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Category Manager

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Aquent's Fortune 500 client in Woonsocket (Rhode Island) (approx 30 mins North of Providence) is looking for a Merchandising Strategy Analyst for their Snacks/Beverage category. This is a 12-month contract (40/hrs week, 5 days, onsite only) with potential to extend beyond. 

Overview: The Merchandising team is currently seeking best-in-class talent with fresh ideas, new perspectives and a desire to make a real difference in one's career. The Merchandising Strategy Analyst (Contractor) will play an important role on the Category Management team managing many of the day-to-day operational activities as well as supporting longer term strategic initiatives.


This position is responsible for providing detailed business analysis to the Category Management Team(s) across Snacks, Candy, Beverages, and/or Healthy Food. Analysis will include sales, margin, retail pricing, promotional markdowns and trending of both internal and market level data. This position is also responsible for performing root cause analysis, problem resolution, category research and identifying potential strategic opportunities. The position will coordinate work streams related to item selection and set up; promotional, seasonal and off-shelf activities; vendor communication; strategic insight development; and reporting. 

Primary Roles and Responsibilities Include: 
1. Space planning: Organize and develop schematics that will support Company's multifaceted store layouts. Coordinate, collaborate and execute strategic vision while following company's guidelines. 
2. Quantitative Analysis: Collaborate with the Category Management Team(s) to scope and plan any and all financial and quantitative analyses that will aid in day-to-day management of the business and yield critical answers to longer-term strategic questions. Understand the required data sets to complete the analyses and procure them accordingly. Manage the delivery of timely, zero-defect analyses to support insight development. Run ad hoc analysis upon request and provide actionable insights with recommendations for next steps 
3. Run Reports: Daily sales, seasonal reporting, weekly vendor reporting and analyze market data to assist in decision making. 
• New Item set up and maintenance for planogram and mid-year items. 
• Off-Shelf coordination of off-shelf programs with key suppliers, setting up programs and running off-shelf reporting. 
• Oversee price change activities. 
4. Communication Development & Business Reporting: Communicate effectively, both verbally and on paper, to Merchandising and Cross-Functional teams throughout the organization. Partner with outside partners. Assist with communication and reporting on sales performance, seasonal sales and sell thru and ad planning. Distill findings and craft a succinct and powerful business case that effectively communicates actionable recommendations. 


Experience
• Space planning credentials: The ideal candidate will possess two to three years of experience in a space planning role or capacity. 
• Business Analytical Experience:
A minimum of three to five years analytical experience in a business environment. Ability to multi-task several concurrent requests and quickly pull together data. 
• Analytical Reports/Excel: The ability to run and manage quantitative analysis in a defect-free manner. Mastery of Microsoft Excel is expected in this role. Powerpoint helpful.
• Retail/Corporate Retail Experience: A history of work and/or passion for the retail/consumer industry. 
• Team Collaboration: Motivated team player able to effectively collaborate with many individuals including the Category Merchandising team(s), functional and divisional leaders, Cross-functional Support Teams, Field Management and Vendor Partners. 
• Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Marketing, Finance or similar field. 

The candidate selected for this position will be a creative, out-of-the-box thinker who is intellectually curious with a demonstrated interest in learning. This person will also need to be a self-motivated, entrepreneurial individual who can function in a performance-driven environment. He/she must be accustomed to working on multiple tasks in parallel. This professional must demonstrate strong team player and leadership skills. 

The ideal candidate will also: 
- Be highly organized, and possess strong planning and time management skills 
- Communicate in an open and honest way that builds trust and respect 
- Be a collaborative and flexible team player 
- Be comfortable working on a cross-functional team

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