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Associate Category Manager

UNAVAILABLE - 150 Northwest Point Blvd   Elk Grove Village   IL

Posted 36 days ago

Salary: Not Disclosed

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Topco Associates is currently seeking an Associate Category Manager for the Frozen Category Management Team in Elk Grove Village, IL. 


We are currently operating in a primarily remote-work setting as we continue to prioritize the wellbeing and safety of our associates. In the future, this position will convert to a hybrid role, with the successful candidate conducting work in our Elk Grove Village office and virtually.  Our offices remain open now for associates to use on a voluntary basis.


Topco's mission is to provide solutions for our member owners, regional retailers and wholesalers, and help them achieve a competitive advantage in the markets they serve. We aspire to develop high-performing teams to resemble the diversity of our members' shopper communities to drive greater innovation and creativity that ultimately enhances our business results and the value Topco provides to its membership.


Under the direct supervision and administrative direction of the Senior Category Manager, the Associate Category Manager is responsible for the marketing, merchandising, and management of assigned product groups/programs in such a manner as to grow Topco program sales and enhance the competitive position and profitability of member companies.


Conceptualizes and creates goals, objectives, and action plans for product categories, with the purpose of meeting member needs, achieving full member participation, and ensuring that product and services are provided to the advantage of members.

Analyzes assigned program areas to develop marketing strategies and to identify areas of business and program growth opportunities to meet current and future member and consumer needs.

Coordinates with sourcing counterpart to research new program/product opportunities to enhance members' competitive position in their markets, and to develop member interest and enhanced participation in existing and new programs/products.

Employs superior communication skills to establish credibility with members, promote member acceptance of new products, expand member participation in existing programs through economic justification, and support member efforts to expand market share for private label goods and perishables.

Develops sales plans to increase member participation in assigned product groups and achieve maximum volume incentives to improve member profits.

Promotes increased member participation by developing pricing, ongoing promotional schedules and customized promotional activities. 

Analyzes market, industry trends and member needs and takes action to keep products, programs, and services in line with changing market conditions and consumer trends; develops new products and programs with existing vendors or new vendors to maintain and enhance member competitiveness in their markets, and identify brand targets          

Analyzes department finances and maintains sound financial position by developing operating budgets, forecasts, controlling expenses, and taking responsibility for achieving sales, patronage, inventory, packaging, and expense budgets for assigned area.

Develops business plans for assigned area of responsibility, updates the plan annually, and reports progress/relevant issues to senior management. Relates operating numbers to industry, member numbers and trends.

Promotes viability of product packaging by recommending packaging design concepts to keep Topco products competitive with the brands.

Coordinates new member start up activities in assigned programs and product groups. 

Coordinate with third parties and other channels to grow assigned programs and product groups 

Enhances the ability of departmental associates to deliver quality service to members by managing and developing subordinates; this includes instituting, reviewing, and following up on on-the-job training programs, conducting performance appraisals of direct reports, and recommending promotions, merit raises, and other actions as appropriate.

Furthers Topco's value to members by coordinating member projects and assigning them to subordinates for completion.

Stays current with industry, market, and consumer trends by attending conferences/trade shows and reading trade periodicals and information, and applies this information creatively to develop assigned product areas and enhance members’ competitiveness in the marketplace.  

Performs other related duties as assigned.




Bachelor’s degree in Business or related field.  Master’s degree a plus. 

Technical Skills:


Ability to use standard business software at an advanced level.

Previous Experience:

7 years in the consumer product goods, retail, or manufacturing industries

Retail Experience is a plus


Creative and conceptual thinker with well-developed analytic skills and proven success in marketing or merchandising.

Proven ability to negotiate effectively.

Proven ability to manage others and inspire confidence.

Superior ability to communicate clearly and effectively with others at all levels, including senior member management personnel, both orally and in writing, and to make presentations to small and large groups.

Ability to interact with others at all levels on a daily basis.

Ability to read and analyze market and industry reports and data, recognize opportunities for growth and profit, and make sound business decisions based on this information on a regular basis.

Familiarity with major sources, trade groups and industry associations, industry practices, quality levels, packaging, and logistics.

Must be willing and able to travel by air and by automobile for this role.

Topco strives for a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace that reflects our member shopper’s communities. If your experience similarly reflects what you see listed in the job description, please consider applying, as individuals come with a wealth of experience and talent beyond just the technical requirements of a job. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and excellence; therefore, we encourage individuals from all backgrounds to apply to our positions.


​Topco is an equal employment opportunity employer, dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination in employment on any basis, including age, sex, color, race, creed, national origin, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, political belief, veteran's status, or disability that does not prohibit performance of essential job functions. Please let us know if you require accommodations during the interview process.


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