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Whole Foods Market Executive Leader, Specialty Category Management in Austin, Texas

Job DescriptionProvides leadership, support and oversight to the Adult Beverage Category (Wine/Beer/Spirits) Management / Merchandising function, including strategy development, brand innovation, definition and execution of marketplace differentiators, key supplier partnerships, quality assurance and team development. Responsible for the financial performance of the Category management / Merchandising function. Accountable for all Adult Beverage Category Management / Merchandising strategic and operational decisions, including category management, purchasing, supplier partnership and procurement, oversight of regional distribution and partners with retail operations direction. Oversees team efforts to develop category goals & strategies and product assortments through the lens of the WFM customers, ensuring a strong mix of national brand product relevance, best-in-class local product relevance, and partnership with the Product Development and Innovations Team to provide best-in-class distinctive label product relevance - distinguishing Whole Foods Market from our competition. Responsible for business financial performance.

Responsibilities:

  • Provides leadership and oversight to Category Management and Merchandising leaders and teams.

  • Formulates and sets the strategic direction and tactics oversight for AB categories, serving as foundation for all category merchant’s performance.

  • Contributes to, oversees and/or leads the design of space for category layout, category adjacencies and space allocation for both ongoing and new retail operations in partnership with Space Team.

  • Contributes to financial performance forecasting and overall Category Management / Merchandising strategic planning and priority setting.

  • Contributes to strategic alignment between category merchants and/or buyers across regions and retail operations.

  • Owns relationship management and strategic alignment with key supplier partners.

  • Serves as a driving force for Merchandising evolution, incorporating multiple and diverse stakeholder needs into plans for continued progress.

  • Drives strategically-focused and data-driven process improvement recommendations to leadership.

  • Engages with customers, partners and other key external stakeholders to ensure mutual understanding of WFM principles, values, strategies and priorities.

  • Aligns resources according to strategic objectives.

  • Actively monitors and manages Merchandising in-season performance, driving issue resolution through team and elevating performance issues as required.

  • Engages with senior internal stakeholders, including Marketing, Finance and Procurement, to ensure an integrated approach to ongoing operations.

  • Addresses and resolves critical and/or sensitive customer, operational and other issues.

  • Ensures ongoing open and informative communication across all Merchandising stakeholders.

  • Coaches and develops their team.

  • Accountable for positively impacting team collaboration and group effectiveness.

  • Builds a pipeline of talent, hires for all roles, develops those in role, and supports Team Member career progression.

  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Skills:

  • Engages with other leaders to design, maintain and champion the mission, vision and strategy of the organization.

  • Leadership experience.

  • Defines, develops and implements initiatives to enhance team and business performance.

  • Develops deep, credible relationships with senior-level executives, both inside and outside current areas of responsibility.

  • Serves as trusted advisor internally and externally from a Category Management, Merchandising, Procurement, and Supply Chain perspective.

  • Engages with internal and external stakeholders to define, clarify and resolve issues related to supply management and performance expectations.

  • Collaborates / liaises with marketing on relevant program and product strategies to support team and company initiatives.

  • Engages with other leaders to formulate the organization’s long-term strategic direction.

  • Defines strategies and approaches to empower and equip leaders to be effective in their interactions with internal and external stakeholders.

  • Identifies gaps in strategic understanding, formulates resolution recommendations and delivers clear and compelling communication.

  • Shifts comfortably between big picture strategic thinking and the tactics required to achieve outcomes.

  • Influences broad organizational strategic direction and planning on a go-forward basis.

  • Plans, estimates, staffs, organizes and monitors significant task and project activity.

  • Identifies risks and vulnerabilities, creates contingency plans.

  • Conducts regular and ad-hoc reviews with team, stakeholders, partners and customers.

  • Oversees and advises other leaders on task- and project-related issues and assists with overcoming barriers.

  • Demonstrates nuanced understanding of the WFM business, the grocery retail industry, and the business models of key strategic partners and competitors.

  • Able to assess how key functions, processes and operating models impact the business; delivers recommendations on how to optimize.

  • Able to “connect the dots” across markets, customers, partners and programs to identify interdependencies and long-term growth opportunities.

  • Viewed as a thought leader within Merchandising organization.

  • Passion for Organics, Fair Trade, Quality Standards and Adult Beverage Industry.

  • Commitment to WFM Core Values and Leadership Principles.

Education & Experience:

  • BA/BS degree and 8-10 years’ relevant experience OR equivalent combination of education and relevant experience.

  • Graduate degree preferred.

  • 4-6 years leadership experience.

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, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, marital status, disability, or any other legally protected characteristic. Whole Foods Market hires and promotes individuals solely based on qualifications for the position to be filled and business needs.

Who are we? Well, we seek out the finest natural and organic foods available, maintain the strictest quality standards in the industry, and have an unshakeable commitment to sustainable agriculture. Add to that the excitement and fun we bring to shopping for groceries, and you start to get a sense of what we’re all about. Oh yeah, we’re a mission-driven company too.

Whole Foods Market attracts people who are passionate - about great food, about the communities they live in, about how we treat our planet and our fellow humans - and who want to bring their passion into the workplace and make a difference.

Learn more about careers at Whole Foods Market here!

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