Head of retail, Lotus Originals.
What does your job involve?
I’m responsible for building the worldwide retail network with direct and franchise stores for Lotus Originals [the lifestyle brand owned by the car company]. The main part of the role is to set up channels of distribution, including wholesale, online and new concepts such as shop-in-shops in department stores. I manage all commercial plans, from operation to delivery, and ensure effective routes to market. I’m also responsible for creating retail store structures that put Lotus Originals in a luxury environment, which is a new level of brand exposure for Lotus.
What skills do you need?
Experience working with premium brands, luxury and high-end retail chains and a strong eye for detail are all key. Experience in retail, buying, budgeting, sales planning, wholesale, visuals and display and marketing is also essential. It’s also important to be able to think strategically, have strong analytical skills and to have a background in operational execution. Good communication, being motivated and goal-oriented, and having the ability to make fast, analytical decisions are also fundamental to this role. Being focused on customer service and a team player are key to success.
What do you like and dislike about your job?
I love the whole retail cycle, from the creation and production of the collection, to the selling, to business partners and consumers. I enjoy the adrenaline of multi-tasking and the versatility of the business, which often presents tight deadlines - but these can also be nerve-racking.
How did you get to where you are today?
Above all, by doing what I always loved; gaining experience from the shopfloor during my law and business studies and moving forward in my career in Italy, Germany and the UK. I’ve always been detail-oriented and focused on operational efficiencies, thinking about what needs to be done and how it can be done quickly without losing quality. I also believe that being a motivator in managing and developing staff helps. I always put my utmost into being a team builder who uses effective communication and performance management to encourage the development of individuals. There are no results for any manager without the team’s results coming first.
What is your proudest career achievement to date?
Launching the Lotus Originals website with a worldwide distribution.
What is your ambition?
To establish the Lotus Originals brand so it is recognised worldwide.
How do you intend to get there?
By working closely with my team and looking with fresh eyes at each and every opportunity for Lotus Originals. Also, to establish a strong network of direct stores, franchises and wholesalers.
What three words sum you up?
Optimistic, focused, self-motivated.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
To be an intense, driven, results-oriented self-starter with a sense of urgency, tempered and disciplined only by concern for the accuracy and quality of the work to be done. To hold themselves, and those with whom they work, to exacting, ever-increasing goals. To react quickly to changing conditions and come up with practical ideas for dealing with them and learning daily from their own mistakes.
2010 Head of retail, Lotus Originals
2009 Head of retail, Habitat
2006 Retail and operations director, Matches
2004 Area manager, Matches
2000 Senior manager, Giorgio Armani