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UNFI Careers

Manager Category - Central Region

143682 Requisition #


The primary goal of the Category Manager - Region is to aggressively manage the merchandising strategy for assigned categories, to include Product Assortment, Costs, Promotional Activity, and Shelf Allocation to drive sales for the region’s retail customers. The Category Manager is responsible for managing vendor relationships, the vendor funding checkbook and category item assortment to drive sales and margin for UNFI.


  • Develop 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 and manage communication to retail sales team for all selling programs and category management initiatives. Track participation and sales by DC, sales team and retail customer on all selling programs and category management initiatives.
  • Ensure that New Items are accurately launched on a timely basis with appropriate communication to retail.
  • Champion UNFI Brands+ assortment, manage Brands + role in category and programs as appropriate
  • Maintain relevant assortment necessary to meet retail customer needs, including regional and local brands and unique demographic requirements. Rationalize SKU assortment to maximize sales while controlling cost of carrying inventory, shrink and spoilage.
  • Responsible for working with Shelf Management to support timely plan-o-gram execution
  • Accurately Manage sell price including vendor cost, freight, BIV and active sell
  • Actively participate in promotional planning process, including Weekly Ads, Selling shows, Region programs, Long Term Promotional Pricing (SED) and Temporary Price Reductions. Ad Groups & Ad Item Play, suggested retails, all promotional costs and windows, and any specific requirements of performance are communicated in collaboration with the Sales & Promotion team.
  • Negotiate with brokers and vendors on all aspects of category merchandising plans. Solicits support to drive profitable sales that meet and exceed retail customer demands and marketplace competition.
  • Responsible for proofing all deals, communications, and advertising vehicles for accuracy.
  • Perform post promotional analysis to validate plan execution and adjust future plans.
  • 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.
  • Collaborate with Procurement and Warehouse operations to meet customers service level requirements and maximize sales through proper planning and forecasting. Assists in developing purchasing path to insure lowest possible cost of goods and handling while meeting shrink and spoilage goals. Assists in inventory disposition as required.
  • Collaborate with Customer Service on any retail issues regarding product costs and fees.
  • Collaborate with Dated Order Team to ensure orders are fulfilled correctly as requested, or provides alternative solutions when that is not possible.
  • Resolve internal and external customer requests and concerns with a high level of professionalism
  • Supervise Category Merch Specialist
  • Ensure SOX compliance for deal acceptance and sell audit reporting
  • Manage applicable state/local tax requirements at the category or item level as needed

Performance Measures:

  • Productive relationships with vendor partners, retail customers and fellow UNFI associates.
  • Accurate management of BIV and Sell 1, including variation/freight components.
  • Accurate management and sales execution of all promotional activity
  • Wholesale sales for assigned categories.
  • Vendor funds (CMAP % to sales and other metrics)
  • Epass/vendor dispute management
  • Aged inventory reserve
  • Item Maintenance accuracy (pack changes, Master item group/line code integrity, New item set up)
  • Planogram effectiveness with shelf management/planogram analyst support
  • Accurate management of ad planner, and deal accuracy for all programs Decision Authority
  • The Category Manager – Region has full authority to make the following decisions within the limits of his or her approved plans and company policy:
  • Assortment/Shelf Management Decisions
  • Promotional details and execution requirements
  • Ad/Promotional item play.
  • Category business plans and overall merchandising strategy
  • Performs other relevant job duties as required.


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.
  • Ability to influence without authority
  • 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


  • Some travel may be required
  • Most work is performed in a temperature-controlled office environment
  • Incumbent may sit for long periods of time at desk or computer terminal
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear.
  • Incumbent may use calculators, keyboards, telephone and other office equipment in the course of normal workday Stooping, bending, twisting and reaching may be required in completion of job duties

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, 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.

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