Associate Category Manager
The Associate Category Merchant is responsible for managing the Retail B&M business within the Facilities, Breakroom, Mail & Ship, and Storage portfolio, with support from the Senior Category Manager. This includes assortment planning, merchandise and vendor selection, negotiation, financial planning, inventory impact implications, advertising plans, merchandise presentation, distribution, vendor relations and administration for assigned lines. With guidance from manager develops and executes strategies for driving sales and margin, and competitive differentiation. The ideal candidate has retail B&M experience, thinks strategically and creatively, manages for profit and sustainability, is decisive, and can manage complex vendor relationships and programs.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities
- Develop deep understanding of customer needs and shopping behaviors. Leverage all system reporting, provide analysis and insight into serving customers as profitably as possible.
- Develop and execute strategy for product lines taking into account cross-functional implications, and share data from NPD.
- Choose items and vendors for assigned product line(s). Negotiate with vendors for lower total delivered cost, volume incentives, rebates, advertising and other applicable allowances. Meet with vendors in development of marketing plans
- Merchandise assigned line(s) to ensure service levels with minimum inventory investment and maximum gross margin. Effectively manage impact on total supply chain by leveraging knowledge of inventory turns and logistics.
- Review and approve financial and item forecasts with Planners. Manage adjusted margins working with manager.
- Work with Marketing, POG, Inventory Management, Stores, NAD and other functional areas as needed to achieve corporate goals.
- Develop ability to utilize appropriate resources to gather data.
- Interpret basic financial statements, total costs to NPD data, financials levers and metrics used in Merchandising to understand current and future trends. Identify exceptions and seek additional information when data discrepancies are found.
- Bachelor Degree
- Minimum of 3 years total experience in buying related functions (buying-Merchandising, Planning, Inventory management). Buying and Planning experience required. Inventory experience preferred and Store experience preferred.
- General knowledge of industry trends, assortment planning, Planograms, customer buying patterns, inventory management, logistics and marketing techniques.
- Knowledge and understanding of financial analysis and forecasting.
- Negotiation and influencing skills, verbal and written communication skills.
- PC literate with the ability to develop and manipulate spreadsheets.
- Ability to drive sales and margin results.
- Ability to build partnerships.
Staples is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local law.