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How to be a director for retail communications

Denise Matthews, senior consultant at Fashion and Retail Personnel, on how to land a top job as a director of retail communications

It is common that people have worked in retail before embarking on a retail communications role; perhaps they have been part time weekend store assistants and have discovered, by accident, that this is an area which has good opportunities for them, for example.

Alternatively you could take the more creative business route. The London College of Fashion offers an MA in fashion retail, while the Fashion Retail Academy has a visual display and retail branding diploma, and Nottingham Trent has a fashion management degree.

A retail role such as this requires great organisational skills, as well as the ability to influence others. You would need a very commercial mindset, as you may be involved in strategy delivery, in-store development or financial planning, as well as potentially plenty of cross-functional work with the buying and marketing departments. You will often be managing projects from cradle to grave, so should understand how everything slots together to reach the end product.

A vibrant personality with strong communication skills is key - this is not a role for shrinking violets. Confidence is essential as you will often be working with outside brands or clients, and across a number of different areas, so a person who is a good juggler but with great common sense is ideal.

Salaries for this position range from £40,000 to £60,000.

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