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Category Manager

Vacancy Introduction

Are you interested in progressing your career within category management with the East of England’s largest independent retailer?

You’ll play a key role within our Commercial team, responsible for the delivery of the sales strategy for your assigned category (Food). You’ll use your knowledge of internal and external factors and trends to deliver a customer-led and operationally efficient product and service proposition, constantly striving to identify opportunities for efficiencies and improvements. Our products include those sourced via national supply chains as well those sourced locally.

Role Responsibility

  • Work independently and with data analysis teams to provide and analyse data / insights to understand the market, identifying industry and consumer trends. Use this knowledge to ensure our product & service proposition is regularly refreshed and to influence longer-term strategies for product categories.
  • Seek opportunities to innovate, improving sales and profit performance, reducing waste and improving efficiencies, whilst seeking to improve the customer experience.
  • Develop & foster positive working relationships with key suppliers and strategic partners, whilst maintaining contractual obligations.
  • Liaise with and support Marketing team/s to support their campaigns and approach and take responsibility for briefing internal colleagues, as required.
  • Deliver excellent service to stores, ensuring that queries are managed in line with SLA timings.
  • Present detail of range reviews, performance and any remedial actions taken within trading meetings (and to other colleagues, as required).  
  • Ensure communication, delivery and compliance of promotional plans in stores, liaising with Space Planning and Stock & Planning teams.
  • Liaise in a cross functional manner to achieve a successful launch of all new initiatives (key stakeholders include Operations, Retail Support, Pricing, Finance & Senior Management colleagues).

The Ideal Candidate

  • Ideally you’ll have experience in category management – or, alternatively, in a similar role supporting associated administration and planning.
  • Knowledge of category management, research techniques, marketing and sales principles.
  • A commercial mindset and full comprehension of marketing and sales principles.
  • Experience in understanding consumer needs and the retail environment.
  • Ability to devise new creative solutions to business challenges.
  • Analytical & problem-solving skills.
  • Understanding of data analysis and forecasting and experienced in Microsoft Office.
  • Strong organisational skills.
  • Entrepreneurial skills; able to spot opportunities for revenue generation.
  • Negotiation skills.
  • Networking skills.

Qualifications in Business Studies or Marketing (or other related field/s) would be desirable and we’d welcome applications from candidates who have knowledge of retail marketing and consumer trends. Communication skills and ‘people skills’ are important in this role so previous experience of supporting and managing multiple stakeholders would be great.

Package Description

Alongside a competitive salary, we also offer enhanced employer pension contribution and holiday entitlement, as well as our colleague discount scheme. Further details can be viewed on our Careers website and would be discussed in detail during the recruitment process.

Working Arrangements

This role is based at Wherstead Park, although home-working is currently involved.

We understand the importance of balancing work commitments with other activities and responsibilities, which is why we are happy to offer flexible working. We are always looking to find the right solutions to suit our colleagues and the business.

About the Company

As a co-op we’re a different type of business. We’re owned by our members and we work for the benefit of people and our communities, not just for profit.  We’re driven by our democratic values which are based around being fair, doing the right thing and caring for all those we deal with. This includes our customers, our suppliers, our environment and each other. 

We expect colleagues who work with us to share these values. We’re still a business and we work in a very competitive area so it’s still important that we’re efficient and work to the highest professional standards.

We’ve been able to achieve success for over 150 years because of our people and we encourage applications from individuals from all backgrounds; you reflect the communities we serve. If you would like to join us on the next part of our journey, please follow the instructions on how to apply.

COVID-19 Recruitment Statement

Our colleague’s health and wellbeing is our priority and we have taken all reasonable steps to protect our teams in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whilst we have a number of measures in place to make our workplaces COVID-secure, applicants should be aware that the vast majority of our vacancies are for customer-facing roles. Whilst you are not obliged to share the details of any health conditions as part of your application, we would encourage you to consider any Government guidance which might apply to you. The latest advice for clinically vulnerable and clinically extremely vulnerable people can be found here (https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus).

If you would like to discuss a vacancy prior to making an application, please contact hrservices@eastofengland.coop.

East of England Co-op


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