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Category Program Leader

Date: Sep 10, 2021

Location: Kansas City, MO, US, 64108

Company: Hallmark

     reqid: 101483 



Come join us. You’ll add value to one of the world’s most iconic consumer brands and be part of our company with a life-affirming purpose to inspire meaningful connections. Our products, content and experiences aim to enrich all lives by making a genuine difference in every life, every day, and our business is focused on bringing the value and relevance of Diversity and Inclusion to every brand, product and person we touch.  Our overarching enterprise D&I Framework and plans demonstrate our belief and value in having a diverse and inclusive workforceHallmark’s D&I efforts will continue to represent ongoing progress and reinforce our commitment, as will our intentional focus on bringing more diverse talent into our business and onto our teams.



The Category Program Leader is responsible for leading the execution elements of initiatives and tactics of the category plans and programs. This role evaluates the performance of category plans and helps inform intervention plans, communication and training plans and future strategies. 


This includes providing the product areas with customer expertise, customer/chain analysis data and program planning and linkage support.  This position is responsible for managing and fielding specific sales requests and providing tactical direction to appropriate business partners.   The incumbent provides program planning expertise and support to the merchant, customer and sales team.  This role coordinates all necessary aspects of the selling process to the retailer(s).



People rely on us to help them connect and express their emotions through products and services that enrich lives every day. They trust that we know their needs and are focused on innovations that will allow them to enhance their relationships. We have a competitive mindset and “play to win” with our retailers and consumers. We work with courage and conviction, always seeking to adapt and learn. It is an exciting time to be in the Gift Wrap, Stationery and Boxed Cards businesses at Hallmark! 




Category Program Planning &  Execution

  • Drives the execution of all retailer programs tied to RSI plans in-store and on-line (omni-channel). Serves as the program execution link between the merchant and sales teams. 
  • Assists in building the yearly plan with program and account level details and forecasting. 
  • Responsible for tactics and execution of the category plan, program analytics,  insights, and other retail relevant business trends/news.
  • Ensures keen awareness about key dates through linkage with merchant teams.
  • Provides a customer team/retailer point of view on merchandising/shelf back strategies with specific focus on driving performance while managing costs and execution for the field/retailer. 
  • Collaborate with e2e partners on early identification of execution challenges/issues and work to resolve.
  • Responsible for developing marketing communications strategy plan and reviewing marketing communications implementation against plan.
  • Communications strategy development includes determination of appropriate marketing/selling approach that translates into relevant supporting, selling, and executional tools.
  • Executes ship tests and new product targeting.
  • Key customer contact, replying to all customer specific commercialization, partner requests and sales requests with input from cross-functional partners.
  • Assists with marketing execution including pulling samples and sku reviews.


Category Plan Development & Evaluation

  • Works with merchants and sales leads to gather key program requirements to build the best plan for retail delivery (e.g. terms of sale, program target forecasting, estimates of discards and related execution). Assists with forecasting product programs with business partners. 
  • Assists with performance and causals to performance of category plans.


Selling Process

  • Coordinates all content and samples for presentations and displays for trade shows, buyer meetings, key meetings (top to top, Atlanta).
  • Ensures all selling tools and information is input and accurate.
  • Leads execution communication to GMS/Stores/DMs to ensure execution of all programs and placement of additional opportunities.
  • Tracks bookings to goals and execution to plan to recommend interventions.


Financial Management & Forecasting

  • Assists with program performance updates if needed beyond what the centralized analytics team is providing, and other retail related/relevant business trends/news to business partners in real-time. Indicates opportunities/implications of the information on program planning and/or execution. 
  • Manages execution of Product Lifecycle strategies (e.g. markdowns).  Estimate discards and product lifecycle impacts and scenarios.


Interested? Follow the application instructions below to apply.



You must show how you meet the basic qualifications (listed below) in a resume or document you upload, or by completing the work experience and education application fields. Accepted file types are Microsoft Word (DOC or DOCX), PDF, HTML, or TXT. 


In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, Hallmark Cards, Inc. and its subsidiary companies will hire only individuals lawfully authorized to work in the United States. Hallmark does not generally provide sponsorship for employment. Employment by Hallmark is contingent upon the signing of the Employment Agreement, signing of an agreement to arbitrate in connection with the Hallmark Dispute Resolution Program, completing Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification, passing the urinalysis drug screen, education verification and satisfactory reference checks.



The following is required to be considered for this role:

  • Bachelor’s Degree or 4+ years of professional exp
  • 4+ years professional experience in Marketing,  Sales Development, Program Management, Retail Logistics, Retail & Sales program execution.
  • 1 year experience in project and change management
  • 1 year experience with integrated planning


Your resume will stand out if you have:

  •  Masters of Business Administration degree
  •  Professional work experience in:
    • strategic planning
    • customer marketing skills
    • strategic partnering
    • influencing and collaboration
    • creative problem solving
    • strong communication skills
    • high ambuigity and resourcefulness





At Hallmark, we help people feel connected to what matters. That’s true of our employees, just as it is our consumers. Providing benefits that support the lives and wellbeing of Hallmarkers is among the most important investments the company makes.

Hallmark benefits are designed to give you choices. Wherever you are in life, we want you to find the benefits that are right for you and your loved ones. Explore the Hallmark Benefits Guide to learn more.

Hallmark is an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, pregnancy, national origin, physical or mental disability, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or any other legally-protected status.  Principals only please.


Nearest Major Market: Kansas City

Job Segment: Category Manager, Merchandising, Retail Sales, Marketing Communications, Communications, Retail, Marketing