Sorcha Pike, Head of division, Freedom Recruitment
Sales managers for mainstream womenswear brands can come from a range of backgrounds but a background in fashion is usual, or a degree in a fashion-related subject. However, on-the-job experience is key. Candidates can start in retail for well-established brands, merchandising or production for smaller independent labels, then move into wholesale when they have a good understanding of the product and target audience.
Opportunities to move within the industry are vast, with most brands operating in several countries and markets worldwide. A thorough knowledge of brand placement and critical distribution channels per territory is key to becoming a sales manager. You will also need strong analytical skills and a good understanding of product performance.
Sales managers work on the brand’s overall sales strategy, whether this is targeting territories, specific retailers, or launching a new product to an established brand. Employers look for a good understanding of their brand’s ethos, product type and target customer, so will value experience with a like-for-like brand.
Salaries usually range from £40,000 to £65,000.