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How to be a...Head of retail for a casualwear brand

Gemma Wood, Operations manager, CVUK

Candidates seeking to develop a career in retail or wholesale operations need an excellent understanding of how the retail industry works. Although a fashion or business degree is beneficial, many at this level have started their careers on the shopfloor as successful store managers before progressing through the ranks to an area or operations-based role.

To join a smaller or niche brand, it is important to have a strong understanding of the retail business operation as a whole, as the responsibilities will be more diverse than with a larger, established brand or retailer. These can include growing distribution channels, setting up transactional websites and developing key relationships with independent retailers and franchise partners. Excellent communication skills are a must, as you will play a pivotal role between internal and external customers.

Potential employers will look for someone with a proven track record of growing a fashion business, great commercial awareness and success. You will be expected to understand the current market, competitor activity and what your customer is looking for, ahead of time.

Salaries vary, but can range from £60,000 to £100,000.

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