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Associate Manager Category at United Natural Foods Inc in Mechanicsville, Virginia

Posted in Management 16 days ago.

Type: Full-Time

Job Description:


The primary goal of the Associate Category Manager - Corporate is to develop/support the strategy and business plan for assigned categories on behalf of the broader merchandising team. This role is intended to be a progression step to a Category Manager role and includes smaller scope category management tasks: managing and executing the category business plan small categories, managing specific supplier communication related to the category review process or specific projects, supporting Sr. Category Managers or Category Managers related to larger department/category initiatives, presenting to Region sales and merchandising teams and working with a the category manager to support business planning tasks with retailers.


Job Responsibilities:

  • Support category business plans for assigned categories using all available resources, including analysis of both internal and syndicated data, (validated) manufacturer input and expertise, commodity reports, trade/industry news, consumer trends and customer feedback. Measures results and adjusts plans as needed.

  • Develop category business plan deliverables for the Region Merchandising teams, Sales teams and customers.

  • Achieve annual category review calendar milestones and deadlines. Ensure category business plans and deliverables are executed on-time.

  • Work with category/assortment analyst team and syndicated data providers (SPINS and Nielsen) to provide category insights for assigned special project.

  • Present assigned category strategies to Region merchandisers, sales teams and customers upon request. Work with supplier community to solicit vendor specific category projects. Develop proposals. Coordinate projects across relevant category management team members. Achieve annual supplier retained income budget.

  • Ensure that New Items are accurately launched on a timely basis with appropriate communication to retail.

  • Champion UNFI Brands+ assortment and programs as appropriate within the category review process. Recommend and maintain relevant assortment necessary to meet retail customer needs, including regional and local brands and unique demographic requirements. Work with category manager to rationalize SKU assortment to maximize sales while controlling cost of carrying inventory, shrink and spoilage in assigned categories

  • Responsible for working with Professional Services and Category Manager to support timely planogram execution for assigned categories.

  • Work with Category Manager and Category Merchandising Specialist to validate plan execution and adjust future.

  • Provide sales team with retailer needs on request, providing data points, facilitating and participating in meetings, serving as liaison to brokers/vendors as required.

  • Collaborate with Corporate Merchandising on local broker and vendor opportunities and concerns. Uphold terms and conditions of all Corporate Vendor Agreements.

  • Resolve internal and external customer requests and concerns with a high level of professionalism, working with the Category Manager for support and guidance as needed.

Performance Measures:

  • Productive relationships with vendor partners, retail customers and fellow UNFI associates.

  • Execute assigned category business plans and deliverables on-time according to the annual category calendar.

  • Wholesale sales for assigned categories.

  • Vendor retained income for supplier specific projects.

  • Accomplishment of assigned department special projects.

  • Planogram effectiveness with shelf management/planogram analyst support

Decision Authority

The Associate Category Manager will work with the Category Manager or Senior in the developing the business strategy and can make decisions to support that strategy working with leadership on key decisions in these areas:

  • Completion and execution of assigned category business plans/reviews

  • Assortment recommendations DC/Planograms

  • Planograms to be utilized by Regions to create DC/Customer specific planograms

  • Supplier interaction and presentation related to retained income projects in assigned categories Assortment, promotion, space analytics decisions specific to assign categories


Job Requirements:

Education/ Certifications: (Required & Preferred)

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred


  • Retail and/or vendor experience preferred.

Other Skills/ Abilities:

  • Basic knowledge of internal Buying system preferred

  • Solid negotiating skills

  • Possess good communication skills, both verbal and written.

  • Ability to collaborate effectively with a wide variety of people in person, via phone, and via electronic communication.

  • Computer skills required including spreadsheet and database tools and electronic communication tools. Requires the analytical ability to handle administrative duties and mental alertness to ensure accurate, safe, and thorough completion of work activities. Possess ability to concentrate and deal with frequent interruptions.

  • Analytical skills to measure sales performance, item performance within category and overall vendor funds management performance


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status.  UNFI is an EO employer – M/F/Veteran/Disability.  VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

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