Category Manager

Job Title: Category Manager
Job Location: Headquarters, Mattoon, IL
Reports to: Vice President of Purchasing
FLSA Status: Salaried Exempt
Exempt Classification: Administrative
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.
Develop strong vendor partnerships
Partner with suppliers on product development, as well as the Global Sourcing department on private product label development, as needed
Responsible for program management of co-op, vendor allowances, and promotional strategies
Negotiate all pricing, vendor terms, and opportunity buys and FREE GOODS
Oversee and manage communication with Stores and Distribution Centers
Partner with Logistics and DC for most efficient flow of product to stores
Visit RK Stores to establish open communication and understanding store challenges
Stay abreast of market dynamics and competition
Manage pricing, sales, and profit margin of products to plan
Identify new opportunities to deliver products the customer wants and needs
Conduct category reviews as needed (2-3 per year)
Develop seasonal merchandise assortments along with pricing and merchandising plans
Place, track and insure complete and on-time delivery of all new store orders
Provide Inventory Analyst with problems that need analysis, improvement or change.
Review recommendations from Inventory Analysts and determine direction and appropriate action.
Partner with Inventory Analyst to monitor and react to seasonal product performance.
Maintain detailed current knowledge of sales, inventory and profit trends for your area
Generate and leverage reports for effective decision making
Complete assortment planning and product lifecycles
Collaborate to create financial plans (open to buy) that will align with organizational goals
Optimize "in stock" on basic items by collaborating with your designated replenishment specialists/partner.
Identify poor performing items and categories and reduce inventory and liabilities
Partner with an Inventory Analyst to determine sales, inventory and turn goals including preseason flow plans and projections
Advertising and Promotion
Develop and submits advertising and promotional plans that deliver increases in sales and store traffic per the advertising process, pricing policy and timelines.
Ensure accuracy of print advertising and product in stock to 98.5%
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
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.
Ensure planograms are appropriate to volume and space of stores and grouped for volume levels
Team Leadership
Lead the team to drive sales, manage inventory, and achieve the financial goals of the department
Educate Assistant Buyers on analyzing, buying, inventory management, open-to-buy, imports, logistics, including additional areas as needed
Create and communicate a strategic vision for the department, including visual merchandising strategies
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 on-boarding process remotely
Ability to complete computer-based training
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

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