What she’s learnt: “A good buyer doesn’t tick a box and move on. You go back over that box again and again.”
Holly Smith has helped drive impressive growth within her department at Asos, resulting in improved sales and profits. She started her career at Arcadia Group, working as an assistant buyer at menswear retailer Burton, before joining Asos in 2015. After nine months she was promoted to junior buyer in the menswear swim and underwear department and, after a year in the role, was promoted again to buyer.
During her time at Asos, she has brought on new suppliers from around the globe, worked on moving all cotton to the Better Cotton Initiative and polyester to recycled fibres, and improved fits across products in her department. She is known as a passionate manager, helping both her buyer’s assistant and assistant buyer achieve promotions.
Smith points to Dorothy Perkins merchandising director Caroline O’Carroll as one of her industry inspirations: “Caroline was at Burton while I was working there as an assistant buyer, and was the first woman in the industry I had worked with who was in a director position surrounded by a male executive team. She gave me great advice and was strong, clear with her ideas and really inspirational.”
2017 Buyer, Asos
2016 Junior buyer, Asos
2015 Senior assistant buyer, Asos
2014 Assistant buyer, Burton