Job Roles in The Fashion Industry
Unit 1: Principles of Fashion thinking
What is the role of supply chain management?
Supply chain management is a process which controls the movements of goods and information from a supplier. Therefore a manager in this field is responsible for planning and organizing the movement of these products from suppliers and manufacturers. They are in charge of working with buyers to select products that are in demand and will sell. The main purpose of the role is to make sure shops are remained fully stocked. This is accomplished by transferring products from the suppliers to the retail business.
What is the role?
Supply chain managers work in both small and large companies and are in charge of keeping companies away from any lawsuits. They usually find the best price and quality for components in a consumer product whilst managing processes for shipping and warehousing. This job role includes extensive travelling as different countries can have corporate headquarters and raw materials sources. Working in different time zones is also needed for shipping and manufacturing.
Supply chain management case study: Zara
Zara is a high street brand which is strongly recognised for its literal embodiment of "fast fashion" as the company owns its own supply chain which conforms to it's speedy marketing process as they deliver clothes in small batches twice a week at precise times. When a trend has reached its peak, Zara reacts quickly and initiates new styles. From this method, the company consequently produces averagely 450 million items a year for its 1,770 stores in 86 countries. Zara is one of the few retailers that have control of its manufacturing and supply chain and for the company, its supply chain is a competitive advantage against other high end retail stores.
The essential point within a supply chain is that it links all activities such as - buying, making, and selling between supplies and customer to the consumer in a timely manner.
The process of the supply chain is split into two:
Upstream supply chain: (Collectively converting a basic commodity)
- Raw materials
Downstream supply chain: (The finished product)
The salaries for supply chain management graduates can vary between £20,000 - £25,000 a year. This does not include managers who are more experienced as they earn between £25,000 and £45,000 and Senior managers are able to earn up to £60,000 a year.
The hard skills for this job are being a good problem solver, owning advanced mathematics, communication, strategical and geographical skills as you would be required to have background knowledge of the area the supply chain covers. These are skills that could be worked upon rather than having genetic aspects. Soft skills in this role include Organization, time management, flexibility, motivation, planning skills, team leadership and working under pressure,
Starting in the junior role, daily routines will include:
In order to get a place in the role, a particular education path is required such as having a relevant degree related to the job:
- International transport
- Supply chain management
- Transport management
- NVQ in distribution, warehousing and storage operations Level 3
- NVQ in integrated logistics support management Level 4
What is the role of a Retail Store Manager?
Retail store managers own the responsibility of being in charge and running a store on a daily basis. They motivate staff to reach the store's sales targets and increasing profits. Store managers deal with customer service issues such as complaints and inquiries. They also organise promotional events along with managing budgets.
The manager must ensure everything in the store is running efficiently by managing the stock control and supervising the employers making sure their shifts, rotas and holiday scheduled are regulated so everything runs smoothly. A store manager must also consider health and safety regulations and prevent any damage.
The roles of being a retail store manager include:
- Interviewing / recruiting new staff
- Supervising department
- initiating staff training
- Organising rotas and holidays
- Overseeing stock control and receiving orders
The skills you will also need in this field is motivation and energy to encourage the staff members with a sense of strong communication skills. You must be contented to take on full responsibility of the store and be approachable. Good leadership skills is a vital factor as the job requires being mainly in charge of almost everything in the store. Being good at accounting and IT is a basic foundation to be in the role as well as remaining calm under pressure and tight situations.
The average working hours for a retail store manager is 37 - 40 hours a week, Managers usually have their own office but wont be to spend as much time as they will be needed to be on the shop floor. Most retail stores tend to operate in out-of-town sites which are generally open seven days a week. This means that there is a requirement to work irregular hours including late nights, weekends and bank holidays.
Salaries for this role range between £19k to £40k per year. This depends on how many years you have worked in the industry, experience and education. The location and size of the store are also factors that your salary depends on.
Requirements for the role
To land a job as a retail store manager, a specific entry requirement is not needed but an overall education. Although a degree in either: retail, business or marketing-related subjects will be able to give an advantage in landing on the role. Other subjects that can increase your chances are:
-accounting and finance
Alternative considerations include:
Other store operational job roles include:
- Salesperson - work on the shop floor in specific departments or throughout the whole store. They welcome customers and ask people whether they need assistance. Knowledge of the store layout and product is a crucial factor.
- Stocker - responsible for keeping the store full of products and focus on the shipment of goods they usually survey the store and fill out an order for goods.
- Cashier - Their responsibility is to pay for the customers goods. Cashiers also provide customer service as they are already paced on the cash register. they must require good math and cash skills and be able to multi task efficiently whilst cordially interacting with customers.
What is the role of the marketer and Public Relations?
Fashion marketers focus on the concept of heavily promoting, publicizing and increasing awareness of the selling brand through a variety of campaigning methods. This is achieved through branding efforts whether its visual or through social networking and other strategies of getting the promotion across.
