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Gemma Ford, 28

Ecommerce merchandiser, Clarks

Gemma Ford was first exposed to the world of internet retailing at footwear and accessories etailer Footshop where she initially worked on Cozyfeet brand. But her break came when the company launched two new specialist footwear websites – Walk Tall and Lookatmycrazyshoes.

Ford says: “I worked hard and became buying and merchandise manager for the two new websites which grew to £4 million in turnover. I was involved in the direction in the range, ensuring it was right for the market and controlled the budgets.”

It was from Footshop that her bigger break came, joining Clarks for its online launch. “We smashed our budgets following the launch and this autumn we won an IMRG award for the Best Multi-channel Retailer,” she says. “Now my role is evolving. I’m very interested in customer behaviour online and how we can adapt to make the most of it, how we can make it more intelligent and specific to individual users,” she says.

“I’m involved in every aspect of the site. And that’s how you learn as much as possible. I’ve pushed myself to get involved in things. If I see an emerging trend I will take it on and follow it through.”

Peter Gerrard, managing director at recruitment firm Michael Page, says: “Gemma is a hard working, determined, adaptable retail professional with a good track record of progression. With her passion for fashion and market trends combined with her commitment and career focus, she will be a high flier in the ecommerce world.”

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