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An Interview with Matt Earley: Account Director at Agile Retail

We talked to Matt Earley, an Account Director here at Agile Retail, about the work he and his team do in order to create the engrossing store experiences, award-winning trade shows, and eye-catching window displays that never fail to impress.

Q: Tell us a little a little bit about your role as Account Director at Agile Retail?

I’m an account director leading on all things creative and build. I love listening to our customers and developing a loose idea further and helping them achieve their goals. Whether it’s a print run, manufacturing point of sale, building a store or creating a tradeshow event – the variety keeps me on my toes, but they all follow the same process from paper to physical.


All of this and more involves an element of fast thinking, problem-solving, innovating, communicating and managing expectations; but ultimately delivering a great result for the brand – which is what I find most satisfying.


On any given day I can be talking to a marketing director, a project manager, a printer, a store colleague, a carpenter, a photographer, or someone who bakes delish cupcakes. I can be in the office, in my car, on the tube, in a warehouse, at our printers, in a workshop, in a store or at a tradeshow.

 


Q: What do you enjoy about the role and what makes you most proud at work?

Probably my favourite moments are when the largest projects come together. We work hard to harness the power of the team as there are a lot of great individual skillsets, and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the end results of a large project, not going to lie, I love building or creating things, tangible things that you can see and touch and experience. From renders to real life moments is what I enjoy most.

 


Q: How do you build and maintain strong customer relationships?

We are seen as an extension of a brand’s team, and so are expected to demonstrate an understanding of their business but also their competitors and ideally can reference experience in other sectors that can be applied to help resolve their business challenges.

There is so much to the role, but I would try and distil the answer down to 5 key points or skills that, if perfected, mean you have a fighting chance of success.

1.       Communication - verbal and written, but it is still essential to have face-to-face meetings in my view.

2.      Trust – the customer needs to know you won’t let them down.

3.      Flexibility - show resilience and agility in the face of unforeseen issues.

4.     Resolution - problem-solving is a day-to-day requirement.

5.      Know your stuff - you are often the expert and must have an opinion and be informed.

 


Q: Do you have a favourite project you have worked on?

I like working on tradeshows, pop-ups, and events as they are often the most creative projects and, since we are involved from the start, we are given a bit more artistic license. Our last 2 tradeshow stands won the ‘Best Stand’ award at the shows so we must have been doing something right!


My favourite ever project was a pop-up shop I did for Adidas for the Olympics in London, just off Carnaby Street. It combined my love of sport and fashion and retail spaces.


A more recent favourite has been seeing the rollout of a brand launch window takeover which we surveyed and installed in 950 stores. The pace and scale of the project tested and stretched the team, but we achieved fantastic results, each window was unique and bespoke but very impactful due to its size and location on high streets all over the UK and Northern Ireland.

 


Q: What makes Agile Retail a great place to work?

The variety of the offer and all the different things we are asked to do, often on short timelines, makes it challenging at times but there is never a dull moment.


Added to that are the people, who are knowledgeable, skilled, opinionated, or should I say, passionate about all things retail and experiential. It makes for a vibrant place to work.

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