PB CAREERS: Whole Foods – Exclusive Brands, Perishable Buyer

PB CAREERS: Whole Foods – Exclusive Brands, Perishable Buyer

Job Description
Reporting directly to the Sr. Buyer(s)/ Global Executive Coordinator of Exclusive Brands, this person will be responsible for helping develop and oversee the Exclusive Brands perishable procurement, including strategy development, innovation, definition and execution of marketplace differentiators, key supplier partnerships. Accountable for the financial performance of their “Categories,” as well as the overall Exclusive Brands division in conjunction with Global Purchasing Teams. Works with their Global Perishable counterparts to help develop strategic and operational decisions including assortment, pricing, space allocation, and promotional planning. Develops broad and meaningful partnerships across Whole Foods. Actively models and reinforces the Whole Foods Market values and culture.

This job is part of our merchandising evolution. Join us now in ATX!

Learn more at www.joinwholefoods.com/merchandising.


  • Works with Senior Buyer(s) and Global Executive Coordinator of Exclusive Brands in regards to assessing category performance and achieving strategic category targets and objectives
  • Collaborates with Global Perishable stakeholders on achieving financial plans and category objectives.
  • Helps execute Exclusive Brand’s strategy based on financial expectations, category role, category performance, customer and product trends, competitive landscape and Whole Food Market differentiators.
  • Ensures Exclusive Brand & Global Executive Perishable Coordinators objectives are effectively translated into category management strategies.
  • Develops and nurtures key strategic partnerships.
  • Partners with Global Purchasing Teams, Distribution, and Regions to ensure alignment to and execution within the broader context of the overall category management strategy.
  • Understands customer trends and keep focused on competitive landscape utilizing internal and external resources.
  • Communicates, represents and upholds Whole Foods Market values and business philosophies to all stakeholders.
  • Provides accurate and complete information in requested reports and communications
  • Helps champion Purchasing Evolution transformation, ensuring continued performance of current expectations while moving team to new operating model.
  • Collaborate with other Exclusive Brands Support teams to drive continuous process improvement.
  • Participates in hiring, mentoring, training and evaluating Purchasing Assistants.
  • Willing to travel up to 25% of the time
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Experience in Private Label and/or Branded product development and category management preferred
  • Experience in multiple categories across Perishable teams preferred
  • Experience in core purchasing functions including strategy, financial planning, assortment planning, promotional planning and pricing.
  • Experience in setting financial targets, forecasting performance, and resolving performance issues.
  • Experience leveraging analytics in decision-making.
  • Strong leadership skills; ability to develop Team Members and lead team through change.
  • Ability to collaborate with multiple partners and create alignment through listening and influencing.
  • A passion for Organics, Fair Trade, Quality Standards and the Natural Foods Industry.
  • Excellent communication including written, verbal and listening skills; ability to leverage communication skills to gain alignment and drive change.
  • Thorough knowledge of products, buying, pricing, merchandising and inventory management
  • Ability to help drive supplier innovation in order to drive first-to-market products, as well as collaborate with Global Executive Perishable Coordinators to negotiate the best cost of goods.
  • Experience within the innovation life cycle, from initial idea all the way to manufacturing and continuous improvement.
  • Sound judgment, be level-headed and fair-minded.
  • Ability to prioritize and make difficult decisions.
  • Self-motivated, excellent follow through and superior organizational skills.
  • Very good computer skills.

Education/Experience and Training:

  • 4-year degree and 4+ years preferred of experience in category management and team leadership, and/or food industry/product development equivalent.
  • Prefer experience operating in a robust merchandising/purchasing operations environment (e.g. assortment planning, inventory management, space & adjacency planning, promotion and price planning).

At Whole Foods Market we provide a fair and equal employment opportunity for all team members and candidates regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability. Whole Foods Market hires and promotes individuals solely on the basis of their qualifications for the position to be filled.

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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.