PB CAREERS: Private Label Brand Manager – Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware – Oak Brook, IL (Greater Chicago Area)

Job Description
This diverse role is responsible for defining, executing and managing the vision of Ace Hardware’s seven private label brands. He/she will collaborate with buying and category management teams in strategic planning, product positioning, pricing strategies, item selection, quality control, packaging development and advertising programs. All done to ensure that revenue and customer satisfaction goals are met and that the brands support Ace Hardware’s corporate goals and strategies. He/she will also maintain the visual identity for Ace’s portfolio of private label brands.

Specific duties include:

  • Develop parameters and positioning statements for Ace Hardware’s private label brands.  Collaborate with buying and category management teams in strategic planning, product positioning, pricing strategies, item selection, quality control, packaging development and advertising programs.
  • Oversee Ace Brand Packaging process and budget. This includes managing RR Donnelley and other vendor partners in the creation of packaging for private label brands.
  • Collaborate with the buying teams on item selection and quality control testing.
  • Work with Ace Rewards  (our loyalty program) team to create direct mail, e-mail and social media promotions.
  • Project management related to: Development and launch of new brands; Branding partnership with Ace Paint;  International Ace Brand support; Gross margin management; SKU rationalization studies.

Desired Skills & Experience

  • BA Degree in Marketing; MBA preferred
  • Strong marketer who understands how to leverage insights into positioning, branding, communication and innovation
  • Minimum of 5+ years experience brand management (retail preferred)
  • Demonstrated success defining, executing and managing the brand vision
  • Analytical skills in problem solving and strategy development
  • Experience in agency and vendor management
  • Proficiency with data analysis
  • Experience in budget management
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent teamwork skills
  • Proven ability to influence cross-functional teams without formal authority
  • Must be able to travel 15% of the time

Company Description
With 4,500 stores in all 50 states, and in more than 60 countries on six continents, Ace has powerful brand recognition. As the leading hardware co-op, Ace continues to excel in the convenient hardware market through a couple of ways. First and foremost, Ace is known as the “Helpful Place” where our consumers go not only for the right products, but also the right advice. In fact, for five straight years, JD Power has ranked Ace number one in customer service when compared to all our home improvement competitors such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menard’s and True Value. Additional signs of our success include:$3.5 Billion in 2009 wholesale sales 120 new stores opened in 2009 Over $500 million in inventory with over 65,000 different products Over $4 million dollars donated to Children’s Miracle Network and the Red Cross in 2009 As you can see, Ace is building on our strong foundation. While we have many years of success behind us, we know our best years are yet to come. For us to continue to grow and prosper, we remain on the lookout for quality candidates to join our helpful team.

Additional Information
Posted: October 25, 2011
Type: Full-time
Experience: Mid-Senior level
Functions: Product Management, Art/Creative
Industries: Retail, Wholesale, Packaging and Containers
Job ID: 2108114


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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.