Head of Category - Softlines

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North West England | Ref: BBBH15063

£65000.00 - £85000 per annum + bonus + benefits

Role Title
Head of Category - Softlines
North West/ Buckinhamshire (option of some home working)
£65-85k depending on level of experience + bonus + benefits

Role Profile
Our client, an award-winning branded supplier, is looking to appoint a Head of Category to lead their Softlines category. You will have a solid understanding of the sourcing and manufacturing of softlines, factory guidelines and QA in order to drive a commercial and creative product category forward. You will have a genuine passion for this product area (bags, hats, scarves, gloves, umbrellas etc.) in order to identify key trends, working on innovative and unique products to drive the category forward. You will be experienced in managing the end-to-end process from conception through to customer shelf, be customer focused and commercially aware. You will be an aspirational role model in order to manage, motivate and drive the team in order to deliver creative products on time in line with the business-critical trading calendar. This is a fantastic opportunity to join an established and dynamic business that still retains its entrepreneurial spirit with exciting plans for further growth! The business plans to open an office in the Buckinghamshire area later this year, therefore candidates from the South have the option to work approx 3 days in the North West office along with home working until this time.


  • Devising the long-term development strategy for the Softlines category
  • Identifying new specialised manufacturing vendors, building on existing key relationships to develop a strategic and commercial range
  • Determining the positioning of a product category to maximize visibility
  • Analysing data or insights to determine industry and consumer trends, comprising a range to reflect key trends identified
  • Liaising with marketing teams to determine competitive pricing and promotional activities for the Softlines category
  • Developing exit strategies for unsuccessful products
  • Managing creative processes with the design teams to create products in line with the critical path
  • Developing value-added vendor relationships and practices. Building trusted relationships with vendors to achieve better pricing and quality of services
  • Negotiating with vendors on terms, production planning and pricing
  • Managing production requirements, PO placement and inventory in conjunction with the Supply Chain department
  • Placing orders to ensure product availability to meet consumer demand
  • Promoting professional behaviour throughout the teams
  • Collaborating with other category managers to create cross-category promotions and products
  • Assume responsibility of budget development and category revenue

Skills, Experience & Personal Attributes

  • Commercially aware with a solid background (5 years'+) in the sourcing of and manufacturing of Softlines
  • Able to cope with the demands of a fast-paced business environment
  • Able to confidently devise a long-term category development strategy
  • Managerial experience with the ability to inspire, motivate and direct a team to success
  • Experience of working to critical path and key mile stones within overall business plan
  • Ability to manage category P&L in-line with overall business P&L
  • Branded experience would be advantageous
  • Customer focussed with experience in the management of the end-to-end process from conception through to customer shelf
  • Excellent communicator/ relationship builder
  • Strong negotiation and supplier management skills

Client information
Our client is an award-winning branded supplier

£65-85k depending on level of experience + bonus + benefits

About Cast UK
Cast UK is a leading executive consultancy, providing national recruitment solutions to both clients and candidates. Specialising in HR, Procurement, Buying, Supply Chain, and Logistics, each member of our specialist team has a professional background specific to their recruiting sector. With this unique insight and knowledge, our consultants are able to place individuals from trainee through to main board. For more information on Cast UK and a complete list of all of our current vacancies, please visit www.castuk.com

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