Principles of Fashion Buisness

Information into different jobs within the fashion Industry

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Retail store manager

A retail store manager supervise and organize staff to insure customer needs are fulfilled to their best potential within a business. To effectively insure the tasks required are being met, mangers work under strict deadlines and are expected to cope efficiently. In addition experience in the industry is highly looked upon whether that also includes experience in human resources. Characteristics such as strong leadership skills and multitasking skills are also expected qualities. [1]

Background into the job of a retail manager

Working as a store retail manger will consist of a dynamic, engaging day that will change constantly due to changing trends, demand and seasons.

Roles will vary on a day to day basis however usual tasks include:

-Organising merchandise by studying a range of market areas such as advertising, display plans and sales promotion.

-Supervising staff including departmental managers.

-Scheduling and assigning employees, following up on work results including organising rotas and holidays for staff.

-Dealing with customer inquiries such as complaints.

-Insuring merchandise is secure by implementing security.

-Determining market strategy's.

-Attending workshops and professional publications to maintain professional and technical knowledge. [2]

In comparison to the daily tasks required for a retail manger to complete, other skills are also needed to make all tasks more efficient. An individual wanting to pursue this role must be: confident, have good communication skills, be resilient, be creative and have an attention to detail . Personal attributes, also known as soft skills are also important an example of this is having good people skills to help customers and be inviting which represents the brand you are working for.

As a retail store manager you will be representing the brand, the customers will judge the business on how they see you and fellow co-workers, it is vital you give a good impression and help an individual if they have any inquiries. In addition if you are dealing with complaints towards the brand it is important to deal with the compliant in the correct manner to prevent further issues and reviews from the customer.

Qualifications to apply for a job as a retail store manager are varied depending on the business and what they expect as a job requirement. However as a general level of a degree, qualifications include:

-Level 3 certificate/diploma in retail skills (management).

-Foundation degrees in retailing or retail management.

-Degrees in retail management, depending on the size of the company. [3]

However some do reach a retail manger role by working their way up through the business such as being a sales assistant and being promoted to a high position through hardwork and experience.

Working full time within the industry as a retail store manager would consist of hours between 37 and 40 per week, however this can fluctuate. This will include weekdays or possibly weekends; with late evenings depending on store times.

Furthermore to progress within the industry can be through trainee management schemes and moving from a job in a related sector. [3]

Example job advert:

An example of a advertisement for the role of a retail store manager in a Micheal Kors store underlines what is expected for a management role. Many key factors of skills are mentioned such as driving performance and demonstrating leadership skills. Including having the responsibility of setting individual performance goals for staff and meeting, plus exceeding sales. The job descriptions are full on but clearly state how the job is 'fast paced' and expect 'exceptionally high operational and merchandise standards'. This insite into the the qualities expected and high standards shows the level of dedicated needed for this role. [19]

Alexa Chung How PR Works Who Invented Normcore | SERIES 2 - EP.2 | Future of Fashion | British Vogue

Marketer and press/public relations

A marketer is the link between a consumer audience and a company. [6] Depending on the company a marketer can take care of advertising or being involved in managing the process from the concept of shipping to its customers. [7]

In addition a press/public relations team job is to promote the profile of a certain brand working to insure demands from the public are being met to keep up with the ever-changing industry. [4] This includes creating awareness of the brand image. [5]

Both roles work together due to how they coordinate in the industry, which is sometimes known as marcomns. This is because PR needs marketing to complete primary roles and to promote activity, where as marketing needs PR as it has an element of the wider marketing strategy. They both coordinate and rely on each other, which is known as a symbiotic relationship; which defines as two things that work together in harmony.

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Background into the role of the marketer and press/public relations

Working within the role of a marketer is forever changing within a modern society, researching into a developing market. Having an awareness of a brand image with also having consideration for the public by using a range of skills such as communication and manageable techniques are highly important for success. Roles of a marketer consist of:

-Increase brand awareness

-Organises advertising and press release

-Interact with clients for certain projects

-To understand how customers think and behave when purchasing products

-Creates marketing plans to help the business promote a certain image or product

-Devise strategies to promote the brand

-Decideds on advertisement and article placements [8]

With the many roles a marketer fufills certain skills are desired to insure the job can fulfilled correctly. These skills include: Being a team player, having strong communication skills, being creativity, having strong IT Skills, good time management, being a risk taker and being enthusiastic. Furthermore working in this area of field can earn you an average pay of £32,000 per year, however this varies on the brand your working with and your position within the business, also including how much experience you have within the industry. [12]

The more experience an individual has works to their advantage when applying for a job or wanting to progress in the industry, which will bring them further opportunities.

