Developing a career path in retail
A Harrods case study

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Page 3: Developing a career path

Harrods shoe boudoirHarrods stands out from its competitors by providing a wide variety of development opportunities for all employees. This means the business can recruit and retain good managers and maintain improvements in sales and business performance. Individuals’ self-esteem and motivation is raised. Once a year, managers talk to employees about their progress and ambitions during appraisals. Employees then identify their personal development targets.

The sales and service programmes include the ‘Harrods Welcome’. This induction provides essential training for new employees, such as Harrods’ brand values and The Theatre of Selling. Other courses ensure the effectiveness of Harrods sales associates:

  • ‘Your Theatre’ is a two-day programme to improve sales skills and provide the highest level of customer service. It introduces the idea of selling as a ‘theatre’ requiring specific skills and expertise. ‘The Theatre of Selling’ element covers personal presentation, effective questioning, product selection and closing the sale. ‘The Science of Selling’ develops employee awareness of customer types and needs.
  • The Harrods Fashion Programme is run in partnership with the London College of Fashion. It enables sales associates to understand the entire ‘product journey’ from design to sale.
  • The School of Communication offers voice, body language and presentation skills workshops.

For suitable candidates, the Harrods Sales Degree provides the high level sales skills the company needs. This is the first and only degree of its kind in Sales. It is recognised globally and can be completed in two years.

Harrods pizzeria kitchensHigh Potential programmes are concerned with succession planning. They are aimed at ensuring there is a strong pipeline of potential senior managers. The Harrods Management Programme develops ambitious and career-focused employees into a management role. Jessica joined the company after graduating with a degree in Art History. After just 3 years she is now a Harrods Retail Manager. She runs the Designer Collection sales floor, managing 26 employees and controlling a substantial budget.

My quick progression to Retail Manager was helped by the fact that Harrods allows people to take control of their own development to a large extent. Harrods supports you if you are keen to get on. The Harrods Management Programme gave me eight months of training, both in-house and external. This, together with the support of my mentor, has equipped me with the specific skills I need to carry out my job effectively.’ Jessica

Harrods offers other programmes:

  • The Business Academy which supports managers as they progress into more senior positions.
  • The Oxford Summer School which is a challenging academic learning opportunity held at Keble College, Oxford. This is designed to highlight some of the problems, decisions and challenges of running a retail business. 10 prized places are awarded to high potential managers.
  • The Buying Academy which develops our Assistant Buyers into Buyers of the future.

Harrods | Developing a career path in retail