Hey everyone! Meet one of our Store Area Managers: Jody.
Jody is responsible for looking after the Store Managers in over 20 stores across East Anglia. In her fast-paced role Jody has to juggle a lot of key areas including opening new stores across the UK, recruitment and driving the teams to success.
Here she chats to us about how she started her career, what it takes to make it in fashion retail and her favourite picks for the summer.
Tell us a bit about you and your career history.
I started in retail at the age of 16 whilst at college, working part time for a high street beauty store. I quickly realised I loved working with customers and worked my way up to Store Manager of a high street ladies fashion brand. By the age of 22 I was a Store Manager in London for a premium ladies fashion brand. At 26 I became a Cluster manager in East Anglia for a high street fast fashion brand, then 2 years later I became Area Manager at Yours. I have been with Yours since March 2014 so around 3 ½ years.
How has your career progressed at Yours?
When I started at Yours over 3 years ago I had 10 stores across the East Anglia Area. I now have over 20 stores. Over the 3 years I have assisted and lead over 30 new store opening and re-fits within the UK, Northern Ireland and Dubai.
Describe a typical working week for you at Yours.
A typical working week starts on a Monday morning with a detailed look at the stores sales, collating information from my stores and to do this I have to liaise with several Head Office departments. Based on my findings I plan my week prioritising poor sales performing stores and stores that need support. Throughout the week I will visit around 9 stores on my area. seeing 2 stores a day. Each store visit is different and focuses on different things depending on the store and the location. Throughout the week I will have regular phone calls with all my Store Managers to assist and support them in any way I can to achieve their sales targets and ensure they have completed all Head Office actions.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
The long hours and nights away from home can be a challenge, but this is a small percentage of the day to day life of an Area Manager.
What is the best part about your job?
The best part of my job is being out and about in a different town or city every day, working with all my teams to help deliver the best customer service to all our customers.
What’s the most important skill to have for your job?
Knowledge and experience of retail and fashion
Good communication skills
An eye for detail
Self-motivation and the desire to be the best
Passion for the brand
Be a good organiser
What career advice would you give to people looking to start a career in fashion retail?
My advice would be to start a Saturday job as early as you can as the more experience you have combined with a good general education, the better equipped you are. Get the grass roots of retail under your belt and then you can go further. Even if you are looking to go into a head office based role experience in a store is the best thing on your CV.
If you had a second career option what would it be?
To work within Music, I love music and studied this at university.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Working for Yours of course! I love it here and this company has so much more to achieve and deliver in the next 5 years and I cannot wait to be part of the ongoing success!
Finally, what are your current must-have items from clothing from Yours?
I’m loving this stripe bardot (product code 130159 – £23.99) and anything embroidered is still so hot right now like this sleeveless denim shirt (product code 130141 – £26.99). I’m also loving this new gingham top with pretty detailing (product code 210063 – £23.99), it really makes you feel like summer is here!