Working in Merchandising
Merchandising sits right at the heart of everything that Superdry do. It’s a critical part of the process of the product journey from an initial idea to the shop floor. Once the Design team have produced their designs for each season, we join them for the line pick process where we select which products will go into production. We contribute analysis and insight to this process, looking at data from previous seasons to predict what products are likely to sell in what volumes, at what times in the season and in what type of store. This kind of intelligence allows us to decide with confidence which designs to take into production, and how many of each size, colour and style to order.
Our Merchandising teams, who are split into menswear, womenswear and footwear & accessories teams, review sales on a daily basis, looking at what’s selling well and what’s not, and constantly adjust our sales projections and order numbers accordingly. We also have a specialist Branch Merchandising team who look at sales data from individual stores and manage the flow of stock around the stores, allocating just the right amount of stock to each store so they don’t sell out but equally don’t have overflowing stock rooms. We constantly liaise with other departments right across the business, working particularly with the likes of Logistics and Production & Sourcing to make sure that our factories are able to react to our changing requirements and that we have the capacity to move stock around as needed.
It’s a constantly moving function and a very delicate balance to get it right. Merchandising is highly proactive and strategic, involving a tremendous amount of forward planning, but is also very nimble and reactive to business performance, which makes it a very exciting and dynamic place to work.
We are growing rapidly, with hundreds of new store openings planned globally over the next 5 years. This expansion plan will make our business an even more dynamic, exciting and interesting place to be, but naturally it will also place unprecedented demand on our core functions. As a department whose work is critical to the overall success of our business, Merchandising will need to adapt and grow in order to ensure that we are able to deliver against our ambitious business goals. Our new CEO has identified Merchandising as an area ready for significant investment to set us up for future success.
To ensure we are ready for this increase in activity, we have restructured our Merchandising team and added a number of new positions at all levels of the structure. The effect of these newly created roles will be a reduction in the number of product categories and options that each Merchandiser and their team looks after, allowing more detailed analysis and insight, therefore enabling us to forecast more accurately and buy the right options in the right volumes as we expand. These changes will allow our great people more time to do an even better job, improving our effectiveness and ultimately our bottom line.
Working in Merchandising at Superdry is a great opportunity for established Merchandising professionals to stretch themselves further, expand their skill set and widen their experience. Uniquely in our market, our Merchandising teams are very involved with the product, working closely with the design teams and making buying and ranging recommendations and decisions. Our Merchandisers work closely on a day-to-day basis with our Brand & Product Director and co-founder Julian Dunkerton, who has a very active involvement in the buying and design process and makes the final decisions on what we buy each season, based on the valuable insight given to him by the Merchandising team.
Our current Merchandisers really value the chance to work so closely with the man who started Superdry and allows them to significantly broaden their capability and expertise. The chance to work on a global basis is equally appealing, and as we continue to open stores across the world our Merchandising team will focus on international stores as much as those in the UK, giving the roles further challenge and interest.
We offer all of our full time head office employees 25 days holiday, plus bank holidays.
You’re auto-enrolled into our pension scheme within 3 months of joining. You get 2% company contributions (you put in 1%). If you’re a senior manager or senior contributor you can choose get 4% company contributions if you put in 5%. You can enrol immediately to get contributions from your first payday.
Everyone at head office is covered by our group life assurance policy. It’s worth 2x your salary, or 4x if you’re a senior manager or senior contributor. That means if you were to die while you work for us, your named beneficiary would receive a tax free lump sum worth 2 (or 4) years of your salary.
Staff Discount & Staff Shop
Everyone at Superdry gets 50% off everything bought in our UK standalone stores (not including House of Fraser concessions) and online, and 30% off in our outlet stores. You can only use your discount to buy products for yourself, though we do also offer limited friends and family discounts from time to time. We also have a shop at our head office that stocks heavily discounted Superdry sample products which are available to buy for anyone you choose.
We regularly offer our people the chance to join Sharesave. You save money each month from your wages and at the end of 3 years you use your savings to buy discounted Superdry shares. You can then keep them or sell them, hopefully for a profit. The best thing is, you can’t lose money, only make it!
Private Medical Insurance
Senior managers and senior contributors are eligible for private medical insurance, which is a taxable benefit. This gives you peace of mind that you will be able to have private treatment in the event of illness.
