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Senior Manager, Product Development in Grapevine, TX at ThinkGeek

Date Posted: 1/10/2019

Job Snapshot

Job Description



Working independently and strategically, the Senior Manager Product Development is responsible for driving the vision of our unique product line and possesses the ability to passionately articulate this product vision within the GameStop and ThinkGeek organizations. This role will lead product development for assigned categories while driving the vision set by the merchandising team.  Blending marketing and consumer demand information, financial acumen, innate product development skills, and creativity, the role will lead the identification and creation processes of GameStop and ThinkGeek multichannel proprietary product lines and assortments. This position requires exercising independent judgment and advanced critical thinking skills to perform the responsibilities described herein.

Basic Function:
This position is to support the company's strategic initiative to grow Private Brand (PB) Product and PB sales.   The associate plays a significant role in supporting the Merchandising team in driving the process and leading the team to successfully execute the strategies and achieve the financial goals established by the Company for assigned product categories.

Primary Responsibilities:
The Sr. Product Development Manager drives the execution of the Private Brand and Licensing initiative by supporting the Sr. Director of Business Development.  The primary goal is to reduce the cost of goods sold by driving increases in direct sourcing, private brands and spurring innovation.  This role is responsible for the overall management of product development from project planning to delivery of product and will work closely with the merchant team.

  • Develop and maintain vendor relationships that support category needs to provide the best "cost" and "value" equation.
  • Some international travel may be required to work with global vendor and agent network.
  • Works closely with sourcing on cost negotiations, production, on-time shipments and overall execution for assigned product categories. 
  • Accountable for meeting target product costs specified by the Product Development Brief while maintaining quality standards.

Project Management

  • Partner closely with the Sr. Director Business Development to develop the product road map and provide financials, feasibility, timelines, resources, and consumer insights that will form the basis of essential product features.
  • Manage the overall project timeline, lead weekly cross-functional team meetings, identify risks that may affect the timeline and lead efforts to mitigate risks.  Communicate the project status to all cross-functional team members.
  • Drive and manage communications between all internal and external stakeholders including Merchandising, Marketing, Finance, Supply Chain, Agents, Vendors, Legal and Inventory Management.  Serve as the everyday link between the Category Director and our Strategic Sourcing team (packaging, QA, Design) by synergizing all the external and internal resources to develop products.
  • Create and maintain all documents, processes and meetings related to the product development process

Product Development and Private Brand

  • Develop product solutions in support of the Merchandising direction and ensure that the Company's goals of product innovation and quality are achieved.
  • Have an active understanding of the market and consumer insights and drives freshness and uniqueness into the product offering.
  • Lead product ideation sessions, competitive shops, and identify product opportunities.
  • Partner closely with the design and factory team to develop innovative and exclusive products that drive Private Brand product sales and meet margin targets.
  • Support all processes to build quality into product and to support long term growth by partnering with the Sourcing & QA department.
  • Manage ongoing maintenance of existing products, including the execution of quality improvements, packaging changes, changes in design, appearance or origin and changes in status under the direction of the Category Director.
  • Partner with the Packaging Team to ensure key features and benefits of the products are identified

Category Knowledge

  • Understand assigned category including sales, competition, marketing, and product offerings.
  • Identify and communicate all sales, margin, and marketing opportunities for Private Brand products.
  • Monitor all Private Brand product performance based on sales, margin and sell-through.


•         Through thoughtful leadership and management of an experienced cross-functional product development team, drives creativity to maintain a fresh and current approach to product research, design/redesign, and development and support the ThinkGeek and Gamestop strategic brand and category goals

•         Evaluates the potential and practicality of products in development and relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals

•         Actively partner with cross-functional teams from marketing, manufacturing, wholesale, merchandising, operations, and executive management

•         Lead imaginative processes of origination of new and redesigned products in concert with customer needs and a varied business model that includes both direct to consumer and various wholesale channels

•         Create process to identify and link popular trending topics to product ideation

•         Monitors full product development cycle in assigned category from initial design concept through design approvals.  This requires close collaboration with internal and external business partners and stakeholders

•         Guide the selection of effective design concepts and fundamental technology used for new products or improvement for existing products

•         Develop, implement and lead an effective and efficient product development lifecycle as well as manage key projects, processes and performance reports, data and analysis

•         Develop methods and procedures for monitoring projects such as preparation of records of expenditures and research findings, progress reports, and staff conferences, in order to inform management of current status of each project

•         Demonstrate expert vendor management through effective contract negotiation and management

•         Plan and formulate aspects of research and development proposals such as objective or purpose of project, applications that can be utilized from findings, costs of project, and equipment and human resource requirements


•         Building Strategic Trusting Relationships- Using appropriate interpersonal styles to establish effective relationships with customers and internal partners; interacting with others in a way that promotes openness and trust and gives them confidence in one’s intentions

•         Negotiation – Effectively explores alternatives and positions to reach outcomes that gain the support and acceptance of all parties.

•         Planning and Organizing – Establishes courses of action for self and others to ensure that work is completed efficiently and according to schedule.

•         Minimizing Complexity- Formulating workable solutions to complex challenges; logically deliberating on courses of action by examining and challenging assumptions, discerning hidden value, objectively evaluating evidence, and assessing conclusions

•         Emotional Intelligence -  Leveraging high levels of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management, the capacity to manage behavior, navigate social complexities and make personal decisions to achieve positive results


•         Accredited Bachelor of Science Degree

•         8+ years in licensing & development of consumer goods products to include managing budgets, short and long term strategic plan development and execution

•         8+ years and proven track record of leading and developing, and managing successful product research & development teams and individuals

•         Candidates with experience in the toy and collectable market preferred

•         Familiarity with the nuance of developing licensed products preferred

•         Ability to travel domestically and internationally as needed


•         Ability to understand and apply expert knowledge of the business strategy, including the critical business nature of our collectibles business and the vital need for global, diversified product diversification and growth

•         Expert ability to organize financial data from multiple sources to identify critical business issues underlying financial trends; articulates the implications of financial trends for own business unit and the broader organization; uses financial data to guide strategic and operational decision making

•         Expert ability to leverage high levels of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management, capacity to manage behavior, navigate social complexities and make personal decisions to achieve positive results

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