Category Merchant I – Private Label at Whole Foods Market

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Develops category goals & strategies and product assortments through the lens of our core customer, ensuring a strong mix of national brand product relevance, best-in-class local product relevance, and best-in-class private label product relevance - distinguishing Whole Foods Market from our competition. Responsible for business financial performance, developing strategies that drive profitable sales through data-rich, customer centric assortment selection, product development, pricing, presentation, and promotion. Collaborates and works closely with Merchandising Planning, Merchandise Operations, Procurement, Distribution, Quality Assurance, Marketing, Regional Leadership, and our Suppliers to most effectively deliver on category goals and strategies.

Responsibilities:

  • Accountable for the financial performance of an assigned category or category area through pre-season strategy and planning.
  • Develops category strategy for less complex categories based on financial expectations, category role, category performance, customer and product trends, competitive landscape and WFM differentiators.
  • Develops and executes category assortment plan including supplier line reviews, assortment analysis, internal stakeholder collaboration, item planning and forecasting.
  • Contributes to category price strategy development and helps ensure development of financially sound and value adding pricing tactics.
  • Works with suppliers / vendors to obtain information about new trends and products, potential new items, competitor practices, and other factors that may impact category analysis and planning.
  • Works to ensure effective integration of branded / exclusive programs into overall category strategies.
  • Partners with support teams to ensure category execution (e.g. new item set up and planogramming).
  • Analyzes category performance, trends, and competitive assortment and pricing.
  • Engages with suppliers to ensure early insight into trends and products; early and exclusive access to new items; differentiated products, merchandising and promotions and competitive costs.
  • Leverages data-driven analyses and insights to support / lead negotiations with current and potential suppliers.
  • Supports marketing and promotional events / initiatives.
  • Works with business partners to identify, develop, and implement meaningful and measurable testing opportunities.
  • Translates and analyzes complex data, ensuring timely and effective communication with all levels of the organization.
  • Leverages data-driven analyses and insights to support / lead negotiations with current and potential suppliers.
  • Documents learning history for company-wide application.
  • Uses analytics to define and drive goals of the team and organization.
  • Supports and positively influences / negotiates team financial goals, product mix, business relationships, innovation needs and team culture.
  • Communicates and collaborates with key cross-functional stakeholders to co-lead program / project development and ensure effective execution.
  • Supports and ensures effective alignment with supply chain / logistics activities.
  • In the area of Excluisive Brands, leads project management of new product development lifecycle (Ideation - RFP – BA - Launch).
  • May partner with logistics on forecasting and optimizing distribution and supply chain network.
  • May collaborate with legal counsel in reviewing and commenting on legal documents / agreements (i.e. PLVA).
  • Leverages knowledge, experience, and refined instinct to engage with / influence leadership on category vision development; ensures vision balances both customer and industry perspectives.
  • Ensures vision supports higher-level objectives and encompasses a breadth of forward-looking insight.
  • Provides coaching and mentoring for new TMs.
  • Serves as a resource on WFM capabilities and captainships.

Skills:

  • Knowledge of retail business, including all aspects of pricing, merchandising, retail operations, and financial analysis and reporting.
  • Comfortable working cross-functionally and across geographies where results are based on cooperation with and influence of others.
  • Solid change management skills, demonstrates flexibility to perform in a dynamic environment.
  • Creative problem-solving skills, maturity to handle ambiguity.
  • Ability to multitask across projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to work well and fast under pressure.
  • Well-versed in the implementation and use of various retail software solutions.
  • Intermediate to advanced skills in Microsoft Office applications.
  • CM: Builds Category Management skill set and proficiency.
  • EB: Builds EB New Product Development & Management skill set and proficiency.
  • Utilizes knowledge to recommend decisions and actions.
  • Makes item decisions independently but may leverage team leader for final call on key decisions.
  • Proficient in pulling financial reports, analyzing business trends and assessing underlying drivers of results.
  • Understands financial goals and guidelines.
  • Able to compare business to established targets, develop plans, quantify initiatives and monitor progress.
  • Assesses audience needs and clearly communicates in both written and verbal mediums.
  • Able to hold supplier meetings independently.

Education & Experience:

  • BA/BS degree and 4-6 years’ relevant experience OR equivalent combination of education and relevant experience.

At Whole Foods Market, we provide a fair and equal employment opportunity for all Team Members and candidates regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, marital status, disability, or any other legally protected characteristic. Whole Foods Market hires and promotes individuals solely based on qualifications for the position to be filled and business needs.

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Location

Located in the heart of downtown Austin, we've been a mainstay in the Austin community since 1980.
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