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Category Manager

North East England

  • Reference: 385895
  • Job type: Permanent
  • Salary: £ Competitive + Excellent Benefits

  • Location: Newcastle upon Tyne / Remote Working

The Company:

We are pleased to be supporting one of the region's most well known brands J. Barbour & Sons in their search for a Category Manager. 

Founded in 1894 in South Shields today the 5th generation family owned business remains in the North East, with Barbour's headquarters located in Simonside, South Shields. Although it sources products from around the globe, Barbour's classic wax jackets are still manufactured by hand in the factory in Simonside and each year over 100,000 jackets are processed via the central, subsidiary and local customer service operations.

Barbour now has 10 of its own retail shops in the UK, and a presence in over 40 countries worldwide including the United States, Germany, Holland, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, New Zealand and Japan. There are now over 5,000 products across the two seasons and the collections now cater for Men, Ladies and Children.

Barbour have experienced significant growth recently and have embraced the move to a more ecommerce focused Supply Chain. Their Global Logistics Operation now involves hubs in the US and Germany as well as the main Distribution Centre in South Shields.

The Opportunity:

Reporting directly to the Supply Chain Director the objective of the role is to effectively manage the Clothing Category including (but not limited to) Jersey, Knitwear and Shirting .  You will also have direct line management responsibility for a team of two Planning Managers.

Some of the key responsibilities will be:

  • Delivering product in the required quantities, on time to the right cost, focusing upon achieving fulfilment, intake margin, cost saving targets 
  • Supplier relationship/performance management – focus upon maximising factory capacity and output, ensuring adherence to J. Barbour & Sons'  quality-, ethical- and environmental standards 
  • Management of Critical Path - Managing of end to end supply chain from initial order placement through to sourcing, customer order fulfilment and delivery into central hubs
  • Supplier audits/new supplier sourcing - Europe, Mauritius, Turkey, Asia
  • Cost control and Logistics coordination
  • Sourcing both Prototype/Digital and final Sales samples 
  • Global travel c.2-3 trips p.a. (when permissible) with Supply Chain Director


The Person:

The ideal candidate will have/be: 

  • Proven Supply Chain/Merchandising and Purchasing experience within Clothing essential 
  • Strong track record in sourcing/managing 3rd party supplier factory relationships (managing complex supply agreements, capacity planning, implementing quality-corrective action plans) 
  • Experienced in critical path management
  • Additional experience of logistics coordination and working with international shipping agents and freight forwarders beneficial
  • Creative, pro-active problem solver – excellent track record of delivery to target in challenging and ever-changing circumstances 
  • Assertive and self-sufficient, confident decision maker - accustomed to working in a fast-paced environment
  • Excellent communication and influencing skills – adept at building relationships with and managing internal/external stakeholder expectations
  • Flexible, dynamic and adaptable team player – able to react quickly to design changes/resolve unforeseen Supply Chain issues
  • Willing to travel worldwide c. 3 times p.a. (when permissible)

This is an excellent opportunity to join one of the most prestigious brands in the North East, to manage a key category area and small team in a role which offers a varied scope and autonomy, supporting ongoing growth and development upon a global basis.

Talk to a consultant about this role