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One of the coolest Chicago ecommerce jobs around!

HARRY’S COMMENTS: We are proud to be working with Wilton Brands in their search for a world-class Ecommerce Manager, Pure Play eTailers based in metro Chicago, home of the World Champion Chicago Cubs.

Wilton Brands is the craft and celebration leader where great people deliver innovative products and inspire creativity in everyone, everywhere, every day. Its products are sold under some of the industry’s most respected brands such as Wilton, EK Success, K&Company, Jolee’s and through licensing arrangements with Disney, Marvel, Nickelodeon, Sesame Street, Warner Brothers and American Girl Crafts.

Wilton holds the number one position in cake decorating and bakeware, as well as in numerous arts and crafts categories such as scrapbooking, card-making materials, needlecraft, paint-by-number and rubber stamping. They are some of the most rabid consumer subcultures known to marketers.

Currently Wilton is headquartered in Woodridge, Illinois, but soon it will relocate to its new headquarters in the tony Chicago suburb of Naperville.

Each division within Wilton Brands is known worldwide as a market leader in its specialty business. In 2013, Wilton expanded its brand portfolio with the acquisition of Simplicity Creative Group, one of America’s top players in the craft, sewing, knitting, hobby and home decorating categories. Meanwhile, Wilton continues to offer the industry´s most comprehensive selection of baking, cake decorating, candy and cookie making, party, seasonal, and kitchen products.

Currently, Wilton Brands is very active on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.

Imagine having tons of world class content to work with …

For the past 85 years, The Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionery Art has educated thousands of students a year who have come from more than 125 countries and all 50 states. In addition, the firm’s Educational Marketing program, with more than 3,000 teachers worldwide, teaches hundreds of thousands of students the art of cake decorating each year. Sweet!

About the Market

Given that Wilton Brands has a presence in so many different categories, it’s a tough to nail down the exact size of these markets. What I can tell you from FIRST HAND experience is that these niches (baking, paper crafting, sewing, rubber tamping) are passionate to the point of INSANE about their interests.
When I first hired my sister, Susanna in 2006 (she departed in 2012), she ran an online community on the Ning platform called Paper Craft Planet.

She was a stamper. It was a labor of love.

Paper Craft Planet was an online community that allowed paper crafters and rubber stampers to share video, photo, blog and Twitter content. At its peak, PCP had 35,000 members from around the globe — contributing designs, insights, and encouragement to each other around the clock. It was nuts.
As an online marketer, I was smitten.

At one point in 2012, I seriously considered shelling out $50K for the domain which was getting 135K monthly searches worldwide and 10K searches per month in America. I just loved the energy of the crafting community, and I still own the domains,, and — even though I’ve never sewed, baked, or crafted anything in my whole life.

That’s how much I love this space.

This role is a pure play eTail business development role that spearheads a multi-million dollar portfolio across both the Wilton and Simplicity divisions. It’s not a small business. It’s one of the top five businesses in the company.

Wilton is an 85-year-old company in startup mode.

The company has a very clear strategic direction regarding what it wants to be — and how soon. Now more than ever, Wilton is using consumer insights to drive the business. The company is starting fresh in ecommerce, and this is a great opportunity for someone who wants to expand their skill set and take pride in building a business from the ground up.

Wilton is extremely insights driven, and you’ll use all kinds of data to inform which products, content, and promotional strategies you will use to build the business.

Initially, you’ll have two Associate Managers reporting to you, and you will be tasked with helping them get traction with their internal and external stakeholders (Logistics, Finance, Planning, Forecasting, Creative, Content, and more). As the business grows, you will be building out an ecommerce team of business oriented, analytically biased, adaptable A-players who know how to solve problems in simple, resource-friendly ways.

BIG PICTURE thinking is required to make the most of this ecommerce job.

Amazon sold roughly $7 billion worth of housewares products alone to U.S. consumers last year—a 33% jump from 2015. According to OneClick Research, the housewares category alone contributed to 15% of Amazon’s sales growth last year.

