CAREER MONDAY: Director, Category Private Brands

Director, Category / Brand Private Label

About the Job

THE POSITION Director, Category/​Brand Private Label


  • Director Private Label HBC/​OTC – 800 SKUs (very SKU intensive)
  • Director Private Label Cleaning/​Paper – 350-400 SKUs (very fast moving)

250-300 suppliers/​manufacturers handle the private label brands.


This position reports into the Senior Director Private Label who reports into the Vice President Consumer Brands

In-Direct reports into this position are:

  • 2 to 3 employees – Senior Business Manager, Assistant Business Manger and Analyst.


Our Client is seeking a Director, Category Manager/​Brand Manager to handle the delivery of private brand sales and profit and share goals in assigned categories through the development of new products, growth of existing products, efficient strategic sourcing, consumer marketing programs and effective promotional programs.​  The Category Manager/​Brand Manager will lead a cross-functional team of analysts, sourcing managers, quality assurance and product development to develop and introduce new products, improve existing products and effectively market and promote the brand(s) to consumers.


To achieve success in this role the candidate must be able to obtain trust and buy-in from different individuals inside and outside of the organization.​ The individual will be responsible for driving timelines with individuals that do not directly report into this position.​  The individual will interface continually with: 3 plus buyers, product development, QA, Packaging, supply chain, pricing, senior management team and outside ad agencies.​  This individual will manage the employees working on the category.


  • Deliver Private Brands’ goals in assigned categories: sales, margin contribution and share.
  • Work closely with category buyers to develop annual business and promotional plans to meet goals.
  • Partner with marketing to create in store marketing programs to support brand growth objectives.
  • Develop business reviews (category assessments) to identify private brand opportunities.
  • Manage numerous projects with a lot of moving pieces simultaneously within a 30 week timeframe while ensuring all team members are hitting their individual goals and time frames so that each project is delivered.​ The Category Manager will bring approximately 75 new items to market each year causing for 100 new item potentials be in the pipeline.
  • Ensure business plan is executed properly: pricing, distribution, promotion plan, etc.
  • Establish recommended pricing (initial and ongoing) for private brand products.
  • Drive the setting of merchandise assortment, pricing, promotions and plan-o-grams for all stores.
  • Negotiate with key suppliers to create products and marketing programs.
  • Manage an analyst team to provide reporting and insightful analysis of category trends and performance.
  • Manage sourcing manager to identify and develop manufacturers along with negotiating supply agreements.
  • Manage the timing and coordination of projects.
  • Manage marketing and promotion budgets for assigned categories.


  • Full Microsoft Suite of software
  • Proprietary software
    • Information is available by the SKU level by unit/​store/​week
    • Product Life Cycle software


  • Degree in Business, Marketing, Management or related field, MBA preferred.
  • Minimum of 7 years experience in brand/​category management required.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage brands across multiple categories.
  • Advanced skills in category analysis, planning, forecasting and budgeting
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • High degree of initiative, along with excellent execution capabilities.
  • High energy, self starter with the ability to put their head down and “attack” the business.
  • Good interpersonal skills to develop and maintain effective business relationships at all levels of the company and in the supplier community.
  • A consensus builder able to drive efforts in order to achieve success.
  • Have the ability to “read” other team members in order to supervise, collaborate and gain consensus.
  • Excellent project management, leadership, and supervisory skills.
  • Able to re-prioritize while maintaining a positive attitude.
  • Syndicated research experience with good understanding of marketing, merchandising, and retail.
  • A creative person that could look at new ways to make things better, more user “friendly and attractive”, as well as creative ways to reach out to the consumer.
  • Very strong negotiation and conflict resolution skills.​  Able to work with numerous personalities.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, with the ability to influence associates through management at all levels.
  • Strategic, tactical with superior analytical skills.
  • Substance coupled with a superior presentation style a must.
  • Proven, sustainable driver of revenue growth with prior companies.
  • Able to exhibit self confidence without being brash and pushy.

Apply Today.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.