Kobalt Tools, Lowe's, Private Label, Private brand, Store BrandPB CAREERS: Lowe’s  – Product Manager, Kobalt Tools

Job ID: 988421BR
Line of Business: Corporate
Job Category: Marketing
Department: 0187 – Brand Mgmt-Hardlines
Employment Type I: Regular
Employment Type II: Full-Time
Location #: 1999
Location Name: CSC-Mooresville
Location Address: 1000 Lowes Boulevard
City: Mooresville
State: NC

Job Description
Job Summary:
The principle purpose of the Product Manager – Kobalt Tools is to lead product strategy and lifecycle management within the established guardrails of the Brand and Merchandising strategy. The Product Manager will partner with Merchandising to set objectives and lead activities needed to deliver financial, brand and customer satisfaction objectives.

The Product Manager will have primary responsibility for understanding the competitive landscape, target customer needs and industry innovation for the purpose of identifying opportunities for customer-valued product solutions.  This includes developing product strategies and business plans, prioritizing customer requirements, leading multi-generational product planning and working with other functions to deliver differentiated product.  This position will also be accountable for ensuring alignment with stakeholders throughout key product development decision points to enable an efficient use of resources.

In a highly matrixed environment, this position will work closely with Merchandising, Product Design and Development, International Merchandising, Quality Assurance and Marketing to optimize the assigned product portfolio.

This position will have a significant impact on the assigned product categories and the overall company.  To accomplish this, the Product Manager – Kobalt Tools must have product management experience with a strong understanding of retail business.

Essential Responsibilities:
Product Management Leadership

  • Manages multi-generational product planning and execution to deliver financial, brand and customer satisfaction objectives.
  • Leads development of new product development scopes including product requirements and business case definition.
  • Collaborates with suppliers and Product Design to understand industry trends, technology and product innovation.
  • Establishes new frameworks and approaches to efficiently manage assigned product lines in a matrix organization.
  • Develops and synthesizes consumer insights and competitive intelligence to identify opportunities.
  • Coordinates go-to-market plans for new product launches.

Cross-Functional Alignment

  • Primary liaison with cross-functional teams (i.e. Product Design and Development, Merchandising, International Merchandising, Quality Assurance, Marketing) to deliver the private brand strategy and objectives.

Business Leadership

  • Keeps pace with change and maintains a competitive advantage within the industry by seeking out and learning about changes in the field.
  • Delivers positively to measures of success by maintaining a strong focus on the bottom line.
  • Leads alignment across the team using a deep understanding product management processes.
  • Drives projects and tasks to completion through teams, regardless of changing conditions, by coaching and developing associates and building bench strength for the organization.
  • Uses a critical eye to examine and streamline work flows and processes within the team, to increase efficiency.

People Leadership

  • Aligns the team’s time and effort on projects that are critical to success.
  • Delegates the right tasks and decisions to the people who are in the best position to execute them.
  • Provides open feedback and mentorship to team members to encourage growth and greater responsibility.
  • Hires, trains and develops the talent necessary to achieve stated objectives providing meaningful development opportunities for individuals in preparation for succession planning.


  • Stays current with industry trends related to the assigned Private Brand and product group(s) and focuses on how these trends can influence company strategy.
  • Develops and presents material frequently to senior leadership

Required Minimum Qualifications:

  • MBA or Bachelor’s degree in business, design or engineering with five years of experience on a product development team
  • 3+ years of experience building, managing and growing a product portfolio in a large retail environment or consumer goods organization
  • 3+ years of experience developing multi-generational product plans including strategies and business cases for new product development
  • 3+ years of leading people and project teams to deliver business objectives


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience creating or managing strategic partnerships
  • Leadership experience in retail private brand product management

With fiscal year 2013 sales of $53.4 billion, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE® 100 company that serves approximately 15 million customers a week at more than 1,825 home improvement stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information, visit Lowes.com.

EEO Statement      Lowe’s is an equal opportunity affirmative action employer and administers all personnel practices without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, veteran status, genetics or any other category protected under applicable law.


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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.