• Director Of Produce

    Job Locations US-IL-Bolingbrook
    Requisition ID
    Hidden (24075)
  • Overview

    Are passionate about the retail grocery market and organic products? Are you a leader?  Are you ready to join one of the fastest growing companies in the retail grocery market?  If so, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is the place for you!  Our unique business model, fast paced and growing environment, promote from within culture, and excellent benefits make Fresh Thyme the best employer in the grocery market.  Careers have been blooming at Fresh Thyme since our inception in 2012 - yours should be no different!


    The Director Of Produce is responsible for managing assigned Produce categories with the objective to meet or exceed projected budgets for top line sales, total profit dollars, shrink and inventory management. The Category Manager will be the direct liaison between the stores, the vendors, and our Procurement team, in addition to supporting the department managers with training/development, and implementation of new company programs and initiatives.


    Essential Duties & Responsibilities

    • Creates and implements pricing, promotion, assortment and shelf schematics for each assigned category, based on detailed analysis of past performance, results, industry best practices, and consumer trends. 
    • Negotiates and collaborates with vendors on pricing, product assortment, promotion, ads, services, promotional calendars, and support; acts as primary contact with vendors in assigned categories.
    • Manages shrink controls at a category level using SKU rationalization, SKU optimization, constant result reviews. Produces Shrink measurement of categories to determine progress or decline. 
    • Communicates all pertinent information, including merchandising plans, ad plans, price changes, projections, etc., to the stores, operations team, vendors, support offices, and department.
    • Helps in the training and development of store level Department Managers and Operational Specialists.  
    • Works closely with procurement function; Communicates category and promotional/ad plans to ensure desired service levels and optimum inventory position is achieved. 
    • Works in conjunction with operations and other departments across the company to facilitate implementation of programs. 
    • Other duties as assigned. 
    • Creates yearly business plan and budgets by category based on department/company initiatives, consumer and market trends.
    • Reviews category and department financials (i.e. Profit & Loss Statement) monthly and reacts as necessary to ensure budgets are achieved; meets sales and margin budget expectations.
    • Ensures store inventory levels are within company standards and reports inventory discrepancies.
    • Authorizes new items entering the market; Researches new vendors for products, requests quotes, analyzes responses, selects products, and implements product placement.  
    • Researches, develops, and implements merchandising and ad plans to support category business plan and total department initiatives.
    • Helps to ensure stores meet all company and health code standards.
    • Attends key vendor company planning meetings.
    • Manages and implements special items (i.e. local products, etc.) and seasonal items for new and existing stores.
    • Designs schematics and recommends adjacencies that support the role of the category.
    • Conducts post promotional analysis to track sales and profit results at end of each promotional timeframe.
    • Maintains and reviews price files and competitive price checks to ensure we are priced competitively within each market we operate.
    • Supports stores with special shelf and display decisions.
    • Visits stores as necessary to observe results of merchandising programs.


    Education and Experience

    • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent Grocery industry experience required.
    • Must have a minimum of 6 years professional experience.
    • Preferred 5-7 years grocery retail experience in Natural Foods processes and procedures.
    • Previous experience in a natural foods industry is a plus.
    • Grocery category product knowledge preferred. 
    • Financial, mathematical, statistical and consumer research experience preferred to read, interpret and understand how internal and external factors influence financial results.


    Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

    • Must maintain the highest level of customer service at all times.
    • Ability to adapt to the ever-changing high volume retail while working in a cross-functional team environment.
    • Must have the capacity to take initiative for making appropriate decisions and have strong analytical and problem solving skills.
    • Flexibility to adapt in a variety of situations.
    • Must have advanced attention to detail with the capability to prioritize and meet deadlines.
    • Excellent written communication and documentation skills.
    • Excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills for maintaining effective business relationships with peers, senior management, customers, and vendors.
    • Must have advanced knowledge with MS Office including Outlook, Word, and Excel.
    • Ability to multitask and have excellent organizational skills is essential.
    • Must be able to lead, support and contribute to team goals. 
    • Ability to work varied hours/days as business dictates.
    • Must be familiar with Health Department guidelines and regulations as they pertain to a grocery retail environment.
    • Familiarity with Category Business Planning with an understanding of marketing and merchandising practices.
    • Possesses the ability to read and interpret profit and loss statements and understand how the categories managed are affected. 
    • Has excellent people skills for training and communicating with customers and stores; requires a high level of patience.


    Physical Demands
    • Sit Rarely 1–2 hours
    • Stand Continuously 1–8 hours 
    • Walk Continuously 2–8 hours 
    • Drive Frequently 2-4 hours 
    • Balance Frequently 34–66% 
    • Bend Occasionally 1–33% 
    • Climb (2–6 ft) Occasionally 1–33% 
    • Crawl Occasionally 1–33% 
    • Crouch/Squat Occasionally 1–33% 
    • Kneel Occasionally 1–33% 
    • Reach (forward & overhead) Frequently 34–66% 
    • Twist (45 degrees at waist) Occasionally 1–33%


    • 0–10 lbs. Occasionally 1–33% 
    • 11–25 lbs. Occasionally 1–33% 
    • 26–50 lbs. Occasionally 1–33% 
    • 51–100 lbs. Never 0% 

    Repetitive Motion 
    • Right & Left Grasping Frequently 34–66% 
    • Fine Manipulation Occasionally 1–33% 
    • Pushing and Pulling Occasionally 1–33% 
    • Lower extremities Never 0%

    Environmental Conditions: 
    • Inside – 90% Outside – 10% 
    • Some extreme temperatures are possible. Some ventilation and exhaust fans.
    • Refrigerated and ambient environment 35 to 90 degrees



    About Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market: 

    ‘Supermarket of the year in 2016’ by Grocery Headquarters magazine.

    Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is a full-service specialty retailer focusing on value-priced fresh, healthy, natural and organic offerings. We have opened up over 47 stores since 2013!  Our stores boasts an extensive produce department with organic and local fruits and vegetables, a natural meat department, healthy deli foods to go, bakery goods, 300 bulk food bins, dairy and frozen, and health supplement products. At Fresh Thyme, we believe you shouldn’t have to give away the farm to feed your body nutritious food. We’re on a mission to improve the way our communities eat by offering fresh and healthy food at amazing values -all in a vibrant and fun shopping environment, with smiling friendly faces. Our stores don’t follow traditional grocery store design, nor do they have tall aisles or glitzy fixtures. In fact, our stores are so simple and easy to navigate that we don’t number our aisles or hand out store maps. We believe shopping for fresh and healthy food should be easy and enjoyable.



    Please click on the short video hyperlink about Fresh Thyme and see what we're all about:


    About Fresh Thyme Farmers Market




    The above declarations are not intended to be an all-inclusive list of the duties and responsibilities of the job described, nor are they intended to be such a listing of the skills and abilities required to do the job. Rather, they are intended only to describe the general nature of the job.


    Disclosure Statement:

    Search Firm Representatives, please read carefully:

    Fresh Thyme is not seeking assistance or accepting unsolicited resumes from search firms for this employment opportunity. Regardless of past practice, all resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at Fresh Thyme via-email, the Internet or directly to hiring managers at Fresh Thyme in any form without a valid written search agreement in place for that position will be deemed the sole property of Fresh Thyme, and no fee will be paid in the event the candidate is hired by Fresh Thyme as a result of the referral or through other means.


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