FENWICK

Simplification of Operating Model and Development of Merchandising

Fenwick is the UK’s leading independent department store group
founded in 1846 with 9 stores Fenwick.co.uk

Reacting to challenging circumstances for department stores, in 2018 Fenwick embarked on a modernisation programme, launching on- line and centralising its buying operation and implementing a Merchandising function. I was engaged to provide expert advice to the Buying and Merchandising leadership team through this process and mentor the Merchandising Director.

The challenge was to create a new operating model, provide systems and tools to the Buying and Merchandising teams and train them on industry best practice with the aim of improving business performance and simplifying the process to reduce the size of the team.

I have advised on organisation structure and roles, recruiting 20 Merchandising professionals. I led the design of new processes for commercial budgeting, Range planning, OTB management and Trading. I held workshops for 75 Buyers and Merchandisers on the new processes, supported by on- line training delivered by my associates at First Friday. I had total ownership of rationalising the product hierarchy from 3000+ sub-departments to circa 300 to simplify planning and defined metrics, trading reports and a WSSI requirement.

Currently I am delivering a new project, as the Buying and Merchandising lead (Product owner) on the implementation of D365 Finance and Operations to simplify the operating model further and deliver more cost savings. The systems implementation is led by Quantiq with Scrum agile methodology.

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“Sarah has played a critical role in implementing a Merchandising function at Fenwick. Her expertise in this field is second to none. Sarah is a delight to work with”

Robbie Feather – ex CEO Fenwick Ltd