We sat down with our Retail Operations Director, Olivier, to find out a a bit more about how he and his team keeps our store operations working smoothly!
Q: What do you and the team in Retail Operations do?
Retail Operations was once described to me as the ‘everything else’ that doesn’t live in Stock Management, Warehouse & Logistics, People Team, Account Management, Design & Build etc etc…
I took umbrage to this until I realised that it actually encompasses all of the above. Ops should be thought of as the mechanism that brings all this together to keep our stores running efficiently, cost effectively, safely and ensures the doors stay open every day.
Ops is not ‘everything else’ – it’s in fact ‘everything.’]
Q: What do you find exciting about Operations at Agile Retail?
The Operational challenges of Agile Retail are exciting, thought provoking, and fast paced. This week alone we have been given a brief to open two pop up units for one of our customers.
In two weeks’ time, we’ll be launching a new-to-market product range in two high footfall areas, sampling, transacting, educating, filming, data capturing and product analysing whilst ensuring this is all in keeping with the brand image and ethos. We will deliver. We’ll make sure of it.
We’ve also opened a new concept ‘teaching and training’ retail unit this month for an international customer breaking into the UK market. We’ve brought together our laser focused Operational Retail and Experimental Retail divisions to create a profitable and operationally effective retail experience, that is truly unique to market.
These two recent projects have reinforced to me the fact that there is no ‘cookie cutter’ model in retail. Every customer, product and project does not fit into a ‘category’. We ascertain what is the end goal, what is best for our customer and what we need to do to achieve this. As a partnership.
Q: What would you makes Agile retail’s approach to store unique?
Agile Retail is not only reactive and problem solving - it’s operationally excellent. We deliver on short timelines, but we also maintain stores that are now 5+ years ‘old’ and growing year on year. We constantly innovate and bring ideas to our customers to ensure we and they are not left behind.
This is personified by the run up to Christmas. Always a major focus to us. That’s why we start the process in August. Christmas windows, Black Friday offers, January sales are thought out, planned, and implemented in a timely manner to ensure we have everything in place to be able to be reactive when needed.
Q: What makes you most proud at work?
The diversity of what we do and how we’re able to stretch to so many different challenges. And of course, the results we deliver! Within the last few months our various customers have a seen a flagship store hit record sales, a Bluewater site increase stock efficiency ordering by +40%, our logistics costs decrease by 12% and 100% achievement of our operational KPI’s.
Whether it’s a large-scale staffing brief or a uniform order of 5000 jackets needed in 3 weeks, a seamless bricks and mortar re-location or two pop ups in Birmingham – Operations is involved in it all.
It’s what we do.