Ecommerce is one of the most promising growth engines for Wilton Brands, and as its quarterback, you will be in the center of it all.

Your job is to grow the business PROFITABLY, to rationalize the portfolio and find opportunity gaps in the portfolio. Your job is to build a plan and flex the plan and GROW. Your scope will include customers that have different business models, so it’s essential that your growth plan leverage the unique aspects of those different models.

We’ll look to you to bring a sense of urgency to the business. Internally and externally, we expect you to be a firm champion of the business while putting the customer first. You’ll need to balance that with strategic thinking, because this is a business that changes every day. How can you take high-level strategic guidance for e-commerce and translated into a growth plan that’s right for the overall business?

This is not a job for a rookie. You’ll need to understand logistics, supply chain, inventory management, planning, forecasting, large account management, strategy, and more. We need a business person in this role.

You’ll need to initiate new directions, new programs, action plans and more. Most of the product is manufactured in China, and traditionally, lead times have been months long. Obviously, that doesn’t work for Amazon. Wilton’s seasonal business is very complex, but Amazon doesn’t want to hear about that.
Your job is to run this business profitably, in reality based, brand accretive ways.

Advanced skills in PowerPoint and Excel are required.

As always, we have a massive amount of proprietary intel to share with qualified candidates. Our industry research for this assignment exceeds 100 pages! Be sure to TEXT Kelley Newsome for this info at (423) 748-0660.

Or simply use the email link when you apply for the role below.

View Harry Joiner's LinkedIn profileView Harry Joiner’s profile

Key Responsibilities:

  • Develop channel-specific growth plans consistent with the overall ecommerce strategy and enterprise-level priorities
  • Represent Wilton Brands as a strong thought leader in the ecommerce space
  • Lead development and alignment of annual channel budget; including distribution expansion, gross sales, investments, merchandising / marketing, HC, operating expenses, etc
  • Drive business development by identifying new eTail channels through which to sell Wilton Brands products
  • Lead negotiations of annual customer agreements
  • Drive channel-specific portfolio expansion and innovation
  • Support operational excellence of assigned channel – co-responsible to deliver OOS, VLT, FR and other pre-set operational KPI metrics
  • Manage channel P&L against pre-set EBITA goals
  • Effectively lead plan execution across direct/cross-functional teams
  • Persuasively present plans to internal and external leaders to gain buy-in
  • Develop collaboration model to efficiently and effectively optimize processes and build capabilities that enable growth for the Wilton portfolio of brands
  • Develop appropriate analytical framework, reporting, and tools to measure ROI and track effectiveness of all merchandising, marketing, and operational efforts.
  • Analyze channel performance and continuously optimize execution to ensure goals are achieved
  • Forecast channel on a monthly basis – including every-day and seasonal items
  • Develop strong knowledge base and build rapport as the channel subject matter expert for internal and external stakeholders
  • Lead, coach and develop members of the team; oversee talent management process with an emphasis on succession planning and professional development of staff
  • Own relationship with relevant agencies

Candidate Requirements:

  • BA/BS degree in business, marketing, finance or comparable field required; Master’s degree highly preferred
  • 4+ years of eTail management experience required
  • Strong understanding of digital technologies and best practices, including those related to eTail management, digital marketing and eCommerce operations
  • Experience with selling products as vendor via Amazon preferred
  • Proven business planning and P&L management experience
  • Ability to coach and successfully lead and manage a team
  • Superior negotiation skills
  • Interpersonal skills and strong customer relationship skills
  • Strategic thought leadership
  • Solid financial acumen and analytic ability
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Aptitude for problem solving/quick learning
  • Positive attitude and high level of energy

Applications for this position are being coordinated by Kelley Newsome. To apply, CLICK HERE.  Candidates, please be sure to email Kelley for additional information that will differentiate you in your candidacy. Due to the intensely competitive nature of this search, thorough preparation for these interviews with this proprietary material is strongly recommended.

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