Head of merchandising, women’s clothing, New Look, aged 30
Starting as an assistant merchandiser in BHS sportswear following a business degree at Cardiff University, she worked her way up to junior merchandising and merchandising roles in a number of the retailer’s departments.
“Over those eight years, I got to work closely with many great people, including [owner] Sir Philip Green and [millionaire supplier and long-term associate of Green] Richard Caring, who helped me learn [key] skills.”
Coomber joined New Look because she “wanted to test myself with fast fashion. I’ve adapted my style to it really well”.
And after just six months as head of merchandising for footwear and accessories, she moved up to the clothing role in October.
With ambitions to take a merchandising directorship one day, Coomber says: “I love the way the numbers work with the products. I try to take everything in my stride and not get stressed. If things do go wrong, you have to learn and move on.”
Mary Anderson-Ford, director of recruitment firm Bloom Retail, says: “I first met Sarah when she was an assistant merchandiser at BHS, and predicted that she was destined for the top. I’m so pleased that she’s now a head of merchandising.”