Category Manager / Buyer

HouseMart Ben Franklin Crafts - Honolulu, HI4.3

30+ days ago
Since 1951, Maui Varieties, Ltd., parent company of HouseMart Ace Hardware and Ben Franklin Craft retail stores, has taken pride in providing the products and services that meet the hardware and craft needs of our local communities. As a family-owned business for more than 65 years, the HouseMart brand strives to serve as a symbol of family values, exceptional service and commitment to providing the products our customers need.

HouseMart is owned by third generation siblings Wayne Kamitaki, Guy Kamitaki, Lynn Ushijima and cousin, Paul Mizoguchi. With a vision “to become the best operating chain of independent craft and hardware stores in the country,” the HouseMart retail operation has grown to a medium-sized, multi-state business consisting of 29 Ace Hardware and Ben Franklin Craft stores and over 500 employees in Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and Nevada. We look forward to further expansion of our business into the next generation and beyond, while still operating under the same family values.

The Category Manager works with the Director of Merchandising in developing merchandise strategies for a specific category of merchandise. Delivers new products to market, inspires creativity and excitement in our customers, and is recognized as the customer expert for assigned categories. This position improves the shopping experience and productivity of products and space while increasing market share. The Category Manager is responsible for coaching and mentoring store employees, encouraging ideas to “create the need” for the products in assigned categories and accountable for financial results including, but not limited to, sales, gross margin, return on investment, inventory turnover and net margin. This position requires up to 30% travel and may require working occasional weekends (e.g. Trade shows, neighbor island, domestic and international travel, etc.) to meet desired objectives. Experience in the following categories is preferred: Seasonal, art supplies, framing, crafts, jewelry, home decor and/or part goods.

Achieve financial targets in assigned categories including, but not limited to, sales, gross margin, return on investment, inventory turnover and net margin.
Analyze sales trends, price and quality of merchandise for assigned categories. Build product assortments to achieve financial targets. Partner with cross-functional team members to ensure assortments are correct, financial plans are appropriate, presentation standards are correct, store allocations are appropriate and adherence to open-to-buy and inventory levels.
Analyzes data and communicates with cross-functional team members to be reactive and proactive in setting a course to achieve metrics and assess items that are high and low performers to determine which merchandise to continue, replace or drop. Evaluate available space for appropriate stock levels, proper lineal foot ratio, and other measurable data from reports. Determine actions for carry-over merchandise.
Develop and execute promotional strategies that drive top and bottom line. Review effectiveness of promotions in advertisements and social media. Seek to understand ecommerce and drive store results. Continuously work to set HouseMart apart from the competition in product assortment and customer experience.
Create basic, seasonal and promotional product assortments. Understand key items and how to drive them. Demonstrate creativity and understand trends. Strategically position specific products within our stores based on expert knowledge of the customer and the competition. Create a sense of urgency within the customer. Actively engage and support product development and sourcing of quality products that bring value to our customers and profits to the company.
Actively negotiate the best price, quality, and value for our customers. Seek to understand other’s position and points of view and work to increase the benefits for all. Negotiate for the long term. Attend trade shows and manage vendor, agent, and factory relationships to drive business, improve sales and productivity.
Visit company stores to evaluate achievement of company standards and merchandising plan. Plan and communicate introduction of new products to store managers and employees through active communication, coaching, encouraging ideas to “create the need” for the products, and utilization of planograms.

Extensive Knowledge of Merchandising
Customer Centric Retailing Principles
Analysis/Planning/Problem Solving
Project Management
Communication Proficiency
Ethical Conduct
Personal Effectiveness/Credibility
Time Management

This position has no direct supervisory responsibilities, but does serve as a coach and mentor for other positions in the department and company.

Work Environment: Works under regular office conditions. Occasional exposure to heat and dust, hazardous equipment (box openers, scissors, staplers, paper cutter), and supplies (ink, glues, chemicals, paint, etc.)

Equipment/Tools Used: Basic office equipment, 10-key calculator, Planograms.

Work Hours: Generally works Monday through Friday. Available flexible hours as needed (including days, nights, weekends, and holidays).

Extensive knowledge of merchandising and retail business operations.
Excellent organizational skills; ability to prioritize and manage time.
Thorough knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems.

Talking to others to convey information effectively and speaking clearly so others can understand.
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading and understanding information and ideas presented in writing.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Critical Thinking/Logic:
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Applying general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Using mathematics to solve problems.
Organizes work to complete assignments, maintains accuracy and pays attention to detail.

Judgment and Decision Making:
Evidence of the practice of a high level of confidentiality.
Able to understand and follow instructions to complete assignments correctly and on time.
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Physical Exertion:
Visual ability, corrected to perform job functions.
Operating automated office equipment.
Lifting up to 30lbs with the absence of physical limitations.

Problem Identification & Solution:
Ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implementation solutions in real-world settings.

Computer Skills:
Able to effectively work with EAGLE POS, Database user interface and other proprietary software.
Able to effectively use the Office suite of products and the internet.

Generally works Monday through Friday Some flexibility in hours is allowed, but the employee must be available during office hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Must work 40 hours each week.

This position requires up to 30% travel (local, neighbor island, domestic and international travel, etc.) to meet desired objectives.

Bachelor’s Degree.
Minimum 3-5 years retail industry experience. Additional experience in buying, merchandising, assorting, and promotional planning is preferred.
Craft and/or hardware experience is preferred.
Experience with imported items is desirable.
Demonstrated ability to work as a member of cross-functional teams.