Associate Category Manager

August 25, 2021
Irving, TX
Job Type


Support Center - Irving

We're here for the Makers! Come be a part of the team where innovation and teamwork come together to support the most exciting missions in the world!

Michaels is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are here for all Team Members and all Makers to create, innovate and be better together.

Under the direction of a Category Manager, an Associate Category Manager is responsible for maintaining the departmental advertising process, preparing advertising sales projections, supporting inventory plans to meet sales projections, setting up test vendors and items, and vendor support. Additional responsibilities may include analyzing test results and recommending future plans, setting up new vendors and SKU’s, reviewing plan-o-gram productivity and producing productive plan-o-grams. Recommending new product, product for discontinuation, and the negotiation of markdown money, returns, etc. with vendors, attending and participating at trade shows.

Major Activities

Plan-o-gram (POG):

  • Set POG for Category Manager approval (work with Category Administrative Associate).
  • Review current POG results (by reviewing sales, margin, turn, etc.).
  • Communicate the POG process to Vendors.
  • Collect Vendor Samples for POG.
  • Document POG changes in item master file.
  • Proof the drawn POG.
  • Conduct user testing of POG changes in Framer’ Point system.
  • Monitor the POG calendar.
  • Maintain complete and current sample sets and product labeling in POG room.

Administrative processes that support buying process:

  • Complete and expedite paperwork necessary to support buying process.
  • Track data such as sales figures and vendor information.
  • Respond to customer and store requests.
  • Resolve database issues.


  • Prepare advertising sales projections by reviewing sales history, last year ad results and the ad matrix.
  • Proof and load promotional offers in Framer’s Point system.
  • Proof and load promotional offers in PPA system.
  • Proof Ads.
  • Select items for promotion based on analysis of business.
  • Design, order and coordinate ad samples for Advertising.


  • Cultivate the relationship with vendors to ensure good communication.
  • Negotiate markdown money, returns, etc. with vendors with guidance from Category Manager.
  • Insure information is correct on Vendor Connect.
  • Facilitate the semi-annual meeting with vendors to review their products’ success (Michaels “Vendor Line Review” meetings).
  • Negotiate master pack/inner pack changes.
  • Draft Entitlements Contract for Vendor Conference using information provided by Category Manager.

Merchandise Category Management:

  • Conduct independent analysis and determine the best course of action to rectify low sales.
  • Draft mark-up, calculate margin and draft mark-downs.
  • Recommend items to discontinue (based on SKU analysis, sales analysis, partnership with planning department, etc.).
  • Conduct market research to help support business plan behind Plan-o-gram (read trade magazines, attend trade shows, shop competitors in category).
  • Attend Trade Shows as required.
  • Provide analysis in preparation for Quarterly Business Reviews.

Inventory Management:

  • Provide tactical level of operational support by reviewing inventory levels and making decisions to improve quality of inventory.
  • Partner with Category Manager and Sr CMP on inventory levels by making decisions that drive sales.
  • Initialize replenishment and determine forecasts for new items.
  • Determine and recommend when to mark down merchandise.

Other Responsibilities:

  • Produce product samples and item information to support B2B opportunities.
  • Other duties as assigned

Minimum Education 

  • Bachelor’s degree 

Minimum Special Certifications or technical skills

  • Microsoft Office literate, especially Excel. Planning system skills preferred

Minimum Type of experience the job requires  

  • 2-3 years minimum experience in a retail corporate environment required
  • Working knowledge of total category management process
  • Ability to draft mark-up, calculate margin and draft mark-downs (i.e. - knowledge of retail math)

Preferred Education  

  • Degree in Merchandising

Preferred Type of experience the job requires 

  • Retail operations experience 
  • Must be able to lift up to 25 lbs

Applicants in the U.S. and Canada must satisfy federal, state, provincial and local legal requirements of the job.

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