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24 jan 2024

Category Director kleding, woontextiel en tassen/accessoires

B-t-B fashion, textiles & acc • +15 yrs • Bachelor Fashion/textiles • Schiphol/Leiden • Fulltime

As Category Director, you are part of the European Leadership Team from where you take charge of the Soft Goods category. Think of products ranging from clothing to bags, to home textiles and umbrellas. In this position, you are the one who builds and cultivates understanding among members of the various departments regarding the mid and long-term product vision. More precisely, the vision you will develop together with a full three-year strategy business plan. In addition, you compile the product planning material necessary for driving product initiatives forward with clarity and consensus.

What are you going to do?

It is your job to ensure the we have the desired commercial and sustainable collections that are exactly in line with our ambitious business goals and growth strategy. To achieve this, you use your solid leadership skills to coach and motivate your international team of four Category Managers and one Category Assistant – located in the Netherlands and China – so they can execute their tasks efficiently and effectively. Together with them you take care of a smooth Product Lifecycle Management and develop, define, and monitor the related three-year product roadmap. You make sure all products are in line with both the compliance and sustainable strategies; this also includes managing and resolving claims. Furthermore, you focus on automating the processes, optimizing the end-to-end costs, and further developing and growing your category team.

The position of Category Director Soft Goods is cross-functional, so this implies a high level of collaboration with different departments, levels, and stakeholders. You partner up with the Country Manager to build a product unit sales implementation – business case – as well as support strategies and training programs. At the same time, you and the Marketing Manager develop the marketing and lead generation strategies. And that’s not all. You keep all your internal and external stakeholders up to date on product processes and progresses and align on priorities and product strategies. Besides this, you actively engage with them to gain first-hand insight into the customers and market feedback on the categories. As a result, you can identify and analyse opportunities that can lead to the growth of the best products through innovation.

Who are you?

  • 15+ years of work experience in product and category management and global sourcing in the soft goods category.
  • Experience in the promotional marketplace is a plus.
  • Experience in (remote) leading an international team of experienced Category Managers and assistants.
  • Strong communication and stakeholder management skills.
  • A clear focus on sustainable product development and management.
  • Must have strong analytical skill set and ability to effectively analyse sales data.
  • Strong management and leadership skills.
  • Must have exceptional organizational skills.
  • Must be able to multi-task under stringent deadlines.
  • Computer literate in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.
  • Exceptional written, oral and presentation skills (English).
  • Exhibit high levels of flexibility and professionalism in extremely fast-paced environment.
  • Strong product positioning and trend research. Ability to contribute to the creative process with an interest in latest trends in promotional products.

This is your place of work

Together with three colleague Directors (Hard Goods, Brand, and Programs & Partners), the Category Director Soft Goods is part of the European Leadership Team and will report to the Vice President of Product Management. You work in the Product Development Team with a total of 20 colleagues and are in close contact with your business stakeholders from our Global Buying Office in Shanghai and factories in Poland, the UK and the sales organizations in all countries. Thanks to our flat organisational structure, the lines of communication are very short, and you reach the desks of your colleagues within seconds. Since we are traditionally a trading organisation with high growth ambitions, you will be able to flourish in an international, dynamic, and sales-oriented environment with an open and informal company culture.

Our offer to you!

Besides a pleasant working atmosphere, a place to grow your talents, a flat organization with an open culture, where one’s own input and initiative is rewarded, we offer you:

  • Good salary that matches with the knowledge and experience you bring;
  • Annual bonus to celebrate our success, when we achieved our results;
  • Laptop and the option to work partially from home fully equipped and with extra budget for a good working place;
  • 25 (or more) holidays, a premium-free pension, money to celebrate your birthday, travel allowance for every kilometer you travel and more;
  • Extensive learning and (personal) development possibilities, including a wide range of online courses via Goodhabitz;
  • Allowances to keep you fit and healthy, free fruit and every day different lunch options available at rock bottom prices;
  • A dynamic and inspiring world of product media products and gifts which you can buy in our own shop;
  • Never a dull moment!

Who we are?

We bring people a smile every day! Ever received a Moleskine notebook with your employer's logo on it, bought a T-Shirt or worn a bracelet at famous pop or dance festivals, received a coffee mug with an inspirational text or other printed gift? Big chance it came from us. In fact. Every day you probably come across something from us and that makes people happy.

We are the European market leader with a revenue of >€ 250M in the dynamic and inspiring world of product media with top brands such as: Camelbak, Case Logic, Mepal, K’arst, Moleskine, Parker, Thule, Waterman and own labels such as Tekio and Elevate. A world that is changing rapidly and where developments such as speed, innovation, digitization and sustainability are extremely important. We are at the forefront of these developments.

Our European headquarter is in the Netherlands (near Schiphol and Leiden), operates industrial printing, production and warehouse facilities in the UK and Poland, and we offer an extensive and unparalleled range of more than 10.000 different product media products.
We operate business to business, so finished products find their way to end customers via one of our 15,000 resellers across Europe.

We are part of a bigger group, the global market leader of product media products operating on five continents and selling to over 100 countries with a revenue up to $ 1 bln.

What do we stand for!

We have a clear vision, mission and values. We empower confidence and pride with every brand awareness to our customers and to you!

Together with about 2,000 dedicated and enthusiastic team members in Europe we take pride in what we do and always strive to find the most innovative and creative solutions for our customers with sustainable and meaningful products.

We have a number of competencies that belong to our (new) team members. First and most important one is that we put our (internal) customers central in our thoughts and actions and that we provide optimal support to them. We always go for the best performance and are curious about new opportunities and possibilities.

Every day a little better and stronger than the day before, that is what we aim for. We are a reliable partner for our customers and each other. In addition, we think forward about what we do and want to do, but above all we also have a down to earth view of things. And last but not least: we are convinced that optimal cooperation and mutual respect is the best basis for our success.

We also believe that everybody has a talent, no matter who you are, what you will do, where you come from or what identity or orientation you have. We offer you an open, equal and healthy working environment, in which you are stimulated and motivated to (further) develop your talents, offer growth opportunities and use your full potential. You are welcome!

Vacaturenummer: 240102

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Contactpersoon: Evert Fermin