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David Winter

Innovative Category Management Professional


Business executive who draws off of over 20 years of experience senior level category management in commercial and retail. Expert in category management, product development,  sourcing, budgeting, and inventory planning/replenishment in various industries from office supplies to technology to footwear.   Decades of experience working in major sales channels including retail, e-commerce, catalog, and business to business.  

  • Deep understanding of retail inventory values, including all related costs
  • Decades of experience managing, planning, buying, and selling inventory for commercial and retail channels.
  • Substantial history of product development with manufacturers, including in Asia
  • Developed successful product ideas based on research of existing category performance, as well as overall market and customer research.
  • Worked with design, engineering teams, and manufacturers to bring ideas to life.
  • Ultimate decision maker on product design, color, functionality, including packaging
  • Last product developed generated an incremental $6 million in sales at a 72% margin rate
  • Extensive experience developing product strategies and successfully executing against annual budgets
  • Developed a divisional seasonal strategy for a $500 million sales segment (50% margin)  which at the time was a record
  • Consistently achieved budgeted sales and margin for categories ranging from $200 million to $300 million in annual sales
  • Developed and marketed new product categories, based on emerging trends or assortment caps
  • Developed new product categories such as digital fitness through careful study of market and new technology developments
  • Launched new products through online, catalog, and television marketing vehicles, as well as working with PR for inexpensive television exposure (such as talk shows and events in major metropolitan areas)
  • Over 20 years of experience building sales, promotional plans, and co-developing products directly with manufacturers and distributors
  • History of successfully building coalitions within the organization to affect significant change at the highest levels of management
  • Created new pricing strategies for division that helped increased margin by 3 bps, through extensive research, data collection, and analysis of competition . Included analysis in competitor stores, catalogs, and eCommerce sites
  • Worked closely with commercial sales teams to develop strategies for acquiring customers, growing existing customer base, and maintaining accounts during bid processes.
  • Expert negotiator - extensive experience negotiating pricing, promotional programs, and global contracts for multiple retail and commercial channels
  • Achieved average annual cost reductions of 1% through contract negotiation. Annual savings in ranges from $5 to $10 million
  • Strong presentation and communication skills, both written and verbal. Years of experience of direct communication with “C” level executives, both internal and external.

Work experience

Mar 2013Nov 2015

Valuation Director

Hilco Global

Conducted face-to-face interviews with senior management teams, performed industry research, conducted site visits, and analyzed data to produce business asset appraisals for various clients, including asset-based lenders, commercial banks, investment banks, private equity groups, and for companies seeking ABL financing.

  • Met with company management to discuss and understand company’s operations and performance
  • Analyzed company inventory data as to its composition, age, and cost and pricing for the purpose of arriving at an appraised value
  • Viewed a representation of the company’s inventory and operations
  • Developed written reports of observations in the field and valuation methods and findings
Mar 2012Jan 2013

Merchandising Director


Managed key health and wellness categories, including massage, personal care, fitness, and home environment categories (fans/humidifiers/air cleaners) for retail, catalog, and online channels. Responsibilities included achieving budgeted financial goals for sales and margin, new product development and launch, promotion, markdown, catalog production, web merchandising, retail display.  Full scale product development and launch that included:

  • Market research/assessment/costing
  • Design/material/component/program/function selection
  • Package design and development
  • Product development schedule creation, tracking, and executing against milestones
  • Development of comprehensive launch plans that included placement, signage, video, demo, associate training, sales incentives and contests, catalog, web placement, and wholesale sales plans
Oct 2010Feb 2012

Independent Consultant

Independent Consultant - Self Employed

  • Provided assortment rationalization, pricing, packaging recommendations, and strategy development

    • Comprehensive consulting included both e-commerce and traditional brick and mortar analysis and recommendation
    • Full competitive analysis provided (brand and retailers)
    • Worked with manufacturers and manufacturers representatives to develop new presentation, packaging and pricing strategies

Jul 2008Oct 2010

Director/DMM Contract and Commercial Merchandising


Responsible for managing the Office Supplies Division for Contract Category Management team with over $2 Billion in sales

  • Selected as a founding member of the senior leadership team of Contract Merchandising
  • Key member of team responsible for overhauling e-commerce site for Contract customers
  • Successfully integrated the category management function as part of the multi-billion dollar Corporate Express acquisition
  • Led the efforts to create a new process to develop an annual catalog that cut production time in half
  • Developed new promotions and vehicles to grow incremental sales and margin with mid-market customers
  • Created strategies and negotiated incremental funding to assist sales in account acquisition
  • Developed successful new methods to increase penetration of product categories within existing customer base
  • Successfully integrated the category management function as part of the multi-billion dollar Corporate Express acquisition
  • Collaborated with Accounting, Pricing, Sales, and IT teams to create a process to maintain consistency across two platforms
Jun 1999Jul 2008

Senior Buyer/Category Manager


Responsible for achieving sales, margin, and inventory goals for various categories including pads and notebooks, filing, desktop stationery, computers, monitors, and writing instruments

  • Developed and implemented comprehensive strategic plans to drive sales and improve profitability through new product introduction, creative promotional plans, off-shelf planning, planogram development, mix strategy and marketing plans
  • Analyzed customer information, market size, and industry growth to appropriately focus available resources
  • Developed and implemented annual advertising plans
  • Collaborated with Delivery Category Managers to develop assortments and promotional plans for both catalog and on-line businesses
  • Managed product specialists, maximizing their contributions while developing the skills they needed to achieve their goals
  • Developed strong internal relationships with cross functional groups, including planning and replenishment, marketing/advertising, store operations, planogram, and Staples Brands Group
  • Collaborated with Staples Brand Group team to develop and launch new products
  • Negotiated Global contracts and successfully improved programs for all business units
  • Frequently called upon to be a member of internal cross functional task forces
  • Participated in the Staples Management Training Program
Jul 1997Jun 1999

Senior Inventory Analyst


Responsible for product planning and replenishment of both warehouses and stores to achieve stated service level goals

  • Collaborated with buyers to create seasonal and circular ad plans
  • Created ladder planning sheets and processes that were adopted by entire supplies team
  • Communicated with store operators on a regular basis, including GM's, DM's, and RVP's
  • Frequently trained new inventory analysts
Jul 1996Jul 1997


BJ's Wholesale Club

Responsible for planning and replenishment of sporting goods and luggage categories

  • Worked with buyer to develop new product programs and negotiated promotional funding
May 1994Jul 1996


Thom McAn Footwear

Responsible for product allocation and regional product selection

  • Communicated with store operators to address regional needs


Sep 1991May 1997

Business Administration

Worcester State Coller

General studies, majoring in business administration with a focus on marketing