CAREERS: Private Brand Manager: Michaels

Private Brand Manager: Michaels
Location: Irving, TX US
Travel Involved: Not Specified
Job Type: Full Time
Job Level: Corp-Manager
Education: Bachelors Degree or Equivalent
Category: Strategic Sourcing

Position Summary
Basic Function:
This position is to support the company’s strategic initiative to grow Private Brand (PB) Product and PB sales. The associate plays a significant role in supporting Category Management in driving the process and leading the team to successfully execute the strategies and achieve the financial goals established by the Company for assigned product categories.

Primary Responsibilities:
The Private Brand Manager (PBM) drives the execution of the Strategic Sourcing initiative by supporting the Category Director.  The primary goal is to reduce the cost of goods sold by driving increases in direct sourcing, private brands and spurring innovation. The PBM is responsible for the overall management of product development and sourcing activities from project planning to delivery of product to in-store opportunities.

Sourcing Management:

  • Develop and maintain vendor relationships that support category needs to provide the best “cost” and “value” equation.
  • Some international travel may be required to work with global vendor and agent network.
  • Cost negotiations, production, on-time shipments and overall execution for assigned product categories.
  • Accountable for meeting target product costs specified by the Product Development Brief while maintaining quality standards.
  • Manage agents and factories to understand production cycles, production run opportunities, and build opportunities to reduce costs via timelines, factory consolidation, re-engineering of products and packaging efficiencies.

Project Management

  • Manage the overall project timeline, lead weekly cross-functional team meetings, identify risks that may affect the timeline and lead efforts to mitigate risks.  Communicate the project status to all cross-functional team members.
  • Partner closely with the Category Director to develop the product road map and provide financials, feasibility, timelines, resources, and consumer insights that will form the basis of essential product features.
  • Manage milestone dates for each product
  • Drive and manage communications between all internal and external stakeholders including Merchandising, Marketing, Finance, Supply Chain, Agents, Vendors, Legal and Inventory Management.  Serve as the everyday link between the Category Director and our Strategic Sourcing team (packaging, QA, Design) by synergizing all the external and internal resources to develop products.
  • Drive Direct Import growth through effective product lifecycle management. Develop category Sourcing Plans and be responsible for execution of the Plans under the direction of the Director of PB and GS Management.
  • Create and maintain all documents, processes and meetings related to the product development process
  • Manage product or information changes, document and communicate all changes to cross-functional teams within Michaels Stores Inc.

Product Development and Private Brand

  • Develop product solutions in support of the Merchandising direction and ensure that the Company’s goals of product innovation and quality are achieved.
  • Work closely with Trend and Design, to have an active understanding of the market and consumer insights and drives freshness and uniqueness into the product offering.
  • Lead product ideation sessions, competitive shops, and identify product opportunities.
  • Partner closely with the design and factory team to develop innovative and exclusive products that drive Private Brand product sales and meet margin targets.
  • Support all processes to build quality into product and to support long term growth by partnering with the QA department.
  • Manage ongoing maintenance of existing products, including the execution of quality improvements, packaging changes, changes in design, appearance or origin and changes in status under the direction of the Category Director.
  • Partner with the Packaging Team to ensure key features and benefits of the products are identified
  • Communicate new item launches, co-ordinate project sheets, execute in store signage, execute in store demos, and develop classroom opportunities in order to drive Private Brand awareness and drive incremental sales opportunities.  Partner with the Marketing Team, Category Director, Director of PB/GS Mgmt and Director of Private Brand and Licensing
  • Build and execute a Private Brand Marketing Budget under the direction of the Director of Private Brand and Global Sourcing Management and the Director of Private Brand and Licensing

Category Knowledge

  • Understand assigned category including sales, competition, marketing, and product offerings.
  • Identify and communicate all sales, margin, and marketing opportunities for Private Brand products.
  • Monitor all Private Brand product performance based on sales, margin and sell-through.


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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.