The Wills Group

  • Tobacco Category Manager

    Job Locations US-MD-La Plata
    Job ID
    # of Openings
  • Overview

    At Dash In, our mission is to transform everyday errands into engaging experiences across each one of our convenience retail stores.  Dash In operates over 55 convenience stores across the Mid-Atlantic region with new stores coming onboard each year.  As we move to become an even stronger customer-led organization, Dash In is building out teams that embody a product mindset and bring new perspective to the convenience store industry. Our culture is built on the idea that we are all here to make a difference in the lives of the people around us. We focus on working with intense integrity, a can-do, creative spirit, and a “team collaboration” centered approach.

    The Tobacco Category Manager will be responsible for development and execution of category strategies and merchandising plans that drive profitable growth, increase market share and enable Dash In to deliver on its vision & values. Our category managers play an integral role in creating meaningful, and enriching experiences  for our customers that differentiates our brands and builds brand loyalty. The Category Manager adds value to the team by organizing, directing, planning and managing strategic and tactical category activities.  This drives the team to ensure customer value, excellence in presentation, quality and consistency of product, innovation, productivity and ethical community and organization responsibility.  Generally the time management required for success in this position approximately 30% field time and 70% office time.

    We are seeking an experienced, professional Tobacco category manager with the ability to take our Tobacco and Snack categories to a whole new level. The candidate must be customer-centric, structured, analytical and data-driven. This position requires both a thorough understanding of the principles of retail category management as well as experience and expertise in establishing effective and productive processes for standardization of the organization. It also requires an acute understanding of the people side of the business that will ultimately drive successful execution at the site level.

    The Tobacco Category Manager reports directly to the Director of Food & Beverage Programs for evaluation of performance and direction of duties.


    • Strategy Development & Analysis: Develop category vision & strategy and leverage thought leadership to deliver actionable business insights to improve store performance through analyzing and tracking performance metrics: analyze pre/promotional metrics, sales, margins, inventory levels, and purchasing trends to maximize profitability in the category
    • Category Management: Manage category profitability while developing promotions and pricing strategies that support the short term and long term category plans and uphold the brand philosophy. Leverages a combination of data & analysis, customer insights, experience & sound judgment to make assortment and brand decisions with speed.
    • Negotiations: Lead critical elements of contracts negotiations which may include development of national contract/rebate agreements and operating agreements. (payment terms, damage allowances, first-to-market opportunities, exit strategies, contingency planning, service expectations). Ensures best interest of brand are represented and contract flexibility in new vendor set ups and contract renewals are realized.  
    • Financial Stewardship: Responsible for achieving financial performance across key KPIs (sales, gross margin, inventory, turnover, ROI) and development of actionable insights & tactics to deliver strong results. Ensures reporting of performance and action plans are communicated on regular basis.
    • Marketing & Communications: Develop communications at all levels from executive leadership to store level. Understand and communicate business results and recommend corrective actions as needed. Work closely with operations to ensure understanding and execution of tobacco/Snack marketing and merchandising offers at sites. Develops presentations, leads & facilitates key meetings with senior executives to achieve desired outcomes
    • Merchandising: Accountable for Dash In fixture format including layout and graphics, merchandising range/space and periodic resets
    • Budget & Maintenance: Manage category budget and rebate process through vendor management of rebate programs and reconciliation of rebate allocation breakouts and tracking
    • Supplier Management: Manage advanced reporting, auditing and vendor/supplier relationship building. Gather information from suppliers, manufacturers. and outside sources. With understanding of market dynamics, know how to read this information and respond to it accordingly to drive sales and profit. Apply category expertise and supplier relationship management to identify opportunities to create total cost savings above and beyond price reductions.
    • Market Relevance: Stays current on industry trends, competitive landscape, channel strategies to ensure categories are best positioned in the market and with customers.

    Required Qualifications

    • Strategic, yet detail-oriented
    • Self-starter
    • Demonstrated priority management skills with the ability to manage complex projects and tight deadlines
    • Acute attention to detail
    • Demonstrated strong leadership and critical thinking skills.
    • Proven mathematical and analytical background
    • Ability to interpret and analyze data, then use this insight to develop strategies and tactics
    • Track record of successful negotiations and correcting sub-optimal situations with business partners.
    • Ability to multi-task and to work with a high degree of ambiguity in a fast-paced business environment.
    • Ability to lead others – both directly and indirectly
    • Ability to create business plans and achieve results via development and successful execution of strategic plans, annual plans, budgets, forecasts, promotions, marketing calendars, and other business-driving plans and tactics

    Applied Experience

    • Bachelor’s degree in business, retailing, management, sales, or marketing is required.
    • Minimum 5 years category management experience required
    • Previous 1 year Tobacco Category Management (Retail or Manufacturer) is a requirement
    • Strong MS office productivity software use experience (e.g., PowerPoint, Word, Outlook)
    • Specific higher level skills in Excel – using and creating pivot tables, using and creating formulas, etc.
    • Formal Category Management Training preferred (or willingness to obtain CPCA level or better certification)
    • Familiarity with Power BI, Tableau, Nielsen/IRI/SwiftIQ, and other analytical tools/suppliers are strongly desired.
    • At least 1 year Snack Category Management (Retail or Manufacturer) is a strongly desired.


    • Deciding and Initiating Action: Makes prompt, clear decisions which may involve tough choices or considered risks; takes responsibility for actions, projects, and people; takes initiative, acts with confidence, and works under own direction; initiates and generates activity
    • Persuading and Influencing: Makes a strong personal impression on others; gains clear agreement and commitment from others by persuading, convincing, and negotiating; promotes ideas on behalf of self or others; makes effective use of political processes to influence and persuade others
    • Analyzing: Analyses numerical data, verbal data, and all other sources of information; breaks information into component parts, patterns, and relationships; probes for further information or greater understanding of the problem; makes rational judgments from the available information and analysis; produces workable solutions to a range of problems; demonstrates an understanding of how one issue may be a part of a much larger system
    • Creating and Innovating: Produces new ideas, approaches, or insights; creates innovative products or designs; produces a range of solutions to problems; seeks opportunities for organizational improvement; devises effective change initiatives


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