An example of a marketing job in the industry is Emma Scott who works for Asos as their women's wear marketing manager. In an interview with a future media blog Emma spoke of how she entered the industry: “I got into marketing and then moved sideways into fashion retail from publishing. I started to get involved in ecommerce when I was at Dorothy Perkins as I worked in Customer Relation Management and wanted to develop a magazine that you could shop… and then moved to Tesco to work on their online business and this is my first pure-play retailer.” [13]

Emma also spoke of how Asos are developing new ways to insure shopping with asos is a fun and exciting experience to compete with other brands and stand out as an easy access website. This includes looking further into the mobile market. This is due to the expanding use of online retailing competing with brands due to their flexibility, and convenience. [18] This is just an insite to what a marketer may undertake on day to day roles. A link to her full interview will be below.

The roles a press/public relations also known for sort as a PR, is similar to a marketer in the way that both roles incorporate promoting a brand image to the public and work with a range of different people and resources. A press/public relations roles would include:

-Supervising certain press realises

-Maintaing a companys website and social media accounts

-Writing press realises

-Working with key relations for promotion such as journalists, stylists and editors

-Dealing with public figures such as celebrities

-Analysing media coverage and updates

-Oragansing certain events such as press conferences [9]

Qualifications for a press/public relations role do not tend to have a specific degree however ceratin subjects can be particularly helpful for enrolment. These may include, politics, marketing, English, media and business. These qualifications must contrast to certain skills and qualities someone may have such as: flexibility, creativness, flexibility and good communication skills. Also other soft skills such as: being able to interact with others in the correct manner, being a good team player and being open to help others are important to make you a relatable person for other co-workers to work amongst you and ask for advice when needed. Working in this certain type of role can earn an individual £20,000-£30,000 depending on experience which can increase depending on positions and the time span spent with a certain cooperation. [9]

In comparison a marketer tends to require more experience such as being a marketer executive before fulfilling the role of a marketer. This is due to the high demand of skills required for this role. Most employers require a business related degree with possible diplomas in digital or interacting market. Apprenticeships are also accepted within the industry due to the experience gained within that certain time period.

Visual Merchandiser

A visual merchandiser role is to use a range of creative skills to promote an image for a brand such as organising and displaying products in a certain way which will attract customers to help encourage sales. This type of role relates to design and visual presentation skills, including having an attention to detail. [11] Displaying can be varied and can be in with regard to their; pricing, timing and range of style. [16]

Background into the role of a visual merchandiser

A visual merchandiser is a demanding job which withholds a range of creative aspects which incorporates business knowledge and skills to use techniques to attract customers to create sales and increase profits. A visual merchandiser would work for a retail company working with design and display teams for the store. Responsibilities vary depending on the brand and store, however generally roles include:

-Prouduce designs for displays in the store to advertise products to its full potential.

-Developing floor plans-creating a space best suited to the environment and brand.

-Insuring prices and ranges are correct and up to date

-Training staff

-Updating old displays

-Insuring the store and displays appeal to the target market.

The role of a visual merchandiser is a full time job with long hours ranging from 37 to 40 hours a week which includes late evenings to futill roles of changing displays when the store is closed. The job is physically demanding also due to the amount of hours on your feet and requires determination and full commitment. In addition depending if enrolment at a head office, traveling to different branches of stores may be required. Furthermore salary can also vary depending on experience, store and position within the company (senior positions). Starting salaries vary from £12,000 to £16,000 per year. Where as senior visual merchandisers can earn £20,000 to £25,000 with directors reaching £50,000 per year.[11]

Qualifications to help you exceed in this role consist of having a range of qualifications such as either Level 2 or 3 in Fashion retail or fashion skills. General art and design skills are also looked highly upon and some individuals do enter this field of work through apprenticeships.

Along side qualifications, certain skills are desired which coordinate with the daily roles undertaken. A visual merchandiser needs to be creative and have the initiative to come up with new exciting ideas, being aware of current trends is equally important and the ability to work towards deadlines. Soft skills, which are personal attributes include: having good leadership skills, having good time management, as you would be working towards deadlines and having good self motivation.

However the most important skill is being creative and thinking outside the box. A visual merchandiser really needs bright ideas that will attract customers to a store to buy from a brand. A visual merchandiser has one of the most important jobs to keep up a reputation of a brand and react to changes in trends and seasons. Christmas is an example of one of the most important reactions to a change in season, as many stores put up unique displays to respond to when customer purchase and shopping peaks compared to any other time of the year.

Example of job advert:

A further example of the certain characteristics desired for this role is shown in a job advert for Topshop/Topman who have a vacancy for a visual manager. They are requiring someone who 'must have experience in visual merchandising within a fashion environment' and someone who has the ability to 'react quickly to changing situations and delivering at pace'. The job is describes as-

"A Visual Manager is always ahead of the game, they know what trends are in before our competitors even get a sniff of them. They work with the most exciting, cutting edge product on the high street".

Different brands will have different expectations however it is important to realise the things expected for this role. Looking at job adverts can show skills and qualifications desired including the differentiation between brands. [20]

My H&M Story: Luke Nur, Concept Visual Specialist | The Business of Fashion (Sponsored)

Supply chain manager

A supply chain manager controls and coordinates the movement of goods such as products and materials from the supplier to a customer and lastly to the consumer. A basic supply chain consists of a particular movement with individual steps that goods go through. It starts with having raw materials which then gets transferred to the supplier. The supplier then sells the raw materails to manufacturing where the materails will be made into a specific product. Once this crucial step is completed the product will then go through distribution to the customer then finally reaching the consumer. A supply chain manager has to have many skills to be successful and complete important deadlines.

