Job description: Category manager

Category managers are integral to the development and success of a product or service. It is their job to manage the product category or range and be responsible for the pricing and overall promotion of that product or service. 

Job description: Category Manager

Ultimately, a category manager must have extensive experience in understanding consumer needs and the retail environment. They must possess a commercial mindset and full comprehension of marketing and sales principles. Exceptional communication skills are also key for category managers.

In this article, we explore the key responsibilities, skills and personal qualities of a category manager as well as salary expectations.

What are the category manager’s responsibilities?

A category manager’s goal is to increase the sales and profitability of a business to drive sustainable growth, as such, responsibilities may include:

  • Analysing data or insights to determine industry and consumer trends regarding the product and category
  • Creating and developing a strategic long term plan for the development of the category
  • Developing an exit strategy for unsuccessful products
  • Overseeing a team of analysts and other support staff
  • Building and driving relationships with key vendors to improve pricing and quality of services
  • Becoming a leader in category ranging, pricing and promotions across channels
  • Placing appropriate orders to ensure product availability meets demand
  • Leading category management projects to optimise ranges and related merchandising
  • Collaborating with buyers and merchandisers to expand product categories
  • Creating forecasts for product demand to ensure sustainability of inventory
  • Managing budget development and revenue for the category
  • Developing strong working relationships with buying, marketing and merchandising teams

What salary can you expect as a category manager?

The role of a category manager can be broad and the seniority of the role is different depending on the company, industry or sector. Therefore, salaries for category managers can range from £28,000 - 58,000 in the UK. The average salary is £41,063.

Find a category manager position today

What personal qualities and skills are required of a category manager?

A key part of a category manager’s role is to build relationships both internally and externally meaning good communication is a crucial skill to have. Here we explore the other personal qualities and skills required:

  • Previous experience in category management is a plus
  • Strong knowledge of category management, marketing and sales principles
  • Ability to analyse and develop accurate conclusions to support category decisions based on key data
  • An understanding of the market and consumer insights and trends
  • Strong people management and persuasion skills to manage and influence at all levels of the company
  • An analytical mind with strategic ability
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Proficient in MS Office
  • Good understanding of numeracy

What qualifications does a category manager require?

A category manager does not necessarily require any particular qualifications but a degree in business administration, marketing or another related field could be beneficial in your job search.

Completion of a qualification with the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) could also help advance your career and set you above the competition. Learn more about the qualifications available here.

Ready to start your job hunt? Search the latest category manager jobs now.

Or are you looking to hire a category manager into your team? Get in touch on 020 8267 5805 or email

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