FASHION THINKING

KATIE HORSMAN

ROLE OF A RETAIL STORE MANAGER

Role of a Retail Store Manager

Retail store managers play a very important part in the fashion industry as they are in charge of the day to day running the whole store, from the recruitment and training of new staff to the budgeting. The role of a retail store manager is essentially to maximise profits while minimising costs.

Skills and Attributes Required for the Job

  • Ability to lead and motivate both yourself and a team.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Good people skills.
  • Commitment to customer service.
  • Ability to work under pressure, make decisions and handle challenging situations.
  • Confidence, enthusiasm, integrity and responsibility.
  • Ability to understand and analyse sales figures.
  • Good sense of business and basic money management.
  • Product and industry knowledge.
  • Good attention span.
  • Ability to prioritise and meet deadlines.
  • Tactfulness.
  • Understanding of retail laws, security, health and safety.

Entry Requirements

  • Most work up through in store training programmes.
  • Graduate training programmes.
  • Management apprenticeship schemes.
  • Proven successful experience in retail.
  • Movement from management role into related sector.
  • Qualifications (not a requirement but can be helpful) in a related area e.g. retail.

Salary Expectations and Hours

Most retail store managers can earn a starting salary of £20,000-£30,000 but earn between £40,000-£70,000 with experience. This obviously depends on the brand, size of the store, responsibilities the manager will have and the experience they have in retail. Most retail store managers will also earn bonuses and commission if the store is meeting sales targets on top of their salary. The hours for full time work are typically 37-40 hours per week, this often includes working evenings and weekends too although part time work may be available in this field.

Typical Day

Retail store managers divide their time between the shop floor and their office in the back of the store and will complete differentiating tasks depending on the brand and the size of the store, however these are some tasks that a retail store manager may be faced with:

  • Day to day running of a shop.
  • Motivating staff to meet sales targets.
  • Organising promotional activities and events within the store.
  • Monitoring industry trends.
  • Recruiting new staff and training them accurately.
  • Keeping track of stock and ordering new stock in.
  • Serving customers (depends on size of store, time of year etc.).
  • Dealing with customer queries, feedback and complaints.
  • Analysing sales figures.
  • Forecasting future sales volumes.
  • Keeping an awareness of market trends.
  • Monitoring competitors.
  • Budgeting.
  • Reporting to senior company executives on sales figures.
  • Liaising with departments such as buying with matters such as stock and sales figures.

Progression

Within 3-5 years, most retail store managers can work up to being a senior retail manager meaning they are capable of managing larger and more complicated stores or become a regional area manager. Most retailers review employees performance annually, this can often lead to development through moving to a larger store (sometimes in a different part of the country).

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ROLE OF THE MARKETER AND PUBLIC RELATIONS

Role of the Marketer

Role of a Marketer

Marketing is the application of a range of both subtle and unsubtle techniques that focuses on the customer and essentially generates sales. Marketing is discovering and giving consumers what they want but didn't necessarily know they needed at a profit by raising awareness of a product, brand or person. Marketers have to think of the right product offer, at the right price, in the right location using the right promotional activity by examining and evaluating the wants and needs of the consumer so that the product reaches the target audience and convinces them to buy into the brand.

Skills and Attributes Required for the Job

  • Excellent spoken and written skills.
  • Good organisational and planning skills.
  • Ability to lead and motivate a team.
  • Motivation and incentive to succeed.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure.
  • Confidence in selling ideas.
  • Creative eye.
  • High level of understanding of consumer needs/wants.
  • Eye for detail.
  • Good business sense and budgeting skills.
  • Knowledge in excel.

Entry Requirements

  • Marketing degree's or a certificate in marketing from an organisation such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing are usually required for any position in marketing.
  • Experience in the industry is essential (3-5 years before management level can be reached).
  • Most work up from an assistant through a marketing company or brand.

Salary Expectations and Hours

Marketing assistants can earn anywhere between £18,000-£28,000 where as more senior marketers can earn up to £40,000 and senior managers and directors can earn £50,000+. Marketers typically work 30-40 hours per week, 9-5 Monday to Friday in an office however this may be more irregular in the lead up to campaign launches etc. Marketers will also need to attend trade shows in the evening or at weekends and may need to travel to meet clients.

Typical Day

The day to day tasks of a marketer depend on the brand they are working for and the size of the marketing team, these are some tasks a marketer may have to complete:

  • Researching and analysing market trends.
  • Identifying target markets and the best way to reach them.
  • Producing marketing strategies.
  • Planning campaigns.
  • Managing budgets.
  • Organising production of posters, leaflets, brochures etc.
  • Designing social media marketing strategies (social media marketing team).
  • Attending trade shows, conferences and sales meetings.
  • Managing campaigns to make sure they are meeting deadlines and running to budget.
  • Monitoring campaigns and reporting on their effectiveness.
  • Managing a marketing team of marketers and executives (marketing manager).
  • Exploring gaps in the market through customer opinions.
  • Monitor competitors campaign strategies.
  • Organising sponsorships.
  • Placing advertisements on TV, in newspapers and magazines and online.
  • Creating and distributing posters, flyers and brochures etc.
  • Networking with clients and the public.

