AQUAblog

Are Women in B&M Treated Fairly?

Happy International Women’s Day: here’s to strong women everywhere. I know I’ve never hesitated to do the things I wanted in life, and have not seen any gender barriers blocking me. I grew up in a very female household; I went to an all-girls school; most of my bosses have been female; I’ve seen two female

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Assistant Merchandisers – Cherry Picking The Best

The longer I recruit for the merchandising world, the more I come to the realisation that Assistant Merchandisers are the biggest and most essential cog in the machine that is retail. And as we all know, merchandising is – as a function – at the very heart of the smooth running of a retail head office. I think what

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Counter Offers

So you’ve resigned and the boss you’ve asked time and time again for a promotion / a pay rise is surprised? Erm…..REALLY?! Next thing you know – HR have cornered you and offered you everything but a company Rolex to stay (let’s be honest, if they had one they would offer it to you!) including

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Graduate Afternoon – February 2016

Our first graduate day of 2016 was held last week on the 2nd February and – as ever – we really put our 4 carefully selected grads through their paces! After a brainstorming session pre-2016, we decided to add some new elements to our already robust AQUAretail graduate sessions – as they entered their 11th year.

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From Clicks to Bricks

The news of Amazon opening their first physical store – a bookshop in Seattle – is an interesting move for them, and typical of the current wave of innovation and expansion we’re seeing in the post-recessionary retail world. Whereas the downturn years saw online businesses flourish due to their lack of additional costs, now that

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How I Landed My Dream Job

Catherine Tooke – Director of Planning at Coach – tells AQUAretail how she managed her career to achieve the executive position she’s in today… When did you first find out about merchandising as a career? I found out about merchandising as a career after I did an internship in investment banking. Although I loved the

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How I Got Into Merchandising

AQUAretail hears from Lucy Evans – Assistant Merchandiser at Mint Velvet – about how she launched her merchandising career after university… When I didn’t know what to do After completing A-levels in Maths, Textiles and Economics, I went on to study Mathematics and Management at the University of Leeds. At this stage, I had no

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A Day In The Life…

AQUAretail talks to Amy Turland, Ladieswear Senior Merchandiser at House of Fraser. What time does your day begin? 5.30am on a Monday as I like to be fully prepared for our Monday Trade meeting and – depending on performance – it could be a little or a lot of preparation, with some ad hoc analysis

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Merchandising roundtable

In October 2015 AQUAretail joined forces with Drapers to host a roundtable event to discuss merchandising, and how the role is changing. Guests included senior executives from the likes of Thomas Pink, John Lewis, Gant, Dune, White Stuff and Net a Porter – along with James Clark who is a senior lecturer on B&M at

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A sense of nostalgia sees retailing go full circle

Fashion famously goes round in cycles – no sooner have we bid a (not so) fond farewell to the mini dress, the maxi dress is in. And nobody would have ever thought they’d welcome a midi length with open arms – least of all in combination with flats or brogues. I’ve recently been observing how

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The world of Merchandising Recruitment has never been busier

In July 2015, Drapers interviewed our MAF on the current state of the merchandising recruitment world – here’s what she said… Merchandising is an essential function within the retail head office family. Effective stock management, forecasting and trading are pivotal to the survival of a retailer in tough times, but equally key to helping sustain

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London – the holy grail of retailers everywhere

The recent news that Inditex are bringing their Stradivarius concept to London has been greeted with rapturous applause this month. On top of that, rumours abound that US teen fashion brand Aeropostale and South Korean 8Seconds are both on the hunt for locations has piled on even more excitement. J Crew’s recent forage into The

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Big Fish, Small Pond?

In the merchandising world what are the benefits of working as a small fish in a big pond and as a big fish in a small pond? AQUAretail assesses the pros and cons of working in a big corporate versus a small independent, and vice versa. Exposure: A pro in any business but often gained

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Moving Abroad – what value does it add to your CV?

Picture this… you’re an Assistant Merchandiser ready for the next level, whether it be a junior merchandiser title in an equivalent business or a merchandiser title in a smaller structure. A brand based in Germany have approached you to work with them, you’ve got no ties to the UK but are debating whether a move

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I don’t like my job, can I have my old one back please?

So you hate your new ‘dream’ job… You’re 2 months in and the thought of another 2 months at your new desk, in your new team is enough to make you want to stick pins in your eyes. You’re edging closer to sending the drafted email you’ve saved in your inbox to your old boss

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The Changing Face of the Retail Space

The increasing popularity of multichannel begs an interesting question – when will it stop? Will it just grow and grow until eventually we all shop through the computer? I’d say that’s unlikely. Or will there be a backlash and suddenly everybody will want to physically shop again? Again, unlikely. But I would imagine that the

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The Literal Growth of the Fashion Market

Any analyst looking at sales figures of certain retailers alongside current social trends will surely spot the glaring misalignment. As a nation, Brits are growing, and growing Brits need clothing. Far too few retailers are catering for the plus size market, and as such are missing a real trick that could seriously boost their fortunes.

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Forecasting the Unforecastable

Year after year it happens – THE BIG FREEZE, THE BIBLICAL FLOOD, LONDON IS MELTING. We’ve all seen the headlines, and thank goodness for the British weather for keeping our journalists in work. There’s nothing like trying to find a scandal in the handiwork of Mother Nature. But the impact of the weather doesn’t just

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Christmas is Coming

It’s a non-moveable feast. Whether a retailer is ready for it or not, it comes round as regularly as The XFactor and the threat of snow ruining all of our commutes. Christmas is the peak of “the golden quarter” for retailers, the period that can make or break a company’s fortunes for the year. And

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The Birth of W-Commerce

The choppy waters of retailing over recent years have seen the birth of some really exciting innovations – necessity is the mother of invention and all that. We’ve seen that as retailers’ needs have grown, so technology has moved on apace and given rise to the likes of Ecommerce, MCommerce…  And now WCommerce. The nation’s

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