PB Careers: PETCO – Innovation Product Developer

PB Careers: PETCO – Innovation Product Developer

Category: Corporate
Location: 10850 Via Frontera – NSC Building 1, San Diego, CA 92127
Schedule: Full Time

Our vision at Petco is Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. We’re making things better for pets, people and the planet through our Think Adoption First philosophy, the Petco Foundation and other important initiatives that focus on putting animals first, educating pet parents and reducing our carbon footprint. The journey starts with knowledgeable, passionately engaged associates who are proud to recommend Petco as a place to work, who believe in our Vision and who are committed to delivering a superior customer experience.

From our retail stores and our network of Distribution Centers to our Corporate offices, you’ll work with others who share your values and commitment. We seek individuals who are passionate about animal welfare, have great people skills and are driven to grow and advance in their careers with us. Our ongoing growth is creating exceptional opportunities for professional development and personal enrichment throughout our organization.

Position Purpose:
Partner with Merchandising teams to conceptualize, develop, direct and implement innovation product strategies and tactics that effectively differentiate Petco from the competition, maximize sales, increase profit margin and continually align with the Petco value proposition of exceeding customers’ expectations and financial budgets with a primary focus on Private Brands. Lead cross-functional teams of sourcing, branding, packaging, merchandising, visual merchandising, marketing, QA and others through the product development and commercialization process.

Essential Job Functions: The incumbent must be able to perform all of the following duties and responsibilities with or without a reasonable accommodation.

  • Independently prioritize and accomplish multiple tasks within established timeframes and hold cross-functional teams accountable to achieve results
  • Research and analyze performance data, including consumer insights and metrics, to determine how to continue to drive the business forward
  • Actively guide the sourcing process to ensure best product, quality and function to meet business objectives
  • Deliver new/innovative product solutions that excite consumers and satisfy their needs better than the competition.
  • Continually think ‘out of the box’ and challenge status quo.
  • Oversee the modification of existing products and development of new ones, where there is an opportunity to drive differentiation.
  • Develop products, provide direction to Sourcing team and ensure compliance with all testing requirements and protocols set by the Quality Assurance team.
  • Interact professionally and effectively through verbal and written communication with all professional contacts with emphasis on company interests
  • Ensure assigned merchandising category(s) goals and objectives are strategically and tactically aligned to differentiate Petco from the competition, as well as deliver on Petco’s customer value proposition of exceeding customer expectations and financial budgets.
  • Create and nurture a ‘shared-vision’ environment of collaboration, partnership and open discussion with Petco team members and stakeholders, both internal and external that establishes and communicates clear and realistic goals; use objective means to monitor progress toward those goals; effectively coordinate cross-functional team members in order to meet timelines.
  • Maintain expert-level knowledge of products and manufacturing, customer trends and market factors, utilizing the 3-year planning and category review process to identify key factors affecting the performance of assigned category(s); solicit and maintain partnerships with private label sourcing to develop strategies and tactics that meet program objectives.
  • Ensure all activities comply and are conducted in accordance with international, federal, state and local laws, regulations and ordinances; remain cognizant of planned/proposed changes to same.
  • Perform other related duties, tasks, and responsibilities as required, assigned and directed.

Work Environment:
Operates in a standard office environment. The majority of job duties are performed while seated indoors with little or no exposure to hazards. Day and overnight domestic travel to vendors, seminars and/or conferences is required periodically throughout the year. Extended domestic and overseas travel may occur periodically throughout the year.

Education and Experience:
Normally requires a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, preferably in product development, engineering, or design. Requires a minimum of five years progressively responsible, professional-level experience as a product developer, focused on innovation and a proven track record of successfully bringing products from concept to market. Of this five years, at least two to three years ideally would have been in a high-level capacity involving work with a national or specialty chain, merchandise buying, and marketing, product assortment, vendor negotiations, etc.

Specific functional experience should include product development, branding, merchandising, sourcing and cross-functional leadership. Also, requires advanced business acumen and analytical skills necessary for proper financial modeling and management of assigned category budgets. Must have advanced computer skills, including MS Office Suite and the aptitude to learn and utilize new internal applications. Additionally, this position requires a highly advanced level of knowledge and competency in the following areas with the ability to effectively:

  • Lead a cross-functional team without administrative supervisory authority
  • Direct, persuade, and motivate others with the ability to flex style as the situation requires, and collaborate or empower as needed
  • Partner and negotiate with vendors, as well as with Petco associates
  • Understand and communicate with a diverse set of leaders and associates at various levels and within various functional areas that impact their category(s)
  • Manage multiple responsibilities with the skill to multi-task, prioritize, as well as shift the focus from one task to another seamlessly
  • Develop long-range plans for Private Brand in assigned category(s) based on sound knowledge of category and corporate expectations
  • Identify and seize upon opportunities to maximize sales and profitability
  • Be resilient and adaptable to situations when faced with adversity or failure
  • Strategic in nature with an eye on creatively solving for overarching problem or opportunity

Must have a valid driver’s license and the ability to obtain a US Passport for international travel.


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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.