Full-Time Head of Retail Operations (Director designate)
‘Head of Retail Operations’ (Director Designate) is required for retail group of established fast growing luxury goods retailer of popular global brand in Greater London region and based in the Group’s Head Office in Bracknell.
A fast growing luxury retail brand group, owning 8 stores in prestigious positions and expecting to build that to 10 stores in 2016.
All stores are within London and just outside the M25 circle, as well as The Thames Valley region.
Due to organic growth, the group now requires an experienced Manager with a strong background in Retail operations, to take on the co-ordination of all the store based retail activities of the group, allowing the owners to focus on their other group business development.
As the Head of Retail Operations, you will report directly to the Group’s owners, overseeing all the company’s retail operational needs, handle daily business issues, be responsible for the complete retail management structure, manage company associations, and recognise, plan and develop business growth opportunities.
Our intention is to be ready for you to join The main Board after 12 months and upgrade to ‘Director’ level, subject to your having proved your abilities to run the retail operations as required.
You will be responsible directly to the ‘Managing Director Owners’ (MDO) and overseeing the various other retail managers and divisions within the Head Offices in Bracknell and ensuring that the stores are all adequately supported and that everybody is constantly communicating and negotiating as required with the individual stores, franchisors and other business associates.
You will also be continuously working to strategically expand, preserve or improve the company’s procedures, standards or policies while sticking to business edicts and regulatory guidelines.
Within your responsibility to expand the number of group retail stores, you will be expected to be capable of identifying new store opportunities and controlling and managing the appropriate feasibility studies so as to be able to present the opportunity to The Board and on approval, be capable of presenting to and negotiating with the franchisors to open any new store and ultimately handling the management of all departmental responsibilities required, including all contracts, to take the store to its successful opening day.
You will contribute to the development, implementation, monitoring and review of an overall business strategy that maximises the retail net profit by driving sales and controlling costs at Head Office level
You will build motivated and high performing teams through the effective leadership and line management to retail staff.
Ensure that the company maximises added value opportunities afforded through its high profile store presence including raising public awareness and creating opportunities for controlled growth and profit.
Key Responsibilities: Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
• Work with the MDO and other Heads of Function to influence the creation and communication of company strategy, business priorities and targets for the regional store Teams and ensure there are systems in place to enable the shop managers to receive the information in a
• Generate ideas about future retail activities to ensure a cutting edge strategy; maintain up to date knowledge of the market place, competitors and trends
• Use open feedback mechanisms from the Head Office management team with other departments to ensure the integration of the retail strategy with the company’s other activities
• Influence and support the annual budget process and weekly sales reports to ensure that the management team is always aware of emerging retail patterns and opportunities, whilst maintaining an awareness of new product lines and their saleability to ensure that fast moving lines are always maintained.
• Constantly review financial data and support the Head Office Managers in providing realistic input into the sales budgets, which they in turn have developed as a result of active input from the regional Store Managers.
• Take decisions on matters relating to the day to day retail operation within their defined work area including the strategic planning of resources
• Translate the strategic goals into retail operational plans to achieve the required targeted growth in sales and profit; identifying and optimising promotional opportunities ensuring these are co-ordinated through the marketing department with wider company promotions and campaigns
• Ensure that the retail operation complies with all policies and procedures relating to Security, Health and Safety, influencing any changes necessary to meet statutory requirements, ensuring minimum risk to staff members and the business
• Ensure that all new store proposals meet the required return on sales prior to submitting any
recommendations to The Board; full feasibility studies will have been undertaken for all proposed new store locations, which should also be visited to ensure they will trade effectively and meet the proposed budgets
• Occasionally spend time in stores with the Operations Manager or Commercial Manager, to observe the retail stores teams and customers and to understand and identify business critical issues in order to ensure the alignment of tactics and strategies; maintaining the corporate identity of the company and brand in all shops and related initiatives
• Take a lead role in building a strong sales management culture with the commercial and operations managers; spending time working with and coaching key Head Office managers, identifying skills and opportunities for development; providing advice and guidance on store manager issues when needed.
• Work with the HR team to ensure people management issues are satisfactorily resolved and relevant HR policies and procedures are adhered to. Chair disciplinary, grievance, capability hearings and appeals as required.
• Proactively manage and review the performance and progress of key Head Office Managers and their regions, setting objectives and targets; ensuring that individual training plans for the key management team are developed and completed
• Instigate the creation of procedures and systems to maximise recruitment and retention of staff and to ensure that operations manuals are available for every level of staff and department
• Recruit, train and develop key management staff ensuring adherence to the Group’s HR systems and procedures
• Maintain and constantly develop innovative and cost effective stock generation; monitoring stock weekly to achieve bottom line sales budget against monthly targets
• Ensure the regular production and present when required, of a range of financial/non financial reports for The Board as required
The retail operations geographically will initially consist of the 8 to 10 store regions illustrated in the ‘Organisation Chart’ with around 7 employed Head Office staff and 1 Store Manager, plus 1 Assistant Store Manager and 6 to 8 sales staff in each store. Though during Christmas and some other periods, extra staff will be employed on a temporary basis.
You will have full P&L accountability for all the retail store operations.
Decision Making Parameters:
You will be empowered to make decisions on all aspects of the running of the retail store business of the Group within the guidelines set by the company
You will consult with the appropriate departments on all non-routine decisions
You will be involved in the strategic direction and development of the company, participating at Board level in the decision making process for new initiatives, projects and procedures
You will define the tactics that realises the business strategy for the operations team and ensure that the systems are in place to support them
• Management experience within the Retail sector
• Extensive Retail business experience including relevant multi-site gained within the retail sector.
• Experienced in managing relationships at a senior level and managing a diverse (in terms of skill base and experience) team of people
• Must be able to demonstrate the ability to contribute and successfully deliver against a business strategy
• Must possess a track record of increasing and sustaining sales growth and profitability even in
challenging market conditions.
• Experience of site evaluation and negotiation
• Must demonstrate a proven ability to motivate, inspire, coach and develop people
Key Skills Sought:
• Excellent communication skills – verbal and written, to include report writing and group presentations
• Influencing and negotiation skills
• Excellent people/interpersonal skills
• Commercially sound with a good understanding of profit and loss accounting and the influence of operating factors e.g. volume vs. price
• Excellent organisation skills, able to prioritise and delegate
• A collaborative team player – concerned with the team success as well as individual performance
• Visible Leadership skills – can motivate others to achieve
• Solution orientated – decisive by nature
• Superior management and organisational skills
• Prior Retail industry experience within a ‘group’ retail environment
• Comprehensive knowledge of the Retail industry
• Confident and efficient presentation and communication skills
• Focus and thoroughness
• The capacity to be influential and amenable
• Professionalism and cordiality
• Outstanding project management expertise
• The capacity to adequately handle work stress
• The capacity to meet project deadlines
• Technical knowledge of travel distribution channels
• Decisiveness and mercantile shrewdness
• Solid problem solving, decision making and analytical capabilities
• Knowledge of contracts to verify, oversee or approve commercial agreements and documentation.
• Possess good computer skills with a good working knowledge of Microsoft Office documentation such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
• Working knowledge of legislation within Retail, HR and Health and Safety
• Self starter – high energy levels
• Positive and Enthusiastic
• Strong professionally – credible with integrity
• Good Listener – will challenge constructively and respond well to feedback
• Most definitely not a ‘9-5’ or ‘5 day a week’ individual
• Mobility: The job may entail frequent travel to stores and other meeting sites