The primary goal of the Category Manager - Region Lead is to aggressively manage the merchandising strategy for assigned categories, to include Product Assortment, Costs, Promotional Activity, and Shelf Allocation to drive sales for the region's retail customers. The Category Manager is responsible for managing vendor relationships, the vendor funding checkbook and category item assortment to drive sales and margin for UNFI. Job Responsibilities and Accountabilities:
- Train and mentor new Category Managers. Leadership role(s) in a department wide initiative, overseeing planning, communication and successful implementation both within the departments and with supporting teams. Represent the Department and/or Region in a Corporate wide initiative or effort.
- Initiate and implement new sales driving opportunities whether in response to changing needs/environment or to create a new source of excitement/demand through creative merchandising. Understand workings of department P&L, ability to research and analyze financial metrics and create solutions.
- Leadership in key vendor or broker relations, overseeing planning, communication and successful implementation of sales initiatives and major changes that span multiple CM desks/departments. Liason for key retailers in conjunction with the sales team to strengthen business relationships, work through merchandising opportunities or obstacles and improve customer service and satisfaction.
- Develop category business plans for assigned categories using all available resources, including analysis of both internal and syndicated data, (validated) manufacturer input and expertise, commodity reports, trade/industry news, consumer trends and customer feedback. Measures results and adjusts plans as needed. Develop and manage communication to retail sales team for all selling programs and category management initiatives. Track participation and sales by DC, sales team and retail customer on all selling programs and category management initiatives.
- Ensure that New Items are accurately launched on a timely basis with appropriate communication to retail. Champion UNFI Brands+ assortment, manage Brands + role in category and programs as appropriate. Maintain relevant assortment necessary to meet retail customer needs, including regional and local brands and unique demographic requirements. Rationalize SKU assortment to maximize sales while controlling cost of carrying inventory, shrink and spoilage.
- Responsible for working with Shelf Management to support timely plan-o-gram execution.
- Accurately manage sell price including vendor cost, freight, BIV and active sell. Actively participate in promotional planning process, including Weekly Ads, Selling shows, Region programs, Long Term Promotional Pricing (SED) and Temporary Price Reductions. Ad Groups & Ad Item Play, suggested retails, all promotional costs and windows, and any specific requirements of performance are communicated in collaboration with the Sales & Promotion team.
- Responsible for proofing all deals, communications, and advertising vehicles for accuracy. Perform post promotional analysis to validate plan execution and adjust future plans.
- Provide sales team with retailer needs on request, providing data points, facitilitating and participating in meetings, serving as liason to brokers/vendors as required.
- Partner with Corporate Merchandising on local broker and vendor opportunities and concerns. Uphold terms and conditions of all Corporate Vendor Agreements. Collaborate with Procurement and Warehouse operations to meet customers service level requirements and maximize sales through proper planning and forecasting. Assists in developing purchasing path to insure lowest possible cost of goods and handling while meeting shrink and spoilage goals. Assists in inventory disposition as required.
- Collaborate with Customer Service on any retail issues regarding product costs and fees. Work with Dated Order Team to ensure orders are fulfilled correctly as requested, or provides alternative solutions when that is not possible.
- Ensure SOX compliance for deal acceptance and sell audit reporting. Manage applicable state/local tax requirements at the category or item level as needed.
- Bachelor's degree preferred.
- 5+ years of Category Management experience, with proven performance using Category Management tools (e.g., Spectre Daata, Syndicated Data Sources and Category Management applications). Retail and/or vendor experience preferred.
- Basic knowledge of internal Buying system.
- Solid negotiating skills.
- Good communication skills, both verbal and written.
- Ability to collaborate effectively with a wide variety of people in person, via phone, and via electronic communication. Ability to influence without authority.
- Computer skills required including spreadsheet and database tools and electronic communication tools.
- Analytical skills to measure sales performance, item performance within category and overall vendor funds management performance.
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. UNFI is an Equal Opportunity employer committed to creating an inclusive and respectful environment for all. - M/F/Veteran/Disability. VEVRAA Federal Contractor.