What Are the Essential Requirements for Writing an Effective Category Manager Job Description?

A Category Manager ultimately aims to meet the needs of their shoppers. This the key part of a Category Manager’s job description. They are accountable for the sales and profit of a group of products called a ‘category’. Experts in identifying opportunities in the data, selling those opportunities to their retail partner, and then landing them in-store successfully. A successful Category Manager writes and executes a category plan based on the needs of the shopper, prepare, and eater, to increase the performance of the category.

Recently, our client found that job descriptions in the market, and particularly those for Category Managers, were written badly. Badly because they mainly had no goals or measures. They asked us to write a Category Manager job description using our experience of Category Management. We did and they loved it.

The Category Manager job description is below:

Title of the Job

Category Manager

Where the Role Sits within the Team, Department and Wider Business

The Category Manager is responsible for x number of staff, called the ‘Commercial team’. They are accountable for delivering the sales and profit for the group.

Who the Role Reports to

You will report to a General Manager, who is responsible for production. The General Manager, in turn, reports to a UK General Manager. To illustrate, key interactions will be with the Site General Manager, your team, and the customer, <supermarket>.

Key Areas of Responsibility

Areas of responsibility will involve managing and leading the Category to meet:

  • Company budget.
  • Customer’s targets.
  • Internal and external targets.

Moreover, it is important to also understand the shopper, preparer, and eater’s needs.

Deliverables Expected in the Short Term

Your Team to:

  • Meet the sales budget.
  • Identify x number of sales/profit Category opportunities worth x sales per year.
  • Land Category x% of opportunities identified.
  • Exceed the customer satisfaction target of x%.

Medium-Term Objectives

You will be also be expected to create and gain buy-in to a group business plan that will meet the group’s vision. In addition to creating best practice for a Category Manager across the group.

Long-Term Objectives

  • For you and your team to meet level x on the Category management scorecards.
  • For you and your team to meet level x on the soft skills competency frameworks.

Furthermore, you will be fundamental in the delivery of the group’s business plan. This will help achieve the group’s vision. Moreover, you will make sure that best practice Category Management is being delivered across the group.

Duties that this Job will Involve

pie graph showing job description and duties by MBM

Category Manager Job Description and Duties

Scope for Progression and Promotion

There is an opportunity to progress to the title of x within 18 months. Additionally, beyond this the opportunities within the company are vast. The 3 most likely opportunities are to become x, y, or z.

Required Education and Training

The ideal candidate would have x years as a Category manager or account manager. They will have worked with <supermarket> for x years. In addition, they should demonstrate, through examples, an ability to win new business, manage a team, and lead a Category.

Soft Skills and Personality Traits Necessary to Succeed

Category Management, Presentation Skills, and People Management are the top 3 soft skills that are needed. A minimum of level x is required on the scorecards and competency frameworks for these skills.

Furthermore, useful skills would be influencing, negotiation skills, and time management. A ‘thick skin’ can sometimes help in a customer-facing job. Particularly with a challenging customer like <supermarket>.

Location and Travel Requirements

You will be based in <location>, on-site, with your team. You are likely to meet with <supermarket> at their Head Office once per week. Holding face-to-face meetings in other countries is essential to meet your targets. Consequently, you are expected to be visiting one country every other week.

Remuneration Range and Benefits Available

<This is where you can state the salary and further benefits. Currently, the average salary for a Category Manager, for example, is between £34,000 – £69,000. The UK national average is £45,675.>

The Organisation’s Culture and Identity

<In this section, you can provide further information about the organisation. Typically, it is best to be simple and give three bullet points.>

The Company’s Values

<Here, you will provide some background to your core values. Additionally, providing a link to mission and vision statements could be useful. This will help prospective candidates identify if they share similar beliefs.>

Summary of this Category Manager Job Description

The advantage of using this job role for a Category Manager is that they are measured. This means that the person can find job satisfaction by knowing that what they do makes a difference. Furthermore, the company can understand how they perform.

Download Our Free Category Management Guide

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Category Management Guide


For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Category Management.  Also, check out our award-winning blog and our Category Management YouTube Channel.

Interested in training? See how our full Category Management Training or our e learning Category Management courses could be of help to you.

Darren A. Smith

About Darren A. Smith

Darren has been working in the world of UK Supermarkets & Suppliers for over 25 years. He began his career as a buyer at big 4 UK supermarkets and after 13 years he decided to leave to set-up Making Business Matter because he wanted to help suppliers and supermarkets to work better together.

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