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Oliver Platts

London sales director, Johnstons of Elgin

What does your job involve?

As London sales director, I am responsible for driving sales growth for [cashmere brand and supplier] Johnstons of Elgin’s branded and private label products within the London area. My job requires effective account management and customer service, and generally sharing the passion for our heritage and quality, cashmere and woollen British product with people near and far.

What skills do you need?

The main qualities needed are good planning and organisation skills, strong influencing and networking abilities, and an outgoing and passionate personality.

What do you like and dislike about your job?

I love developing bespoke product for our customers, so being involved with customers on the idea creation stages, right through to delivery of their product, is fantastic. I get a lot of job satisfaction from seeing Johnstons of Elgin’s product beautifully merchandised in prestige retail outlets and being worn by people around London and beyond. I don’t dislike anything about my job, or at least not yet. 

How did you get to where you are today?

I have a background in buying [at country clothing indie The House of Bruar in Perthshire, Scotland] and was used to dealing with brands, so the move from one side of the table to the other was a pretty seamless transition for me.

I always try to approach our customers thinking about what I would want if I was buying this product myself. This thought process combined with managing customer expectations has certainly been a big help. I also got to where I am today by being positive in my approach and making the most of any opportunity, in order to deliver to the very best of my ability.

What is your proudest career achievement to date?

My proudest achievement has to be working my way up from a trainee assistant buyer, then to buyer, and finally to general manager while in my last role.

My other proudest achievement is being asked to take on the sales directorship in London for Johnstons of Elgin two months ago.

What is your ambition?

My ambition is to continue to grow alongside the Johnstons of Elgin brand within London and in overseas markets. This is going to be a record year for the company as we continue to expand into new and emerging markets internationally. I think that sharing this success with Johnstons of Elgin and our major customers will be very rewarding and we need to stay focused and keep the momentum going. 

How do you intend to get there?

I plan to get there, along with the company, by giving all of our customers the same level of attention and service and by influencing people both externally and internally to make this happen.

What three words sum you up?

Passionate, loyal and focused.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

The advice I’d give someone who wants to become a sales director is that every opportunity is a good opportunity and you should strive to be at your best every day. 


2011 Sales manager, Johnstons of Elgin

2007 Retail manager, The House of Bruar

2005 Buyer, food hall and delicatessen, The House of Bruar

2004 Assistant buyer, menswear, The House of Bruar

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