PB CAREERS: Tractor Supply – Product Manager

Tractor Supply StoreTractor Supply – Product Manager
Brentwood, TN

Tractor Supply Company is the largest operator of retail farm and ranch stores in the United States. We presently have more than 1,300 TSC stores in 48 states and an e-commerce website at TractorSupply.com. We are a growth company and research indicates we have an opportunity to grow to 2,100 domestic Tractor Supply store locations. It is very exciting to be a part of this $5+ billion organization.

Job Purpose:
This position is responsible for leading all aspects of private brand product development in softline categories for Tractor Supply Company (TSC). Working closely with the merchant team, product engineers, designers, quality control, factories and agents to define and develop exclusive brands and the right products that serves the TSC customer needs.

Primary Duties:

  • Works with merchants, QC and marketing to establish the product brand parameters including the overall vision as well as the specific features, benefits, means to measure, look, minimum quality of raw materials, and designs
  • Travels for research, development and product approval; that includes but not limited to, trade shows, factories, raw material suppliers, stores, competitors and customers. Includes domestic as well as international travel.
  • Works with merchants and agents to define product research and development opportunities, priorities and timelines by brand and category. Co-leads with the buyers coordinated category and item research with expert users from TSC store group to define the needs and benefits the customers are looking for and refine the final products.
  • Directs the creation of specifications including all aspects of the product, raw materials, mechanical design, packaging, instructions and marketing for point of purchase.
  • Researches, selects, recruits and manages the people involved in the development in order to create the desired product and hit the agreed to timelines. This could include direct reports and indirect internal, agent, freelance, and factory staff supporting the design, drafting, engineering, packing and marketing development.
  • Helps define and lead the development of the internal processes and systems required to fully and effectively integrate product development into the current TSC processes and culture. This will include various TVS events, and cross functional interaction and leadership.
  • Co-Leads with sourcing the source of supply selection, evaluation and negotiations process. Working with merchants and planning to fully define the needs and contingencies, and with sourcing, agents, QC, and product engineer to assure understanding, capability and final agreement that full-fills all those needs.

Secondary Duties:

  • May perform other duties as assigned.

Education and Experience:
Knowledge ordinarily acquired through attainment of a Bachelors degree, plus 5-7 years of relevant work experience, demonstrated collaborative leadership skills, ability to think strategically and conceptually, proven success at creative product development, ability to read and understand technical specification, excellent written and verbal communication skills, strong negotiation and vendor management skills.

Knowledge/Skills/Abilities/Training/Systems:
Must be capable of using basic Office communication, word processing and spread sheet programs and understand development communication systems needs. Highly desire softlines product development experience in similar goods to TSC, background in farm, ranch and rural products, 3D CAD, drafting, consumer product engineering, packaging design, and wholesale or retail consumer products development, marketing or buying experience, especially farm store.

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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.