Progression

After three to five years most marketers are promoted to a management role and after ten to fifteen years are promoted to a directors role. Some marketers may choose to progress into more specific job roles such as event management, direct marketing, online marketing, marketing communications or public relations.

The Role of PR

Role of PR

PR is defined as the 'planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and understanding between an organisation and its publics' by the Institute of Public Relations but PR is essentially a media focused role that is there to generate positive editorial coverage. Fashion PR means developing and maintaining a positive public image and is part of the marketing strategy to help sell your brand. Working in fashion PR can either be based in-house for one brand or for an external agency working with many brands but all roles in PR involve building relationships with journalists, stylists and editors. Working in-house for a brand means that you are part of a bigger unit and will often liaise with other departments such as marketing and buying to discuss what image you want to represent the brand with. PR for an external agency means working with many different brands at a distance, this role is strictly PR however the fact that you are working alongside many different brands means there are more contacts and media opportunities available.

Skills and Attributes Required for the Job

  • Excellent both spoken and written communication skills.
  • Willingness to learn.
  • Flexibility.
  • Ability to work under pressure.
  • Creative eye.
  • Able to work as part of a team.
  • Analytical and problem solving skills.
  • Business skills.
  • Awareness of current events.

Entry Requirements

  • A degree is not a requirement but a degree in a relevant area such as communication, business, english or marketing would be helpful.
  • Post-graduate qualifications in PR can help to gain a position.
  • Foundation award in PR.

Salary Expectations and Hours

Typical graduate level entry PR assistants can earn between £18,000-£20,000 and PR officers can earn between £22,000-£28,000 but with more experience, you can earn up to £30,000. Senior management or head of PR positions can earn £40,000-£100,000+.

Typical Day

The day to day role of a PR officer can vary between whether they are working in-house or for a PR agency and depending on the brand they are working for.

  • Planning and developing PR strategies.
  • Liaising with colleagues, spokespersons, the media and other organisations including answering queries.
  • Researching and writing press releases.
  • Analysing media coverage.
  • Writing case studies, speeches, articles and annual reports.
  • Preparing and overseeing production of publicity e.g. brochures, leaflets.
  • Thinking of ideas for photo opportunities.
  • Organising events such as press conferences, store openings and product launches.
  • Maintaining the brands website and social media accounts.
  • Sourcing sponsorship opportunties.
  • Crisis management.

Progression

PR assistants would usually work for between one and two years before being promoted to a PR officer and then may take another two to three years to progress into management positions depending on performance. In-house PR can also work between this and consultancy. It is also possible to progress to do freelance PR work or freelance consultancy.

What Is PR? | Celebrity, Fashion and PR Expert Nick Ede | FASHCAST

ROLE OF THE VISUAL MERCHANDISER

Role of a Visual Merchandiser

The role of a visual merchandiser first started in Macy's New York in 1858 when they created the first holiday window and has continued to develop over time. A visual merchandisers key role in fashion retail is to tempt customers into a store with windows and keep the customers attention with the layout and displays within the store.

Skills and Attributes Required for the Job

  • Time management.
  • Creativity.
  • Sense of design and colour.
  • Eye for detail.
  • Stamina.
  • Technical drawing skills or good IT skills (able to use creative computer programmes).
  • Awareness of current trends.
  • Communication skills.
  • Able to work as a team or individually.

Entry Requirements

  • A diploma in a related area such as fashion retail (not a requirement for most but some larger retailers may require a qualification).
  • Work up through an in-store training programme from a sales assistant.
  • Graduate training programmes.
  • Experience in the industry.

Salary Expectations and Hours

Most assistant visual merchandisers that are starting out will earn between £12,000-£18,000 depending on experience, the store and whether they are based in stores or doing field work. Once they have gained experience, they may earn anywhere between £20,000-£27,000 and more senior roles can earn up to £30,000 with director or international roles earning between £45,000-£60,000. The typical hours of a visual merchandiser are 37-40 per week, between 6/7am and 4pm, however, late nights/early mornings or overnight shifts are often required in order to get the shop ready for opening.

Typical Day

The day to day tasks a visual merchandiser will have to complete include:

  • Producing design ideas and floor plans using artistic skills or computer aided design.
  • Setting up/taking down displays.
  • Work alongside visual merchandising managers.
  • Liasing with other departments such as buying, design and marketing to create design themes and plans.
  • Conducting research on current and future trends to use when creating plans.
  • Discussing sales strategies with management.
  • Identifying, sourcing and negotiating a price on props, fabrics, hardware and lighting in order to maintain a budget.
  • Working with architectural features of a building in order to maximise space available in the store.
  • Creating visual merchandising packs to send to other branches to communicate the visual guidelines of the store.
  • Visiting other branches to coach in store visual merchandisers and sales teams on how to interpret the visual guidelines.
  • Leading and motivating teams to meet deadlines.
  • Seeking feedback from colleagues and other customers on the impact of displays and taking this into consideration when planning the next displays.

