“We genuinely shape and mould brands and because product is at the heart of what we do, we’re taking action and being creative every day.”
Why boohoo group? What makes it different?
We’re one of the most successful pure-play businesses and what’s fabulous is how entrepreneurial the culture is. I have the freedom to operate and run my business units. Even though we are a group, each brand and leader have their own different culture within boohoo and we’re given freedom to express that. It’s refreshing. I like how driven and creative we are without compromising on the fast pace – it’s basically go-go-go!
What led you here, and what keeps you here?
I was led to the Group because it’s a market leader in pure-play. It’s cash-rich, which means we can invest in innovation and do the right thing by our customers, people, supply chain and the planet. It’s fast-growing. It truly is a successful business. I believed I could learn a lot, and I have.
One thing that influenced me joining was wanting to discover more about customer engagement and interaction. What cuts through and engages when there is no physical presence in brick-and-mortar stores? I was intrigued. What keeps me here is the distinct personality of the boohoo group and how it shines through, and I love the can-do attitude and how product is at our heart. The business is human.
I’ve had the opportunity to grow brands within the Group. As a leader, the chance to take and change something for the better, within the boohoo infrastructure and learn from existing expertise, was appealing. I love how I can genuinely shape and mould brands. We are brand and customer-focused, and because product is at the heart of what we do, we’re taking action and being creative every day. There’s no bureaucracy here. We empower people to make decisions, try something new and move forwards.
What’s your vision, strategy and leadership style?
I would say my style is inclusive and non-hierarchical. I put the customer and the product first in every decision I make. If we do right by our customer with the best product, the best fit, the best design, they’ll be loyal to us. Our customer drives us and me especially. I encourage my team to always want to do better, to try something new, to make decisions and to have confidence. I believe in recruiting talent and allowing them to be good at what they do. It’s about freedom to operate and trust, so they succeed. I’m not afraid of failure – we learn from our mistakes, so I keep encouraging new ideas, different approaches. Above all, I want my teams to be brave because we all learn from that. That’s how people become the best version of themselves.
My vision varies between the brands I look after – they all have different jobs to do. However, the common theme is a beautiful product that’s great value for money, which reaches the customer quickly. Putting creativity at the forefront allows us to do this.
Why should top talent join us? What’s in it for them?
The key thing for me is that this is an amazing place to learn and grow. Because the buying cycle is so fast and our option count is so vast, you live three years of experience in one compared to working at a brick and mortar retailer. The sheer volume of cycles is condensed here, so you’re exposed to more really quickly. My brands are each like a start-up with an entrepreneurial mentality. We’re emerging brands within the group – Nasty Gal, Karen Millen, Coast, Warehouse, Oasis – so my teams are exposed to how the whole business works end to end. We’re re-imagining each brand and putting our customer and product at the heart of everything we do. There’s so much to do and get involved in so our people get exposure across the Group and accelerated progression.