Retail Category Manager - Haven

Haven, part of the UK’s largest holiday provider Bourne Leisure, are currently looking for a commercially astute and personable Category Manager to optimise sales performance, minimise stock risk & maximise margin potential across all of the shops in our estate. This is a really exciting role where no two days are the same. Based in our Hemel Hempstead office, you will be encouraged to spend time on park with the teams you’re supporting to build some great relationships as well as getting to the heart of the Haven experience.

We operate 37 award winning, family-focused caravan parks around the British coastline and have in excess of 34,000 caravan pitches, making us the largest operator of caravan parks in the UK.
Our 23,500 holiday home owners and our 2.5 million holiday guests come to Haven each year to enjoy ‘a breath of fresh air’ experience at the seaside away from daily life and look forward to spending quality family time together.

We describe our team members, at all levels, as 'bright and breezy' people and you will need to have the right attitude for consistently living by dare to care, yes I can, keep it simple, make it fun and do the right thing for our guests. As a team we have a passion for ensuring that our Holiday Home Owners and Holiday Customers have the very best experience with us. 

All our Team Members aim to deliver this at all times, enjoying working in a busy, fast paced, fun and challenging environment.

As Retail Category Manager I am responsible for:

All Non-Grocery & Gifting categories within our on-site supermarkets, fun shops and swim shops

Category & Supplier Management

•Supplier management: building relationships with suppliers to ensure they are aligned  to our buying strategy and are performing consistently, evaluating new sources of  supply and establishing processes and KPIs
•Negotiation with suppliers on cost prices, rebates and service terms
•Full category analysis and strategy 
•Range selection and management; ensuring our ranges reflect customer requirements and  expectations
•General maintenance of the range; additions, deletions, price changes
•Analysing past sales figures/trends to anticipate and forecast future product needs
•Assess product performance and drive commercial actions through regular trade  analysis

NPD and Bespoke

•Ownership of New Product Development and growth of bespoke products and ranges from  concept to launch
•Work with bespoke supplier to ensure products fall within required quality standard,  margin requirements and launch timings – this may require some travel to China
•Forecasting of all bespoke products, and analysis for ranging by park
•Monitoring and communicating stock movement; consider markdowns, promotions or  clearance
•Overseeing allocations process - orders to each outlet throughout the season
•Identify opportunities to improve retail experience and project manage shop  refurbishments

Supporting Park Teams

•Ensuring that our park teams have all the tools they need to maximise sales and give  our customers a great retail experience while on our parks
•Building relationships with our park teams and conducting park visits
•Writing and delivering presentations to park teams – predominantly range/supplier  changes and merchandising 
•Manage all communications between Hemel Support and park teams 

Ad Hoc & Projects

•Maintaining the accuracy & integrity of the information provided to internal  departments and external suppliers
•Initiate and support with ad hoc development projects & trials
•Use the retail proposition to generate engagement with our customers through all  channels 

As Retail Category Manager I will have the following attributes

•High levels of attention to detail and accuracy, even in situations with short time  frames
•Able to build strong working relationships with all team members, both at Hemel and  on the parks
•Behave with integrity and can be trusted at all times 
•A self-starter: learns through ‘experience’ and is resourceful and inquisitive
•Super organised – with 37 parks to support and co-ordinate an ability to create order  and structure is essential
•Able to drive – this role involves getting out to park to experience what we’re all  about, as well as building some great relationships with our park teams
•Able to travel internationally when needed – this role requires some travel to China  with our bespoke supplier, and also may require travel for trade shows
•Strong communication skills – both written and verbal 
•Strong time management: good at managing own time and priorities to achieve business  goals
•Commercial awareness: a good understanding of the market place, the customer and the  economy to enable you to make informed decisions
•Able to communicate with and influence park teams, other internal teams, suppliers  and senior management
•Resilient under pressure: things can change very quickly and you will need to meet  deadlines and make sound decisions

Measures of success: 

•Hit all milestones on retail critical path 
•Margin improvements, supplier SLA improvements and rebate growth 
•High level of customer and park team satisfaction
•Stock in the right place at the right time
•Good relationships with suppliers and team members alike



•Proven retail category management experience
•Supplier management experience
•Negotiation experience/training
•High level numeracy skills with intermediate to advanced Excel skills
•Experience of data analysis and insights, and using these to report on trade, and  form long-term strategies
•Excellent oral and written communication skills
•Project management or critical path management experience 

Highly Desirable 

•New product development experience
•A confident presenter – presenting to teams of 30-60 people
•Knowledge of retail operations, logistics and processes

The benefits of working with us:
•Competitive salary and discretionary bonus scheme
•20% team member discount across Haven holidays, Warner Leisure Hotels and Butlin's  for you, your family and friends
•22 days annual leave rising to 25 days after 2 years’ service
•Government pension scheme and optional salary sacrifice scheme
•Reward and recognition schemes including long service
•Our online discount scheme (MyBourneHub) with loads of great deals

Externally recognised qualifications that will give you the opportunity to progress and develop within Bourne Leisure

Bourne Leisure Head Office


1 Park Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Herts HP2 4YL GBR



Employment Status


Employment Type


Effective Date

4 September 2019

Expiration Date

25 September 2019