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Sr Category Manager, Zoro


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

Date:  Aug 28, 2021

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:
Product Line Expansion for Zoro is a core part of our strategy. We desire to have all products for all business customers so we need to continuously add new products. As a member of the Emerging categories this role plays a highly strategic role in the future of Zoro. Emerging Categories are a key contributor to our growth in both sales and category expansion. Categories that are currently considered in our Emerging group includes (but not limited to)  Vehicle Maintenance, Metalworking, Outdoor supplies, Paints/coatings/coverings, laboratory products, IT/electronics, and food service.


Category Manager’s success will be defined by unlocking the future portfolio with identification and development of new supplier relationships as well as accelerating the sales of the existing portfolio of products. We expect our Category Managers to be thought leaders, able to think big and create a scalable vision, and be able to solve problems unique to their categories to be successful. The Category Manager is responsible for suppliers and categories but in addition you will be hands-on in general management of your lines and you’ll touch many areas within Zoro. As such, you’ll need strong internal influence skills to build and maintain relationships and understand many of the inner workings of our business. Being an e-commerce company we have vast amounts of data that you’ll need to be able to digest and turn into actionable plans to manage your business. A successful candidate is a solid utility player that can both manage and grow existing business as well as business development.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Understand vertical market segments, what it takes to be successful and evaluate if/how Zoro is able to participate in the segment.
  • Demonstrate solid data analytic skills to be able to understand the drivers of your business, mine data, and create appropriate strategies.
  • Understand how and why customer use certain products including various technologies and brand differences.
  • Understand the customer needs and be an advocate for them to make sure their experience is excellent when they buy from Zoro.
  • Execute on outreach, prospecting, and selling the Zoro model to many suppliers to come on board.
  • Negotiate contracts with suppliers on a daily basis to achieve a fast launch to market with the highest level of success while managing within operational capabilities and profitability.
  • Manage supplier relationships and be able to operationalize suppliers on our platform and drive sales and profitability.
  • Drive your business with a high sense of urgency to obtain the results that we need to achieve.
  • Learn and manage all the sales levers within Zoro to engage the right ones at the right time to achieve the growth we need to achieve.
  • Lead strategic and operational initiatives on behalf of the Emerging team to drive scalable results.
  • Lead, mentor and coach other team members across the team to develop, challenge ideas and help develop other team members.
  • Demonstrat ability to understand enablements needed to unlock Emerging category sales potential, and steer organizational change to unlock growth.
  • Demonstrat mastery of Zoro business levers and how to drive not only PLE but sales across their categories.
  • Demonstrat ability to repeatedly take on new categories, find opportunities, and contribute meaningfully to Zoro success.
  • Demonstrat  Zoro Values and contributes to the positive development of the culture within our team.


  • Bachelor’s degree required. MBA or equivalent required.
  • 10 - 15 years of experience in a related field preferred.
  • Experience in distribution, online marketplaces, wholesale, e-commerce preferred.
  • Expertise in negotiating contracts and establishing new supplier relationships required.
  • Experience in any of these categories such as outdoor products, IT/Electronics, automotive, paint, metalworking, hospitality, food service, laboratory products, power transmission.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, agile environment.
  • Strong financial acumen and ability to communicate complex deal terms in a clear and compelling manner. 
  • Work requires superior written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills. 
  • Computer skills including building presentations, analyzing data, communicating information, and internet search techniques.

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 foster 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.