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United Natural Foods Category Manager - Bakery/Deli in Hopkins, Minnesota

Category Manager - Bakery/Deli

United States of America, Minnesota, Hopkins

Marketing / Merchandising

Post Date May 24, 2021

Requisition # 132222

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Job Overview:

The Category Manager is responsible for supporting the Category Director in developing and carrying out the Category Business Plan (CBP). Responsible for coordinating team activities that support multiple categories in a customer facing business model. Through execution of the category strategy, the Category Manager works to meet and exceed sales and margin expectations. As directed by the Category Director, the CM coordinates ad/promo priorities, refines assortment and presentation and works with retail customers on pricing guidelines/tactics. Negotiates and plans deals/promotions with suppliers and brokers within their assigned categories/departments. Directs the day to day activities of the Category Merch Specialist.

Job Responsibilities and Accountabilities:

Category Business Planning

  • Supports execution of category strategies and initiatives; delivers against period, quarterly and annual forecast; provides input to the development of a strategic Category Business Plan (CBP).

  • Coordinates working plan for team derived from annual & quarterly category merchandising strategy based on evaluation of past performance, consumer and competitive/company trends with a focus on current banner insights.

  • Serves as liaison between regional sales team and SRM, Category management, and marketing teams

  • Provides streamlined point of contact with suppliers and brokers for Account Managers serving natural customers

  • Assist with communicating quarterly sales targets by category

  • Partners with the Strategic Research and Analytics team, actively reviews scorecards to bring consumer insights and trends into actionable plans that drive weekly, quarterly and yearly sales and gross profit dollars.

    Financial Tools Analysis

  • Provide support and analysis info on Profit and Loss (P&L) Statement Review and budgeting for category(s)


  • Disseminates information in accordance with pricing guidelines/tactics; reviews/recommends prices for national vendor items; maintains sensitive items list.

  • Awareness of pricing by classes of trade and key competitors in each market.


  • Compiles market, supplier, and consumer information in support of identifying national promo opportunities.

  • Is aware of promotions by classes of trade and key competitors in each market.

  • Sorts through National programs (e.g. Circular) and tailors / prioritizes aspects for different segments of customers in the region. Utilizes National programs as foundation to building Region/Customers specific plans.

  • Works collaboratively with the National/Regional Marketing and Advertising teams.

  • Creates tailored communications for sales team to leverage to sell programs into their accounts

  • Support Account Managers with category business reviews and planograms. Works collaboratively with both the Natural and Conventional Category Management teams.

    Resets/Shelf Management & Assortment

  • Participates in review of full assortment; reviews and gives input into national and local vendor recommendations; supports the discontinued/markdown planning process for national items.

  • Provides input to departmental leadership on ad space allocations by department/banner (i.e. ad space plan).

  • Works in collaboration with regional and banner merchants to collect category performance feedback.

  • Participates in vendor/sourcing conversations; understands the vendor funds strategy and assists with the use of the strategy.


  • Participate in sourcing reviews; may monitor inventory levels and will participate in forecasting.

  • Negotiates terms of swell allowance.


  • Utilizes and further develops skills in such areas as negotiation, Vendor Relations and Strategic Management.

  • Assists/and may lead some negotiations for category.

  • Handles one-off deal negotiations with suppliers / brokers in coordination with Account Managers (who serve as customer point of contact)

  • Negotiates and plans deals/promotions with suppliers and brokers within their assigned categories/departments.

  • Develops semester plans for deals and merchandising programs for utilization by sales team and customers.

  • Will assist in developing contracts with input from legal.

  • Reconcile contract to performance.

    People & Project Leadership

  • Independently problem solves issues.

  • Provides direction to Category Merch Specialists in initiatives and day-to-day tasks; coaches and develops individuals identified as highly performing in the Category Merch Specialist role.

  • Performs other relevant job duties as required.

    Job Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred.

  • Five (5) years Category Management experience, with proven performance using Category Management tools (e.g., Spectre Daata, Syndicated Data Sources and Category Management applications)

  • Previous experience in store operations or merchandising preferred

  • Analytical Skills: Must have a strong knowledge base in supermarket retail and an understanding of consumer behavior in relation to product performance; must carry a detailed understanding of cause-effect relations between operational levers and performance (assortment/price vs. volume/margins) by utilizing financial, statistical, marketing, merchandising, and/or consumer research background. Strong planning and organizational skills.

  • Management Skills: Experience in successfully leading, motivating and monitoring performance; strong client management skills, particularly working with vendors; ability to partner with the banners as a team.

  • Communication Skills: Excellent written and verbal communication skills as well as interpersonal skills to develop and maintain effective business relationships within and outside of the company.

  • Technical skills: Well developed computer aptitude with proficient skills and knowledge of Microsoft Office. Must be able to adapt to and learn new systems quickly.

  • Interpersonal Skills: Proven ability to work successfully across all areas of the company; can successfully monitor performance; strong client management skills, particularly working with vendors; ability to influence and lead effective partnerships with the banners; can thrive in a complicated matrix environment.

  • Innovation: Champions new ideas and initiatives and creates an environment that supports innovation; leverages fresh perspectives, breakthrough ideas, and new paradigms to create value in the market.

  • Strategic Skills: Demonstrate ability to understand and think big picture; develop and deliver category plans and programs that compliment both the corporate and departmental strategies leading to strong category sales and profit performance.

  • P&L Responsibilities: Proven understanding of financial reports, including prior experience with profit and loss (P&L) statement responsibility

    All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. UNFI is an Equal Opportunity employer committed to creating an inclusive and respectful environment for all. - M/F/Veteran/Disability. VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

Additional Information

  • Schedule: Full-time