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Michelle Bark, 30

Senior merchandiser, A-Wear

With a resumé that includes merchandiser at LK Bennett, assistant merchandiser at Dorothy Perkins and assistant merchandiser at River Island, A-Wear senior merchandiser Michelle Bark already has a career that would be the envy of many.

“A highlight so far was working with Linda Bennett because of her success and her business knowledge, and knowing that I achieved the role of merchandiser at just 28,” Bark says.

Starting out as an allocator at River Island after a business degree at Salford University, Bark kept working towards her goal of merchandiser from the start – even during some tough times. Bark says: “Being an assistant merchandiser is really difficult because you are sandwiched between allocators and merchandisers, but you’ve got to stick with it and take the positives from it. Learning how to manage people can be a tough slog, but at the same time you are learning so much and creating a great career.”

Barks says she has believes that she is now set on a path to merchandise manager, head of merchandise and beyond.

Mary Anderson-Ford, director of retail at Whitepeak Group, says: “Michelle’s conscientious professional manner is hugely impressive. Definitely a merchandising director in the making.”

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