In the past week, my colleague Kirsty McGregor and I headed to Manchester, as part of our ongoing effort to meet retailers across the UK, find out how they operate and hear about the challenges they face.
Missguided’s head office
During our trip, we visited the head offices of rival fast fashion etailers PrettyLittleThing and Missguided, and were struck by the unique environments that they have both created. Company culture and working spaces are such key factors in attracting talent, so it is inspiring to see what these online players have done.
PrettyLittleThing’s head office has an LA theme, which includes palm trees and meeting rooms disguised as shop fronts. The open-plan space features inspirational quotations throughout, and the environment really does feel young and creative.
These spaces encourage the creativity upon which this industry thrives
Founder Umar Kamani’s enthusiasm for the decor was infectious and the recent opening of a gym – complete with branded PrettyLittleThing boxing ring – and a restaurant that will open later this year, allows the business to provide staff benefits, such as exercise classes before and after work, as well as a healthy lunch menu.
Equally impressive was the head office of Missguided. A slickly designed cafe has a purple tree as its centrepiece, and there are purple pods for meetings, as well as a meeting room in which all seats around the table are swings that hang from the ceiling.
PrettyLittleThing’s head office
Confirming the culture of the business and its young fashion credentials is a ”selfie tunnel”, while hashtags also adorn the walls. Founder Nitin Passi is passionate about keeping the design throughout the office innovative, as the business grows into new areas of the building.
As the line between work and home life becomes increasingly blurred, and access to information on the move shifts working hours away from the traditional 9am to 5pm, it is more important than ever for retailers and brands to provide an office environment that excites and inspires. Fashion is all about innovation and these spaces encourage the creativity upon which this industry thrives.
Another Drapers milestone reached
In other news this week, Drapers is celebrating its 129th anniversary! There is not enough space here to include all of the milestones the industry has passed in that time, but it is a chance to reflect that, although we are currently in a period of economic uncertainty, retailers have overcome bigger challenges and thrived in the face of greater adversity.
Here’s to many more years of Drapers supporting the great businesses and individuals in this fantastic industry.