The Category Analyst is responsible for compiling research data, analyzing and interpreting the research information, and creating recommendations on achieving category development objectives. The Category Analyst also supports the development of a comprehensive marketing plan that will improve the performance of a category. Employees in this job classification provide analytical and resource support to Category Managers. This job classification requires retail, inventory and pricing knowledge with the proven ability to formulate marketing plans that support department objectives and goals.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS AND BASIC DUTIES
1. Responsible for conducting research, producing analyses and recommending actions to optimize category sales and margin performance.
a. Using state-of-the-art computer systems, conducts effective research and analysis of category performance including forecasting category sales targets, product placement, assortment and promotional lift analysis.
b. Gathers and analyzes category performance across a variety of indicators, including sales, gross profit, margins and market share. Obtains data from a variety of internal and external sources, including internal databases, syndicated sales data software (AC Nielsen tools) and from vendors and manufacturers.
c. Analyzes item assortment and creates recommendations for efficient assortment.
d. Develops solutions for product promotion, pricing and shelf-placement.
e. Analyzes current pricing structure and assists in the development of pricing strategies by monitoring the impact of current strategies, new competition and market trends.
f. Performs shelf management analyses to monitor equitable sales performance and space allocation.
g. Develops recommendations on promotional items. Develops post-event performance analyses by item within the category. Provides feedback to Category Managers.
h. Supports the development of the category marketing plans. Writes evaluations of category marketing plans in order to measure implementation success, compliance and results.
i. Monitors and produces weekly periodic category metrics reporting. Create ad hoc reports as requested.
2. Responsible for tracking consumer and product trends.
a. Tracks consumer and product trends. Evaluates the competitive changes in the different markets we serve. Assists Category Managers by identifying possible emerging trends observed during day-to-day analysis.
b. Performs what-if analyses to assist in developing category marketing plans and to achieve sales and margin goals. Identifies and understands the competition’s impact on the category and provides recommendations to grow category market share.
3. Responsible for establishing and maintaining effective business relations.
a. Establishes and maintains effective business relations with vendors, brokers, manufacturer representatives and professional trade groups.
b. Maintains business relationships with all corporate functions to maximize efficiencies.
c. Represents the company with various vendors and trade professionals.
d. Upholds the company’s professional reputation.
e. Maintains appropriate levels of confidentiality regarding company operations.
The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:
Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, finance or a related field, plus two (2) years of related analytical or retail sales/merchandising experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
Dealing with Ambiguity- Can effectively cope with change; can shift gears comfortably; can decide and act without having the total picture; isn’t upset when things are up in the air; doesn’t have to finish things before moving on; can comfortably handle risk and uncertainty.
Composure - Is cool under pressure; does not become defensive or irritated when times are tough; is considered mature; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; doesn’t show frustration when resisted or blocked; is a settling influence in a crisis.
Customer Focus-Is dedicated to meeting expectations and requirements of both internal and external customers; acts with customer in mind; gets first-hand customer information and uses it for improvements in products and services; establishes and maintains effective relationships with customers and gains their trust and respect.
Functional/Technical Skills - Has the functional and technical knowledge and skills to do the job at a high level of accomplishment with both internal and external customers.
Planning- Accurately scopes out length and difficulty of tasks and projects; sets objectives and goals; breaks down work into process steps; develops schedules and task/people assignments; anticipates and adjusts for problems and roadblocks; measures performance against goals; evaluates results.
Technical Learning -Picks up on technical things quickly; can learn new skills and knowledge; is good at learning new industry, company, product or technical knowledge; does well in technical courses and seminars.
Written Communication- Is able to write clearly and succinctly in a variety of communication settings and styles; can get messages across that have the desired effect.