Tesco is appointing up to 30 new category managers to replace 12
trading directors who are to be re-deployed across the company.
The retailer is not alone in its decision. Kwik Save is introducing
category management and Safeway and Sainsbury are also considering a
Category management is not new. Many of the UK’s leading manufacturers -
including Procter & Gamble and Unilever - have already introduced a
layer of category managers. In the manufacturing context, the job
involves developing a specialist knowledge of the marketplace and then
targeting retailers to influence the dynamics of that category.
The need for the retailers to develop their own perspective has now
motivated Tesco to develop a similar management layer.
However, category management in the retail sector is actually something
of a misnomer, according to the Lloyd Group’s chief executive, David
’In the retail sector, customer management is born out of the buying and
procurement side,’ he said.
Although the job is likely to vary by company, retail category
management is generally likely to involve a variety of disciplines, from
market research to ensuring an efficient supply chain, to buying and
For marketers keen to learn new skills in the retail arena, category
management may provide a good opportunity.
While retail experience is obviously preferable in candidates for such
jobs, some recruitment consultants believe trade marketers, brand
managers and management consultants would bring relevant skills to the
’It is not designed to add a management layer but to make sure the
commercial focus of the company is more clearly defined,’ says Pakeman.
’It’s about creating a more efficient long-term relationship with
This article was first published on Marketing