MICHAEL A.

EDWARDS
Oswego, Illinois 60543 (630) 636-6806  tunch@comcast.net

R e t a i l

C a t e g o r y

M a n a g e r

Proven Multi-Channel Retail Category Management professional with a track record of developing product strategy through analysis and implementing tactical marketing, merchandising and promotion of products. Maintain complete accountability for sales and margins, rolling financials, inventory forecasts and strategic business plans. Proven ability to successfully evaluate long-term sales trends, margins, market conditions, consumer and competitor activity. Success in driving vendor relationships and negotiations to meet sales and revenue goals.

P r o f e s s i o n a l

P r o f i l e

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Work with Sales and Marketing departments for new product development and strategic vision to source new products with innovative packaging or concepts that fit organizational niche market. Identify consumer trends which will generate solid recommendations to grow sales for the category. Provide analytical support for internal budgeting and planning sessions; determine annual forecasts, prepare current category reports, perform pricing surveys and identify industry trends through SWOT, competitive reviews and retailer reports. Identify private label opportunities to enhance current product offering at price points and quality that fits within product offering; qualifying potential new suppliers for quality, price and ability to maintain fulfillment schedule. Evaluate vendor performance by establishing key vendor performance metrics including; on time delivery, quality, adequate shelf life and fulfillment levels, drive improvement in vendor compliance within each metric. Drive cost reduction and value enhancement strategies in product cost, freight cost and payment terms; negotiate maximum marketing and business development funds including, rebates, co-op, free samples, growth incentives and sales contests.

K e y

S k i l l s

a n d

S t r e n g t h s
Marketing Negotiate Supplier Terms New Product Introduction Planning and Forecasting Problem Identification and Solving Strategic Planning and Execution Team Building and Management

Building Business Relationships Category Management Processes Competitor Analysis Develop Product Assortments
Ecommerce B2C Merchandising

Grocery Industry/DSD Margin Analysis and Product Pricing

P r o f e s s i o n a l

H i s t o r y

OfficeMax, Naperville, Illinois (Jan. 2007 to Feb. 2009) – Category Manager, Office Furniture  Managed $60MM category, created broad based item assortment, developed promotional and marketing activity, margin management, inventory and sales development to support revenue objectives.

Coordinated with leaders from Marketing, Merchandise Planning, Inventory Management, and Global Sourcing to ensure new product development and marketing, merchandising, and promotional plans were executed for maximized profitability.  Executed website reorganization and eliminated underperforming products for the launch of the new OfficeMax web site in 2007.  Created a “special buy” drop ship program to reduce vendors’ excess inventory and offer our customers exceptional savings on items unique to the OfficeMax web site.  Reviewed category mix and made adjustments as needed to meet performance goals Key Accomplishments  Increased Decorative Accessory sales by 12% by introducing new products, and negotiated an $180,000 increase in vendor funding for the 2009 catalog.  Led design and development efforts for 3 private label desk accessory collections, partnered with global suppliers to secure manufacturing capability, and saved over $1.2MM by replacing branded collections with private label products.

Ann’s House of Nuts – Jessup, Maryland (June 2006 to Feb. 2007) - Import Buyer, Dried Fruit & Nuts  Led purchasing activities for $150MM in imported products annually for the 2nd largest buyer of cashews in the world; established strong working relationships with freight forwarders, customs brokers, steamship lines, trucking companies, and suppliers to ensure timely and accurate deliveries.  Negotiated favorable shipping and trucking rates to reduce costs; maintained proper inventory levels to meet consumer demand, and negotiated additional merchandise due to increases in sales or promotional activity. Key Accomplishments  Saved $500K in transportation costs through aggressive renegotiation strategies.  Reduced inventory from 67 days to 59 days. Black and Decker – Towson, Maryland (June 2005 to Jan. 2006) - Category Manager  Managed $480MM category of Air Compressors, Electric Generators, and Pneumatic Nailers by synthesizing data and insights into category and business reviews.  Worked collaboratively with channel marketing, field sales and product management to improve POS growth and margins through consumer insights and behavior.  Managed a team of four Supply Planners Ahold USA, Quincy, Massachusetts (1986 to 2005) Peapod by Giant/Ecommerce Merchandising Manager, (June 2002 to June 2005)  Managed category buying for entire grocery product line; analyzed POS and website metrics and sales activities to make determinations for the most effective marketing, merchandising and promotional strategies designed to increase sales, customer awareness and product performance.  Cultivated valuable vendor relationships and negotiated pricing strategies to secure desired margins and profits.  Introduced new lines of products from local companies that were unique to Peapod.  Directed a team of seven Re-Buyers and a Merchandising Assistant. Key Accomplishments

Grew Ecommerce business from $23M to $45M in three years, and increased average order size 18% to $147.  Negotiated $200K in incremental promotional funds in 2003, and $125K in 2004.  Improved cost of goods sold by 3% through problem solving and negotiation.

Giant Food, Inc. - Category Buyer (May 2000 to June 2002)  Completed product performance evaluations to make determination for product placement and selections based on potential growth and revenue generation opportunities.  Interacted with key vendor and retail management personnel to plan promotional and marketing activities to support product sales. Key Accomplishments  Managed $150MM HBC and $120MM Commercial Bakery Buying.  Researched and recovered over $50K in DSD double billings.  Selected by Senior Management to train and mentor new category specialists. Giant Food, Inc. – Various Store Positions of Increasing Responsibility (1986 to 2000)

E d u c a t i o n / P r o f e s s i o n a l D e v e l o p m e n t
University of Maryland, University College – B.A. Social Science; 2011 Anticipated University of Notre Dame, Mendoza School of Business – Graduate Level Certificate, Economic Value Added Ahold USA - Certificate, Category Management Process OfficeMax - Certificate, Marketing and Merchandising Immersion OfficeMax - Certificate, Managing ATG Commerce