Properties and Procurement
New stores in new countries? Step forward our talented Properties team. As a team, we buy, manage and dispose of properties for our Retail, Wholesale and Logistics Divisions. Having found the perfect location for a new store, we then manage all shop fitting and design services. All this adds up to over £10 million worth of expenditure every year.
We also work hard to make sure that a Clarks store is a safe, secure and healthy place to work and shop. As well as providing maintenance and repairs services, we run a telephone help desk - so that our stores can get any property help they need as soon as they need it. It’s also our job to manage the maintenance, post and space planning at our Street global head office and distribution centre.
We buy on a global scale - for all areas and functions of our international business. We buy in goods and services that are not for resale - that means anything to do with not making shoes! We spend our time sourcing and negotiating with suppliers, and managing tenders and bid processes. We’re always looking ahead, managing commercial risk and making sure contracts we have in place will be able to meet the changing needs of our business - on a global scale. Our category management structure means we work in partnership with the people that hold the budgets. At the moment, we add about £4m to the bottom line.
Typical roles include ...
- Category Buyer
- Category Manager
- Properties Manager
- Project Manager
Spotlight on a ... Global Category Manager
Each day is different. Each hour, in fact. It’s my job to set and implement our global sourcing strategy. This involves looking after long-term relationships with suppliers around the world, making sure we get maximum value.
A typical week could include speaking to colleagues and suppliers via video links or face-to-face. I may also spend some time researching new technologies, analysing data and negotiating with suppliers to make sure we get the best price and level of service. The highs are always the final stages of negotiation just before a contract is signed - the adrenalin is really pumping then. The lows? When a supplier is slow to produce data and I have to chase them for answers.
Every project is exciting in its own way. You get to meet so many people and you’re always learning new ways to overcome challenges. There’s never a bad project, only a bad plan. The people I work with really want to make things happen - no day goes by without a smile or a friendly word.