
- Develop and maintain close working relationships with other departments, Item Master Administrators, and Demand Planners to ensure accurate data, current trends, and forecasting, coordination of promotions or launches, and timely vendor payments.
- Prepare purchase orders and verify receipt of purchase of orders in preparation for payment processing.
- Correspond with suppliers and vendors regarding quotes and the status of purchase orders; ensure that products meet the purchase order due date.
- Avoid unplanned stockouts while managing the risk of excess inventory and expediting costs.
- Communicate with store-level personnel on pre-season needs and post-season clean-up.
- All other duties as assigned.
- A minimum of five years in purchasing or equivalent experience in a retail environment.
- Experience in leading and mentoring a team.
- Knowledge of product sourcing and development.
- Knowledge of buying department policies and procedures.
- Excellent verbal, written communication, and math skills.
- Working knowledge of computers and Microsoft Office applications, Oracle Advanced Planning, and scheduling reports.
- Ability to create and maintain accurate and detailed records.
- Travel up to 25%, both in-state and out-of-state.
- Bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field preferred.
Compensation will be commensurate with experience including a competitive base salary, bonus opportunity, and competitive benefits package.