Ladieswear buyer, Matalan.
Buying runs in the family for Rebecca Finch. Her dad, Derek, is a buyer for footwear chain Pavers Shoes, so it is little wonder she chose to follow in his footsteps (excuse the pun).
A placement year as a trainee buyer on kidswear at fashion chain Ethel Austin during 2007-08, while studying fashion buying at Manchester Metropolitan University, led to value retailer Matalan quickly snapping her up after her graduation in 2009.
Starting as a trainee buyer on ladies’ knitwear in January 2010, she was promoted after nine months to assistant buyer. Since then she worked across maternity wear, women’s jersey tops, and plus-size, before moving on to blouses and skirts, where she was promoted to buyer in 2012.
Line manager and Matalan head of womenswear Kerrie Owen says: “Rebecca has led a team to consistently exceed sales and profit targets over a
number of seasons. She is a very gifted buyer and has a very commercial eye.”
In her first season as a buyer on blouses the category finished spring 14 up 40% both on the year and against target, and also achieved sales of £1m in one week during the season - something never achieved before by the retailer.
Finch advises anyone building a career in buying to always “go with your gut” and says the results are worth it. “One of the highlights has been arriving at a factory in Sri Lanka and walking down the production line where they were sewing thousands of blouses that I had bought and seeing the finished product. It was amazing.”