Director, Category Management – Perishable Food

The Director, Category Management - Perishable Food oversees all aspects of strategic planning, sourcing and supplier development, merchandising principles, and spending activities in order to deliver financial targets of The North West Company. The role is accountable for managing and developing a highly capable team that is knowledgeable about the customers they serve, embodies category management best practices, ensures program execution, meets company objectives and adheres to NWC management principles.
Joining NWC gives you the opportunity for growth and development throughout the company, a competitive salary and benefits package, and to be part of a dynamic and diverse culture.
NWC is a leading retailer to under-served rural communities and urban neighbourhood markets in the following regions: Northern Canada, Western Canada, rural Alaska, the South Pacific islands, and the Caribbean. Our stores offer a broad range of products and services with an emphasis on food. Our value offer is to be the best local shopping choice for everyday household and local lifestyle needs. Check out for more information.

Your Role:

  • Delivers sales and profit in line with company objectives / budgets.
  • Develops and executes strategic plans for a 5-year time horizon for Perishable Food growth.
  • Reviews and approves consumer based category business plans & strategies to achieve company objectives.
  • Develops marketing strategy that supports Perishable Food department sales goals.
  • Provides direction on strategic pricing.
  • Manages annual budget planning including: sales, margin, gross profit & inventory.
  • Develop and maintain systematic, analytical and results-based method for monitoring performance.
  • Develops and oversees the implementation of policies and processes for efficiency in the sourcing and merchandising functions.
  • Understanding of food preparation and safety for Deli and Home Meal Replacement categories.
  • Execution of Product and Program development for department.
  • Standard Operating Procedure development in partnership with retail partners.
  • Negotiates & participates in large vendor negotiations.
  • Responsible for joint business planning with strategic multi-category vendors.
  • Establishes and maintains relationships with key suppliers and vendors.
  • Represents business unit in cross-functional teams and large process improvement initiatives and projects.
  • Must be able to establish timelines, financial and operational goals and drive teams to deliver against these goals in a fast-paced work environment.
  • Effectively leads a team to promote great work and a positive internal team environment, ensures a culture that is customer oriented and embodies category management best practices; and
  • Provides leadership to coach and develop direct reports.

Desired Skills & Experience:
  • Education: Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration or similar field; MBA an asset
  • Experience: Minimum of 10 years in consumer products (retailer or manufacturer); Minimum 3 years in Category Management/Merchandise leadership role.
  • Experience with merchandising in a variety of retail formats including traditional, discount, convenience and warehouse stores considered an asset.
  • Proven track record of driving above industry results
  • Passionate, determined Business Owner leadership style and customer centric decision maker.
  • Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communications, listening and presentation skills.
  • Ability to make quick and timely decisions and comfortable working in a fast-paced environment, complex environment.
  • Strong negotiation skills and experience in dealing with manufacturers and distributors.
  • Working knowledge of finance and/or accounting in terms of budgeting cost management, financial accounting, risk management, etc.
  • Experience with a P&L business unit or division management.
  • Experience with ERP & ERP implementation experience an asset

Location: Gibraltar House, 77 Main Street, Winnipeg, MB
Reports To: Executive Vice-President, Canadian Food Procurement & Marketing
You may include your resume and cover letter together as a single document. Opportunities to learn, develop and advance throughout the organization are present. We thank all applicants for their interest; however only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
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About The North West Company

The North West Company Inc., through its subsidiaries, is a leading retailer of food and everyday products and services to rural communities and urban neighbourhoods in Canada, Alaska, the South Pacific and the Caribbean. North West operates 236 stores under the trading names Northern, NorthMart, Giant Tiger, Alaska Commercial Company, Cost-U-Less and RiteWay Food Markets and has annualized sales of approximately CDN$1.8 billion.

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