A brand will usually need a PR in order to create a favourable image to make their company more appealing and interesting to the public. The role of public relations is managing the reputation of the brand by enhancing a positive respected image which can help increase a brand's sales. Influencing opinion and behaviour is another responsibility to uphold. Communication with the media is involved as well as working cooperatively with other people and organizations in order to boost their image.
PR have a significant role as companies in the fashion industry usually refer to trend leaders and stylists as a source of information and inspiration for future looks.
For the role of a PR you must acquire a specific set of skills such as:
-Strong communication skills, having to be very active and social around people
-Confident speaking is essential along with being a great listener.
- Friendly bubbly personality and ability to be consistent with upholding your reputation to appeal to your connections
- persistent enough to attract the right attention and make connections within the industry
- Organised and ability to work well under pressure
-building relationships with journalist, stylists and editors is a priority
- an open international mindset as a PR will have to communicate with a range of different people through different platforms such as social media, telephone and in writing. The job will be open to a variety of languages and cultures therefore you must be sensitive, understanding and appreciate other people's pressures and struggles.
- advanced research skills, as a PR will need to keep track of fast paced markets and be openly knowledgable on the client and their sufficient needs.
- being naturally inquisitive, keeping up to date with trends and current affairs.
- passionate and determined to enjoy learning new markets and constantly socialising and interacting.
- Writing skills are also needed in order to write engaging content for clients such as articles for magazines or press releases. Excellent grasp of grammar and experience of creative and natural flair of writing is required to gain attention for written promotional work.
PR job roles differ between IN house and agency:
- based on focusing your attention on a single brand and has roles in bigger units
- cost is fundamental for example, tax and national insurance must be paid
- has a much wider view of whats happening with your brand
- shared between other clients, work over numerous brands
- work at a distance from a client base
- more media opportunities and creative aspects
PR activities include
- press relationships - needed as media outlets and press rely on the PR as a source of information for reports.
- press releases - PR uses this to alert the media new collections and events
- events management - for the public and journalists
- product placement - publicity in order to attract audience
- social media - such as twitter Instagram facebook etc.
- Marketing assistants and trainees - £17,300 to £19,000.
- Overall average salary - £45,021
- Salaries vary greatly depending on the sector but on average the salary for a marketing manager is £38,192, while senior brand or product managers earn an average salary of £48,296.
Education to become a PR
- communication and media studies
- English and creative writing
- social sciences
- Postgraduate qualifications in PR are available and may improve your chance of securing a position
What is the role of visual merchandiser?
Visual merchandiser's role is to develop presice design skills, deliver, and communicate visual concepts and strategies in order to help promote image, products and services of retail business. This is through creating visually appealing eye catching product displays and store layouts to attarct customers and encourage profit. It is their role to create and establish eye-catching displays. A daily routine includes creating plans and preliminary sketches of visual displays based on the requirements set by the store management department. After the designs have been approved, the necessary props, materials and accessories required will be sourced before finalising the designs in order to visually make the designs.
They also have the responsibilty of producing ideas for display and developing floor plans as well as teaching sale staff how goods should be displayed. Merchandisers hold responsibilities within their role such as:
- working alongside teams within the field of buying, design and marketing in order to initiate and plan the base of a design theme of a in store display.
- researching design and lifestyle on current and future trends so that merchandisers are able to incorporate outside inspiration within their window displays.
- negotiating a fixed budget with suppliers of visual materials such as sourcing props, fabrics and lighting which is needed to design.
Working hours are typically 35 to 40 hours across the whole week including frequent early morning shifts and late night finishes. If a complete store redesign is taking place, there will be a high chance of working overtime or overnight as a longer time period will be needed. A graduate or assistant visual merchandiser salaries will typically start at around £12,000 to £18,000. Advancing into the job role such as directors, will be able to earn between £45,000 and £60,000 per annum.
The skills needed to be a visual merchandiser include:
The typical entry requirement for a career in visual merchandising will most likely include a degree or diploma in a subjects such as:
- fine art
- graphic design
- interior design
- business studies
alternate qualifications that could be studied towards are:
Level 2 Certificate/Diploma in Fashion Retail
Level 3 Certificate/Diploma in Fashion Retail Level 3
Certificate/Diploma in Retail Skills (Visual Merchandising). -
Foundation degrees in display/design/marketing:
An example of a courses:
- BA (HONS) Fashion Buying & Merch (University Arts London)
- course length: 2-3 years
- Route: UCAS points
- Entry requirements: A level passes at C or above to total atleast 220 UCAS + 6 GCSE's at C and above or B and above
- L4 Visual Merchandising (Fashion Retail Academy)
- Course length: 1 year
- Entry Criteria: 1 A level (C or above), 5 GCSE's, BTEC award
- Visual Merchandising (British Display society) organisation which provides education links
- Course length: 1 year
- Entry criterea: No qualifications required