Sainsbury's Bank

Head of Category Planning - Food for Later


Holborn Store Support Centre



Contract Type

9 Month Fixed Term Contract


Competitive plus benefits

Areas of business


Job ID


Google Map of 33+Holborn,+London,+Holborn+Store+Support+Centre,+EC1N+2HT

Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd, 33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT

Job Description

Food for Later (FFL) sits at the heart of our Sainsbury’s Food First strategy and the Head of Category Planning is critical to the ongoing success of both FFL and the overall Fresh business. You will be the custodian of our customer offer – it is through your thinking and leadership that we will continue to step on our proposition, challenge ourselves to continually improve, and land change to ensure the category is fit for the future.  

The Head of Category Planning is a pivotal role within the category leadership team. You will be a proven leader, able to recruit, coach and develop a high-performing team. You will lead the team through long-term vision, short-term annual goals and tactical strategies. The role has line management responsibility for 8 colleagues, directly and indirectly across both category planning and ranging. You will work alongside category planners, range analysts, buyers, supply chain, development, technical and agricultural colleagues. It is both a multi-functional and a cross-functional leadership role. 

The successful candidate will be forward-thinking, insightful, with a commercial mind-set. You’ll have strong project management skills and a highly organised approach. Your first thought will always be the customer, and your can-do approach will help move things at pace, with a proven track record of both data-led decision-making and great intuition. Your central role to our plan means that you will need to have excellent influencing skills and a very adaptable style, to support making things happen for the category and for Fresh.

As a Head of Category Planning you’ll:

  • Lead the category planning and ranging team to successfully implement the FFL category and customer plan, delivering a market-leading performance
  • Evolve and iterate the FFL value strategy, our secondary space approach, our range and merchandising strategy and our promotional plan
  • Ensure day-to-day excellence of all FFL activity landing in store
  • Lead the category ABC process, ensuring resource for key projects and that project outcomes and PIRs are embedded in future thinking
  • Proactively participate in strategic developments that impact the category by managing and/or leading elements of the category plan
  • Lead the range agenda for the category through your team of Range Analysts and Merchandisers, ensuring the calendar activity drives relevant ranges and meets the needs of our customers
  • Through your team, plan and optimise our secondary space to maximise effectiveness and relevancy to our strategy
  • Ensure relentless focus on activating our products, plans and sourcing credentials, both through events and day-to-day
  • Work closely with other stakeholders (e.g. Retail, Commercial Operations, Marketing) to deliver category activities and drive the FFL plan through others
  • Take ownership of key strategic workstreams at a BU level and through others, deliver the desired outcomes
  • Develop and coach a high-performing team, underpinned by clear and measurable objectives and a succession plan

Our Food For Later would love to see: 

  • Strong commercial business acumen in Fresh and/or Grocery Trading
  • Experience in a commercial leadership role
  • Experience in project management, ranging or category planning & strategy preferred
  • Ability to develop short to long term strategic plans
  • Experience of setting clear objectives for your team: lead, support and coach them in delivering these objectives, and to build strong relationships across other functions to create a single high-performing team
  • Best in class communication skills – verbal and written – you must be able to make the complex simple
  • Sound and confident judgement
  • Ability to build strong relationships including engaging and influencing key stakeholders
  • Genuine adaptability and ability to manage ambiguity
  • Resilience in the face of pressure and setbacks, ability to bounce back and continue to motivate yourself and your team
  • Supermarket retail knowledge desirable but not a requirement

Why Sainsbury’s?

Work-life balance is important to us, so we offer our colleagues as much flexibility as possible in line with the needs of their role. We trust them to decide how, where and when they work, combining remote and collaborative working with a flexible approach to hours, giving them plenty of time and space for life outside of work whilst delivering against our business goals.

As well as a great work-life balance, lots of on-the-job training and endless opportunities, click here for more detail on our benefits:

Please note this is a 9 month fixed term opportunity