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Category Manager - Sporting Goods

Purchasing | Mattoon, IL Corporate Office | Full Time

Job Description

Job Title: Category Manager - Sporting Goods

Job Location: Store Support Center, Mattoon, IL

Reports to: Vice President of Purchasing

FLSA Status: Salaried Exempt

Exempt Classification: Administrative



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.



  • 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   Create and communicate a strategic vision for the department, including visual merchandising strategies
  • Use general office equipment.
  • Frequently operate keyboard to enter in information.
  • Sit/stand/walk for long periods of time.
  • Verbally communicate effectively with others (in-person and via electronic devices).
  • May be required to cross train and perform other duties.


  • 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


  • No

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

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