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How to be a...Senior manager for a multi-brand etailer

Mathew Dixon, Director, Hudson Walker International

Roles like this have increased dramatically in popularity over the past five years, so candidates come from many different backgrounds - both in terms of their career history and education.

Core fashion business skills such as strong negotiation abilities, a keen eye for the right product and understanding the consumer desires are the basis for this strategic role. Very often these are honed in senior buying roles in department stores such as Selfridges or Harrods, or discounters like TK Maxx. In these businesses, candidates often also get the chance to work on the online side.

Employers look for exposure to the right level of brands throughout a candidate’s career and, at this level, experience of managing multiple buying teams -accessories,

menswear, womenswear - is very desirable. A strong analytical track record is vital to ensure sales are maximised and decisions about slow-selling lines made quickly.

Linking with online marketing teams, the remit includes which ranges to promote in email shots and on the website’s home page. The role is for those with a true trading mentality as lead times are often tight and products available for short periods. Salaries start at £100,000.

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