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Category Manager

Purchasing | Mattoon, IL Corporate Office | Full Time

Job Description

Job Title:                              Category Manager

Job Location:                       Headquarters, Mattoon, IL

Reports to:                           Vice President of Purchasing

FLSA Status:                        Salaried Exempt

Exempt Classification:       Administrative

                                                                                           

JOB SUMMARY

Our buying team is instrumental in making a difference in the lives of our customer. Our Category Managers are passionate about putting amazing, inspiring, well priced product into our customers’ hands every day. They generate ideas and raise the bar on a continual basis. They are leaders who inspire and empower others to achieve great success. The Category Manager owns and drives all facets of product assortment, financial planning and vendor partnerships of the category with strong collaboration with their integrated cross-functional team.

 

JOB DUTIES AND ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

  • Relationships
    • o   Develop strong vendor partnerships
    • o   Partner with suppliers on product development, as well as the Global Sourcing department on private product label development, as needed
    • o   Responsible for program management of co-op, vendor allowances, and promotional strategies
    • o   Negotiate all pricing, vendor terms, and opportunity buys and FREE GOODS
    • Oversee and manage communication with Stores and Distribution Centers
    • o   Partner with Logistics and DC for most efficient flow of product to stores
    • o   Visit RK Stores to establish open communication and understanding store challenges
  • Product
    • o   Stay abreast of market dynamics and competition
    • o   Manage pricing, sales, and profit margin of products to plan
    • o   Identify new opportunities to deliver products the customer wants and needs
    • o   Conduct category reviews as needed (2-3 per year)
    • o   Develop seasonal merchandise assortments along with pricing and merchandising plans
  • Planning/Analysis
    • o   Place, track and insure complete and on-time delivery of all new store orders
    • o   Provide Inventory Analyst with problems that need analysis, improvement or change.
    • o   Review recommendations from Inventory Analysts and determine direction and appropriate action.
    • o   Partner with Inventory Analyst to monitor and react to seasonal product performance.
    • o   Maintain detailed current knowledge of sales, inventory and profit trends for your area
    • o   Generate and leverage reports for effective decision making
    • o   Complete assortment planning and product lifecycles
    • o   Collaborate to create financial plans (open to buy) that will align with organizational goals
    • o   Optimize "in stock" on basic items by collaborating with your designated replenishment specialists/partner.
    • o   Identify poor performing items and categories and reduce inventory and liabilities
    • o   Partner with an Inventory Analyst to determine sales, inventory and turn goals including preseason flow plans and projections
  • Advertising and Promotion
    • o   Develop and submits advertising and promotional plans that deliver increases in sales and store traffic per the advertising process, pricing policy and timelines.
    • o   Ensure accuracy of print advertising and product in stock to 98.5%
    • o   Collaborate with the Digital Aisle Team to identify assortment, placement, promotions, and marketing strategies to drive sales and profits. This is a core responsibility and should be a major focus.

 

  • Store Planning
    • o   Provide timely direction on new SKU’s and new programs to Store Planning to develop and maintain accurate planograms per the Store Planning process and timelines.
    • o   Ensure planograms are appropriate to volume and space of stores and grouped for volume levels
  • Team Leadership
    • o   Lead the team to drive sales, manage inventory, and achieve the financial goals of the department
    • o   Educate Assistant Buyers on analyzing, buying, inventory management, open-to-buy, imports, logistics, including additional areas as needed
    • o   Create and communicate a strategic vision for the department, including visual merchandising strategies
  • May be required to cross train and perform other duties

 QUALIFICATIONS

  • 3-5 years of multi-unit purchasing experience
  • Strong knowledge of purchasing systems
  • Intermediate to advanced experience with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets
  • Proven strong negotiation skills
  • Strong communication, presentation and analytical skills
  • Knowledge of the categories is required
  • Ability to participate in our online applicant and new hire onboarding process remotely
  • Ability to complete computer-based training

 SUPERVISOR RESPONSIBILITIES 

  • None

 PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Ability to communicate effectively and professionally to all audiences
  • Good visual acuity
  • Close vision for computer work
  • Repetitive wrist movements on keyboard
  • Ability to sit/stand/walk for long periods of time
  • Ability to walk up and down stairs multiple times per day

 Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.