Developing a career path in retail A Harrods case study
Page 5: Careers at Harrods
Harrods ensures there is a clear career path for any employee, from any background. Three key levels in Harrods are the sales employee, department managers and senior managers. At each level, employees can benefit from Harrods development programmes in order to build a career.
James is a Sales Associate and one of Harrods first Sales Degree students. When an injury prevented him from following his previously chosen career in contemporary dance, he applied to Harrods. He has never looked back. Harrods training has given him transferable skills. He has been able to work within more than one department, providing the same high levels of customer experience.
‘The course is absolutely fantastic. I feel very privileged to be on it. It is very much focused on work-based learning. It provides real insight into consumer psychology and behaviour - why people do what they do and how they shop - and how to deal with challenging situations. My managers are very supportive. If I need to take some time out during the day to make notes on an interesting situation, then I can. It has offered some amazing opportunities, such as giving me behind-the-scenes information on how Harrods works and increasing my awareness of its global influence. I have realised that Harrods offers great benefits, good conditions and an opportunity to work amongst fantastic people.’ James
James will complete his BA Honours in 2012. He believes that the qualification will provide the additional skills he needs before he steps up to the next level at Harrods. James now expects his future to be with Harrods.
Amber’s application was successful because of the customer skills she was able to bring from previous experiences. She is now the Retail Manager of Childrenswear. Her responsibilities range from overseeing budgets to managing both stock and people, as well as upholding the Harrods standards of service. By taking advantage of the Harrods Management Programme, Amber has risen to a better paid and more responsible job.
‘Retail is a challenging environment but I find it exciting. Although the company aims to hire the right people for the job in the first place, there is a whole range of training available to ensure we are equipped with key skills, for example, brand training for all the different ranges we offer. Harrods promotes the view that all employees should manage themselves responsibly and take advantage of opportunities offered.’Amber
Sabrina joined Harrods 10 years ago as a part-time Sales Associate whilst studying for her degree. After graduating she worked in Human Resources (HR) and, with Harrods support, gained further qualifications. This led to a series of promotions and experience in other roles including Business Manager. Her current role is Head of Personal Shopping, managing a team of 50 people. Personal shopping is about creativity and exceptional service. Her role requires strong organisational skills, commercial understanding and practical and strategic thinking. Sabrina’s experiences at Harrods shows how diverse a career in the retail environment can be.
‘Knowing that my senior managers recognised my ability and supported me in my career development has made me eternally loyal to the company. Before coming to Harrods I hadn’t really considered a career in retail, now I can’t imagine working anywhere else. The thing I enjoy most about working at Harrods is that every day is unique and the work is interesting and innovative.’Sabrina