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Associate Category Manager, Zoro 1


BUFFALO GROVE, IL, US, 60089-4525 CHICAGO, IL, US, 60603-4013

Date:  Aug 6, 2022

Company Summary: is an eCommerce company that sells business supplies, equipment, and tools—but we’re much more than just a website. We’re a team of people who win and lose together (we prefer winning!). Since 2011, Zoro has been working hard to make it easy for our customers to purchase everything they need to make their businesses go. Zoro currently offers over 6 million products, fast and free shipping, no-hassle returns, and exceptional customer service. We’ve grown quickly in a short time, recently surpassing 450 team members and reaching annual revenue of over $600 million. Add to that our award-winning culture—we were named a Great Place to Work for 2019-21, among other accolades—and we think Zoro is a pretty amazing place to work and grow.


Primary Function:
The Associate Category Manager partners with the Category Managers in implementing product line expansion tactics and/or leads product lines that align with our company strategy of an endless assortment for our customers and providing them the best experience possible in content, products, and delivery. This position will work in a team environment with a focus on developing insights, identifying opportunities and communicating recommendations to lead future industry growth to our internal partners and external suppliers. In addition, they will drive and support activities that help Zoro sell more products and manage cost and profitability. Provide our customers the most attractive and profitable product offering in the industry. The Associate Category Manager will execute reporting and analysis to support the team and assigned product categories to inform on category and supplier performance, collaborate closely with cross-functional partners throughout the business, and participate in all aspects of supplier relationship management. The Associate Category Manager will be a key liaison with internal partners to help drive customer experience and sales performance.


Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Partner with the Category Managers (CM’s) on management of supplier relationships
  • Develop and grow existing supplier relationships through driving mutually beneficial strategies including assortment expansion, content enrichment, and lead time improvement
  • Work with suppliers to acquire comprehensive product information including product specifications, product images and additional product content (e.g. videos).  This effort will require partnership with the PIM and Supplier Content organization as well as direct supplier interaction
  • Participate in meetings and negotiations with existing and new suppliers. This includes securing the terms of supplier contracts and setting expectations for the onboarding process and ongoing partnership
  • Manage and update reports regarding new suppliers, SKU productivity, sales performance, and assortment gaps
  • Continually and proactively monitor the financial performance of categories and suppliers to measure against the category product strategies and KPI’s to ensure we are providing an awesome customer experience
  • Analyze our supplier, brand, and SKU performance, promotional programs and identify opportunities for improvement and expansion
  • Communicate Supplier and Brand revenue and profitability information (based on the above analysis) to our CMs, and as needed to our Leadership teams so that their own assortment decisions maximize sales and profit
  • Closely collaborate with the Pricing Team to ensure product pricing strategies are implemented consistently and are in alignment with the overall Zoro pricing strategies, as well as gather supplier MSRP and MAP pricing as needed and manage any pricing violations.
  • Collaborate with the Direct Marketing and Promotions organization to align on relevant strategies including supplier funded marketing and hot buy process.
  • Partner with Category Managers in identifying new supplier relationships through market research, trade show attendance and collaboration with the Business Development team
  • Become a subject matter expert with our reporting systems
  • Complete ad-hoc requests and special projects in a timely and accurate fashion
  • Collaborate with cross functional teams including Supply Chain, Pricing, Marketing and Digital Merchandising as needed on projects



  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • 3-5 years of experience in a related field is preferred.
  • Experience in distribution, online marketplaces, wholesale, e-commerce preferred.
  • Category experience is preferred but not required in any of these categories: Electrical/Lighting, Plumbing, Hand/Power Tools, Safety/PPE, Janitorial/Cleaning Supplies, Office, Packing Supplies, Furniture, Storage and Shelving.  
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, agile environment.
  • Strong analytical and creative problem solving skills
  • Strong written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills. 
  • Experience analyzing data, building presentations and communicating effectively through data.


Zoro Values and Inclusive Culture:  We share a commitment to our Zoro values – Win & Lose Together (We prefer winning!), Take Ownership, We Are Transparent, and Aspire to be Customer-Obsessed. Everything we do at Zoro is centered around delighting our customers. It's a natural extension of our company culture and how we care for each other. We believe when we act in ways that are consistent with these values, we can solve any technical challenge that lies ahead of us. As a Zoro employee, you can expect to work with smart, energetic people, learn something every day, and be valued for your perspective.

Zoro is dedicated to fostering an environment where people of all backgrounds and beliefs are represented, and all team members can be confident that their experiences and perspectives are valued. Zoro aims to empower all employees to learn about, raise awareness, and promote diversity and inclusion through all of our workplace interactions.


Zoro is an Equal Opportunity Workplace and an Affirmative Action Employer.
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.