Background into the role of a supply chain manager

As mentioned above a supply chain manager needs to be efficient have have good confidence to insure the job is being done correctly and efficiently. Other aspects needed also include: having good IT skills, be good at problem solving including confident maths skills, and having a wide range knowledge of geography. In comparison soft skills desired are: being hard working, being an honest employee due to the range of people you would communicate with and having the confidence to take control of a situation. All these skills relate to the every day tasks a supply chain manager would undertake in their role. Such tasks include:

-Mointoring targets and overall performance

-Control and organise the movement of goods

-Oversee the different aspects that make up the supply chain

-Negotiate with suppliers

-Recruit and train staff

-Work and communicate with retailers to reassure they receive there goods on time

-Deal with any complaints or set backs within the chain that can effect deadline dates [14]

These roles would be carried out on working hours which are usually 9-5pm from a Monday to Friday, however this can vary dependant on the demand of deadlines and work. Furthermore all the work is often office-based at head quarters apart from meeting clients which involves travelling, this may mean traveling abroad.

For every different area within the supply chain there are different roles that will work with a supply chain manager. These are presented in the 'triangle of recommendations for good practice'. The top of the pyramid begins with a strategic management which begins the process and is co-ordination of strategies. Organisational requirement follows and is usually the stakeholder and the chain management, I.e supply chain manager. Therefore working with retail clients is necessary, covering the co-ordination within the retail organisation. This then requires to control and work with the categories below: programmed delivery and project delivery. [17]

In addition work pay can also vary dependant on experience and the company you work for. Starting graduates can earn £20,000-£25,000 per year. Experienced managers can earn £25,000-£45,000 with senior supply chain mangers earning up to £60,000 a year.[14]

Entry requirements

Entry requirements vary for this job but do require at least a degree in business or a relevant field with a professional certification. The degree can include anything in the field of business, economics [14], supply chain management and transport management [15].

Example of a job advert:

Capgemini is a retail consultancy based in London and as is advertising for a management consultant which includes retail buying, merchandising and supply chain. The advert consists of all the desired qualities an individual should have including a personal profile, such as understanding the digital world and having experience in different retail sectors. In contrast they also ask for personal attributes such as being able to develop and maintain professional relationships with peers and bringing a positive attitude to the work force. There are further examples linked in the job advert below: [21]


  1. Study.com2003-2016.Store management: job description, duties and requirements. Available at-.

    Accessed 7th September 2016

  2. Total jobs.2016.Store manager description. Available at-

    Accessed 7th September 2016

  3. National careers service.Year published unknown. Job profiles, retail manager. Available at

    Accessed 7th September 2016

  4. University of Portsmouth.2012.Marketing and communications. Available at-

    Accessed 7th September 2016

  5. Workable.2015. Public Relations Manager job description. Available at-

    Accessed 7th September 2016

  6. Google.2016. What is a marketer. Available at-

    Accessed 7th September 2016

  7. B2B marketing.2016. What marketing professionals do and what you should know about career marketing. Available at-

    Accessed 9th September 2016

  8. Accounting web.Year published unknown. What does a “marketing person” do?. Available at-

    Accessed 9th September 2016.

  9. Prospects.2016.Public relations officer. Available at-

    Accessed 9th September 2016

  10. National careers service. 2016. Marketing manager. Available at-

    Accessed 9th September 2016

  11. National careers service.2016. Job profiles, visual merchandiser. Available at-

    Accessed 9th September 2016

  12. Pay scale.2016.Marketing manager salary (United Kingdom). Available at-

    Accessed 13th September 2016

  13. Future media agency blog. March 22nd,2013. How online brands rule the market. Available at-

    Accessed 13th September 2016

  14. National careers service. 2016. Supply chain manager. Available at-

    Accessed 14th September 2016

  15. Supply Chain Management Career Information and Education Requirements. Available at-

    Accessed 15th September 2016

  16. Grace I Kunz (2010). Merchandising . 3rd ed. United States of America.Fair child books . Xvii.

  17. S Male, J Kelly, M Gronqvist and W Olphert (2003). Supply chain manage me for refurbishment . Great Britain : Thomas Telford publishing . 11.

  18. Malcolm Sullivan and Dennis Adcock (2002). Retail marketing . United Kingdom : Thomson . 329.

  19. Michael Kors.2016. Kors careers. Available at:

    Accessed 20th September 2016

  20. Indeed.2016.Topshop/Topman Visual merchandiser. Available at:

    Accessed 20th September 2016

  21. Indeed.2016. Management consultants-Retail buying, merchandising and supply chain. Available at:

    Accessed 20th September 2016

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