The Category Merchant is responsible for all strategic merchandise categories with accountability for attaining budgeted sales, gross margin, and building market share within the categories through the creation of promotions, merchandising concepts, field communications, and new product launches. The Category Merchant is responsible for searching out new, competitive opportunities within the assigned categories and driving the business to ensure an industry leading position for GNC.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Lead promotion plan development and implement necessary plans to achieve or exceed sales and margin goals for assigned businesses including domestic, international, and internet distributionchannels.
- Negotiate agreements with third party vendors to secure preferred products, pricing, vendor marketing programs, PMs, and promotions to drive existing and new customers into GNC, including exclusive programs for GNC. Negotiate deals with raw material vendors to secure support for finished goods and incremental marketing programs that enhance and create sales and profit for the company.
- Assist in the preparation and presentation within weekly product category meetings that enhance and ensure communication and follow-through with key cross-functional teams, including Purchasing, Replenishment, Internet, Franchising, and Sales Analysis to support and ensure key areas aligned with the strategic direction of the category.
- Conduct research and study market trends and competitive data to support successful launch of new products created by the new product development groups and from third party vendors.
- Work with other key functional areas, ensure sales of existing and new brands are maximized with proper communication, promotion, creative merchandising and adequate inventory and that unproductive SKUs are eliminated.
- Manage the necessary internal resources, data, and shelf space allocation to conduct the annual line review and reset walkthrough for the businesses. Maintain accurate planograms.
- Assist in the development of annual business plans incorporating forecasted sales and margin, new product launches, and supporting marketing and promotional activities for assigned categories. Review business plans periodically and adjust or implement necessary changes to achieve category objectives.
- Assist in preparing mock store for monthly and bi-monthly promotions and annual reset walkthroughs, annual line review, business plan, and franchise presentation.
- Monitor retail price competitiveness via monthly store visits and internet website monitoring to ensure maximum sales and profitability per SKU. Manage competitive price programs in various markets and strategic locations.
- Provide accurate and timely communication of bi-monthly Merchandising plan files, signage executions, and Marketing plans to internal and external areas of the business, especially the field. Ensure that Promotional materials and merchandise are shipped in a timely manner to the field and that communication of these materials is crystal clear to the stores.
- Write supplement articles, communicate category issues to other departments, and periodically create contest pieces and othermerchandising updates; partner cross functionally to ensure results.
- Enhance the scope of proprietary and third party brands by working closely with Marketing and Production Teams to plan, develop, and implement monthly catalog layouts, preprint circular executions, and direct marketing strategies and advertisements that support categorysales and margin objectives. Maximize collateral material executions based on sales data history. Develop and write Supplement articles to support communication of key product information.
- At least 6 years experience in an analytical, merchandising and/or buying capacity with some management experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration or related field
- Must demonstrate strong communication (written and oral) and presentation skills.
- Needs to have strong interpersonal and organizational skills.
- Technical experience should include MS Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, knowledge of market data, Access or other data base knowledge and planogram tools.
- Demonstrated working experience in marketing strategies, vendor and product negotiations, item and promotional pricing along with item selection.
- Demonstrated managerial skills as the position will be responsible for leading associatecategory merchants
Job Number: 2017-49530