Progression

Visual merchandisers that work on the shop floor will be able to progress into roles such as a team leader or an area team leader/manager, it is also possible to progress into a head office role visual merchandising team or work as a freelance visual merchandiser for a client base that they have built up through experience.

ROLE OF THE SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGER

Role of a Supply Chain Manager

The role of a supply chain manager is the process that integrates, coordinates and controls the movement of goods from upstream (raw materials, supplier and manufacturing) to downstream (transport, distribution, retailer, customer and consumer). Supply chains link all retail related activities such as buying, making and distribution between suppliers and the consumer in the most time effective way. This role can be found in a number of areas such as warehousing and distribution firms, manufacturers, retailers or charities.

Skills and Attributes Required

  • Good planning and organisational skills.
  • Able to motivate and lead a team.
  • Good communication skills (spoken and written).
  • Good problem-solving and maths skills.
  • Eye for detail.
  • Confidence in using computer programmes.
  • Able to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
  • Good geographical knowledge.

Entry Requirements

  • A foundation degree or a degree in a relevant subject such as: logistics, international transport, supply chain management, transport management, geography.
  • Another option is to work your way up from a company by starting out in a junior role such as a transport clerk and progressing through supervisory roles into management with on the job training with the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport such as level 2 or 3 diploma in Logistics and Transport.

Salary Expectations and Hours

Starting salaries can vary between £20,000-£25,000 whereas more experienced managers can earn between £25,000-£45,000 and senior supply chain managers can earn up to £60,000. The typical work hours are 30-40 per week, 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday along with some weekends and evenings on a rota and you must be available for emergency calls. Most supply chain management roles are office based but will involve travel (both at home and abroad) to meet with clients.

Typical Day

  • Work with buyers to discuss which garments are in demand and will sell best.
  • Negotiating and managing contracts with suppliers.
  • Planning the best ways to move goods in all areas between the supplier to the customer.
  • Tracking stock levels and shipments to ensure all stock reaches its destination at the correct time.
  • Ensuring all goods have been delivered on time and in the right condition.
  • Reviewing the supply chain to see how improvements could be made.
  • Report back to companies management team.
  • Recruit, train and lead a team of supply chain staff.

Progression

Most supply chain managers start out as a supply chain assistant and then progress into management through on the job training such as a level 3 or 5 diploma in supply chain management. From supply chain management, you could progress onto senior planning jobs or consultancy work.

Alexa Chung | The Future of Fashion Series

This series by Alexa Chung gives an insiders view into the various roles in the fashion industry and goes into detail about what the roles entail and how to get into them.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

All information used to create this flyer comes from notes made in lectures or one of the sources listed below and all images used were taken myself on Oxford Street on Friday the 9th of September 2016.

EVALUATION

Overall, I feel that this assignment went well. I managed to find information about each job role such as the skills/attributes required, entry requirements, typical salary and hours, a typical day and the progression through researching online, using books and with information from lectures. I thoroughly enjoyed researching all of the different career options that I didn't even know existed within the fashion retail industry and learning more about such as visual merchandising where I learnt there is a lot more to it than just dressing windows. I also enjoyed learning more about smore and playing around with the different features in order to make it look interesting and creative.


I feel that I was organised and managed my time effectively throughout the assignment by breaking it down into weeks: during the first week I did research into each job role, in the second week I put together my store and in the third week I finished my smore and completed my bibliography and evaluation. I am pleased I did this as it meant I was not rushed for time nearer towards the deadline.


Another strength in my project is that I added videos to it that I felt added more depth to my points, especially the Alexa Chung Future of Fashion series which has videos on more topics than just the four roles I researched in this project. I think these videos break up the text well and make the flyer more interesting by adding another media.


One aspect of the project that I didn't enjoy was researching the role of the supply chain manager as this is not a role I am interested in and i also found it difficult to find information that I understood on the role, however I found websites such as the National Careers Service particularly helpful for this as it breaks down the information into simple terms that I did understand. I also found a video that we watched in a lecture about supply chains helpful, although I didn't use it in my smore, I found it helped me to understand what a supply chain actually is and how they work.


I also struggled with my bibliography as at the beginning of the assignment I did not make note of the sources I used to gather my information, however I was able to recall what I had found out and when I found it in order to reference everything I used to create my smore.

In hindsight, I would of used my SMART targets more effectively as I forgot about them during week two so had to go back and recall what I had set out to achieve the previous week which was difficult. I also would of recorded the sources I used for my smore as this would of made it a lot easier to put a bibliography together.