Every employee can elect to take part of their salary in childcare vouchers. These come out of your pre-tax salary, so if you have a child that goes to a registered childcare provider, they’re a good way to save money on your childcare costs compared to paying for it out of your after-tax salary.
Bike to Work Scheme
If you want to cycle to work but don’t have a bike, you can obtain one through us, with payments coming out of your pre-tax salary. As well as being able to get a new bike without having to save up or use credit, it’s a good way to save money compared to paying for it out of your after-tax salary.
All employees have access to a free, confidential phone line that you can call if you have any worries about anything in your life, inside or outside work, and talk to a trained advisor about whatever is troubling you. It’s good to know that there is always someone there to talk to who can help.
The recruitment process
in a few easy steps
We use lots of different ways to assess candidates who apply for roles with us. Everyone’s journey through the recruitment process begins with an online application, but from there we will use a combination of different methods to decide on the perfect candidate for each role. We’ve outlined the key steps below, though we don’t use all of these steps for every vacancy. Which of these selection methods we use varies from role to role.
All our hires start with an online application. It’s a straightforward process, just click any of the apply links, create your account and follow the instructions.
We review all application forms and CVs carefully against the role criteria we set out in the job description, and pick the most suitable people for each role to take forward.
We usually start our head office recruitment with a short telephone interview, to understand more about your career history, achievements, capabilities and cultural fit.
We often use this for our Sales Assistant recruitment in stores. It is a group session involving interactive and creative exercises and a short sharp interview.
We invite people in to meet the recruiting manager for all head office and store management roles. It’s a great way to really get to know you and evaluate your experience and suitability.
Sometimes we use testing to understand technical competencies, management skills, numerical ability etc. This isn’t for every role, only where we need a skill that it’s hard to show at interview.
Learning & Development
The Superdry Academy
All of our learning & development activity at Superdry is designed and managed by the Superdry Academy – a dedicated in-house team who specialise in on-brand training programmes which help our people to enhance and develop their skills to be the best they can be.
Everyone who joins at head office attends a Superdry induction, where you learn all about Superdry. We tell you all the practical things you need to know, such as health & safety, parking and our staff shop, and you’ll also learn about our history and key people. We also have guest speakers who give you their own unique insights into life at Superdry.
Lunch & Learn
We hold monthly lunchtime learning sessions on a particular area of the business. They’re open to anyone who wants to learn more about that topic, all you have to do is book on. We’ve run them on design, denim, fashion PR, finance, property and our photo studio. They’re very popular and we’re told they’re really informative and help people understand what part each department plays in our success.
If you join in a people management role, you’re eligible for these sessions. Designed to help develop your skills as a manager, they cover topics like time management, developing resilience, recruiting people, managing difficult conversations, coaching, influencing, strategic thinking, and managing conflict. If you complete them all you’ll be accredited by the Institute of Leadership & Management.
We are committed to developing both our current and future leaders at Superdry and we invite different cohorts of people to take part in our leadership development programme throughout each year, across all levels of our organisation. We use the FED model which has Future, Engage and Deliver as the core aspects of the programme.
Many of the roles we have at head office require strong Excel, Word or Power Point skills, or the ability to use niche products like Illustrator or Photoshop. To help people improve their ability to use these tools effectively, we run a series of courses to help people understand more about them and how they work. We offer beginner, intermediate and advanced courses for all ability levels.
Some of our roles benefit from people who are qualified professionally, such as some positions in finance or legal. Where there’s a clear business benefit to Superdry, we’ll help people with funding and time off to study for professional qualifications. For people seeking to enhance their qualifications and who can demonstrate the benefit this will bring, it’s a great opportunity for development.
As an international business which operates in many different countries, we recognise that having people with the ability to speak foreign languages is a huge advantage for us. We offer free weekly classes in French, German and Spanish, which are run at our head office by professional language tutors. Whether a beginner or a strong linguist, these classes will really help your skills to develop.
Here at Superdry we think it’s important that every employee is properly trained on some of our key issues. We’ve developed interesting and innovative e-learning modules to help everyone achieve the required competency in certain areas, and will roll out further modules on other key topics in the future.
Sometimes it’s necessary for people to be trained on something that we don’t currently cover – this might be a new software package, or a different type of skill set. Leaders across the business often ask us to develop bespoke training plans to help upskill their teams, and we are often able to oblige and design a new training scheme to deliver these skills.
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