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30 under 30: Jack Spellacy

Senior buyer, Footasylum, aged 24

Jack Spellacy

Jack Spellacy

Jack Spellacy has it all - humility, talent, an admirable work ethic and a sense of humour. “I went to a music festival in Europe in my first summer at Footasylum and everybody seemed to be wearing floral print shirts. When I got back I told people at the office that we had to get on to it. The buyers warned me off but I was adamant. I managed to find a vintage Hawaiian shirting brand that had stock. Sure enough after three weeks we’d sold one shirt. [Former buyer] Gareth Griffiths told me that it was the worst rate of sale he had seen in his 20 years of buying,” Spellacy recalls. “He then went on to explain that one bad buy is as important as 10 good buys, as long as you learn from your mistakes.”

Spellacy, the son of former Footasylum head of buying Steve Spelacy, has learnt from that mistake. “I believe Jack is one of the most dynamic buyers out there who, when spotting a trend, jumps on it with gusto,” says Juls Dawson, co-founder of agency Just Consultancies. “This guy is not just a buyer who works 9-to-5, Monday to Friday, but one who spends a Sunday in the Metro Centre digesting what the shoppers are buying. For someone of such a young age, Jack is definitely a force we should all keep an eye on.”

Spellacy credits JD Sports and Footasylum co-founder David Makin with influencing his success so far. “He started JD Sports with John Wardle when he was a teenager and has been a pioneer ever since. He has taught me the secrets of lateral thinking and being able to create great product from anything that catches your eye. A lot of people have benefited from his genius over the years and I am lucky to be one of them.”

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