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Case study 1 – Developing a brand & positioning; business planning - LUXURY BRAND MARKET

I met Gushlow & Cole in 2014 /15 – they clearly had an amazing heritage. Fascinating to hear how they had grown up together – their passion for fashion; very infectious! Their hands-on approach from working in Katrina’s Fathers’ factory – showed they really understood their craft. A meticulous eye for quality and a passion for traditional British make. These qualities are inherent within every one of our pieces and our brand philosophy is key.

They had a small unit with two machines in Katrina’s garage; their ambition was clear and set about helping along their journey. I spent time listening; giving them the encouragement to develop a website; introducing them companies to broaden their Brand and product range.

My aim as ever is to work with the team, the owners as they are the ones that will take their Brand forward.

Helping them understand every aspect of their business. They still work closely with their team, working with other designers in various collaborations at a much larger workshop in Kent. I am proud to have helped Gushlow & Cole grow and flourish; with their collections Made in England.

It shows with great determination, support of their families – that they have a fantastic future!

Case study 2 – Home wares and Furniture – New Colours and Technical Fabrics; work in collaboration with in house team;

Working with the established team; I was asked by Gareth Williams – MD, to review the fabrics on offer. This included looking at their colour, fabric types and finishes. 

I worked with them to understand the background which was key to understanding the ranges – all based around natural fabrics.

With the upsurge in Homewares; especially more competition in the market - it was vital to inject “Commercial Newness”. 

I set about developing a logical reasoning for various new items – which would enhance the current ranges. 

Reviewing the competitions colours, and fabrics was vital. Along with the new market trends from Suppliers who were I the “Know” of items in development; I also covered various important shows – not just for colour and fabrics but for technical innovation. 

From this we found various gaps in various aspects of the ranges, design and fabric innovation as core to the project. 

Looking at New innovations in Smart fabrics, which had stain resistant qualities certainly increased sales

Along with adding new fashion driven colours such as Teal; these few things really injected spark! 

The lesson here is that a few changes - simple, logical extensions we did not imbalance the established range; really brought rewards! exciting new selling features for the Sales team to talk about with confidence. 

Keeping it SIMPLE can be the best SOLUTION…..


Case study 3 – Gifting; using knowledge; Spinning Hat

M&S had established suppliers; with their wish to update, they were looking for more fashion and concept driven Suppliers. They realised that they had the Mum shopping for her children. The product was too safe; not appealing to the receiver.  Hence looking for more innovative Suppliers. 

As I knew the Head of Buying, this helped Spinning Hat to get an initial appointment. This “inside track” is very helpful; all eventually comes down to the deliverables and clear USP’s over established groups. 

Having worked with similar groups; I was aware of the procedures. Spinning hat met with the M&S; showed them products which we had investigated their market. The brief was taken; we researched the market, consumer profiling. Looked at gaps from “what they said” we also adding future trends and ideas. 

At the presentation actual 3d models, examples of packaging, quality and audit info of factories. Along with a view of how the concept would look instore; plus, how if sold through how residue stock could be handled, and new items added. 

As I have a design and technical background, I could answer most issues around product needs. This in particular saved further meetings and assured the Buyers that we had all aspects covered. This was supported with costing and proposed stock levels based on selling in various grades of stores. (subject to proposed orders suggested) 

The aim was to “GIVE a COMPLETE SOLUTION”… many buyers have very diverse ranges in these areas; hence having a Supplier that had thought the process through got this over the winning post after the 1st presentation. 

Having the Product knowledge; along with selling skills this alleviated time pressures and assured the Buyers that they had a Supplier and a contact who “KNEW” the reality of their job and needs. This became a substantial order for the company.

Case study 4 – Home and Food Trends aligned for greater promotional activity and broader sales

Whilst at Sainsbury's as the Head of Product on GM (general merchandise / non-food) I was invited by Judith Bachelor – Main board Trading Director to be part of the “Great Food Debate”. We were discussing the changes in lifestyle, convenience food for an example. 

I presented what I saw from a fashion and home prospective – which was inspiring to the food team. From this we worked on combining promotions, eg. If there was a Pasta promotion; we would make sure that we had Pasta bowls, jars etc. Close by. Engaging the consumer into multiple purchases. 

We understood that it was the start of more interest in the ingredients, healthy eating and getting “true value” from your food, and the environment / setting. 

From this came the campaign on “Values”; this not meaning cheap; but honest wholesome value foods which would add benefit, goodness to your family. 

This collaboration continues with the Food, and General merchandise team to embrace and give great value products across all the divisions of Sainsbury’s… 

We did collaborative trips to various places, e.g. New York for trends in shopping, food directions and areas such as gifting where it was clear that the group could combine their resources. 

We were able to dual site items in store; gain better margins and profitability across various departments. 

This was not easy to establish; but once the first season had established a great formula this has progressed year on year to great success…

Healthy Diet
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