CATEGORY SPECIALIST - Cape Town

Leading retail organisation seeks a suitably qualified / experienced Category Specialist with experience within Baby Products Category to join their dynamic team!

The successful candidate will be responsible for developing a customer-centric national category strategy that incorporates Pricing, Promotions, Assortment and Ranging, Merchandising display, Private label role, Stock planning and Innovation, as well as sourcing from key suppliers.

The successful candidate will furthermore be responsible to lead all aspects of execution emanating from national category strategy including informing marketing communications, buying, key merchandise suppliers and store operations. Sales and profitability, competitiveness and customer metrics are key to its performance.

Minimum Requirements:
• National Diploma / Degree in Business Administration / Sales / Marketing / Supply Chain / Related Field
• 3 - 5 years' experience in buying and /or category management within a retail environment, specifically within Baby Products Division
• Strategic sourcing and buying experience
• Knowledge of the functions that support category management
• Data analysis mechanisms (e.g. Nielsen, Aztec, Proclarity, SAP, Supplier customer insights, competitor range and price and promotion surveys)
• Category expertise e.g. product knowledge, upstream supplier base, importance to banner
• Knowledge of category customer –behaviour
• Knowledge of SAP functionality supporting the category management process (desirable)
• Knowledge of banner strategies
• Understanding of local competitor, customer and broader market insights
• Knowledge of customer trends within the respective product category
• Data analysis and interpretation
• Supplier negotiation skills
• Strategic Marketing skills
• Presentation skills (verbal and written)
• Budget planning and control

Key responsibilities will include:

Relationship Management
• Collaborate with suppliers, divisional buying and store operations teams, Private Label, General Merchandise, Fresh Department and Marketing Teams
• Maintain effective relationships with buyers
• Maintain a collaborative work style by ensuring effective relationship management with internal stakeholders (marketing, suppliers, buyers, executive team)

People Management
• Ensure direct administrative supports are equipped and trained according to the core competencies of their roles
• Coordinate execution across various business functions

Sales and Profit Optimisation
• Ensure profitable customer segments
• Ultimately responsible for category profitability on a day to day basis

Facilitate customer understanding
• Interpret customer, market, international and competitor information to derive an accurate understanding of customers for each of Company’s banners, and ensure customer understanding is brought into category plans

Internal stakeholder management
• Communicate customer insights and related category plan to key stakeholders in operations, marketing, buying, suppliers and members of senior management

Planning to ensure category performance
• Work with customer science experts to interpret customer-centric pricing, promotions, product offering and placement to inform category plans
• Set category roles, objectives, strategies and tactics and review periodically

Execution of category plan
• Implement and execute category plan to ensure optimal product offering, pricing, promotions and availability of the product

Compliance Assurance
• Consistently adhere to audit and required legislative standards and statutory requirements

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