New Look’s junior merchandiser for online brands enjoys the fast-paced world of ecommerce.
My alarm wakes me up at 7am and the first thing I do is check my work emails to see what’s happened overnight, because working in ecommerce things can happen around the clock.
It’s a bit of a mad dash to leave for work at 8.30am, but I always choose my outfit the night before. On Mondays I dress a bit smarter because we have trading meetings, and then it’s a bit more relaxed through the week, unless I have a meeting with a brand. I always wear high street brands, so I shop at Zara, River Island and New Look.
I live in Elephant and Castle and walk the 30 minutes to our offices in Central London. The first thing I do when I get in is grab some breakfast, load my computer and take a look at the products that have gone live on the website overnight. It’s really exciting to see how something is going to look online, and then see how people react to it. I also check out what our major competitors are doing, such as Asos, River Island and Topshop, to see if there’s any promotional activity we might need to react to.
My merchandising admin assistant (MAA) collates and sends out a daily sales report to the team at 9.30am. I’ll spend 30 minutes digesting reactions – looking at what’s trading well and what’s not performing as well as we’d hoped. That’s probably my favourite part of the job – the instant reaction online and seeing sales come through.
It’s part of my job to know what’s going to sell, but you can’t always predict it. For example, the recent poor weather has meant wellies have sold really well. Daily sales reports mean we can react quickly to things like that. I’ll sit down with the senior buyer, Natalie Wright, to discuss what’s working and what’s not. Then we’ll agree what to repeat into based on the open-to-buy budget we have left, which is normally 20% to 25% at the beginning of each season.
I’m most proud of how our branded offer online has grown since I started. We only launched in September and now have 150 brands online such as Steve Madden and Rocket Dog, which is a lot.
Managing deliveries is another important part of the job. After our trading meeting we’ll have a delivery meeting, and my MAA will produce a spreadsheet of everything she has booked and everything she is trying to get booked, and we’ll go through and prioritise things. I’m responsible for my MAA’s development, which is something I’m quite passionate about, because working under really good merchandisers is how I got to where I am today. So I’ll always spend 30 minutes to an hour a day with her.
Lunch normally involves a trip to Pret A Manger for a quick bite, and then in the afternoons I’m often at brand meetings with my buyer. We agree on what to do before we go and find it helpful to have two sets of eyes. The brands also get weekly sales analysis from us, so there are never any surprises for them.
I finish work at 5.30pm, but normally leave at 6.30pm because I like to make sure I have everything finished. Then in the evenings I’ll see friends, go to the theatre, or I’ll train for the half marathon I’m running later this year.
- Salaries for this position range from £22,000 to £30,000 (estimate provided by Freedom Recruitment)
2011 Junior merchandiser, online footwear & accessories, New Look
2009 Assistant merchandiser, Dorothy Perkins
2007 Merchandiser admin assistant, John Lewis
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