9 months part-time fixed term contract, with possible extension.
Freemasons’ Hall in Central London (Holborn / Covent Garden) provides a magnificent Art Deco meeting place for UK and international freemasons. The Hall is open to both masons and the general public. It houses the Museum of Freemasonry which holds one of the finest collections of masonic artefacts and archives in the world.
Located within the Hall is a specialist masonic shop called ‘Letchworth’s’. It supplies both attire and regalia to the freemasonry community and provides visitors to the hall with a memento of their visit. ‘Letchworth’s’ also has an online shop, thereby extending its reach to Masons who prefer to shop from home; many of whom are based in international lodges. There is also another small gift shop within the Museum itself.
There are plans in development that (when implemented) will enhance the visitor facilities and services within Freemasons’ Hall, the ultimate aim being to open-up this unique and iconic venue to a wider audience. This is likely to involve a re-envisioning of the retail offer and the addition of catering facilities. To that end there is a need to operate the current retail proposition as profitably and efficiently as possible so that it is well placed to exploit new opportunities in the future.
Against this backdrop a vacancy has arisen for a part-time (fixed term) Buyer Merchandiser. They would have responsibility for the range planning and supplier management of the in-house and online retail outlets. Reporting to the newly-appointed Head of Trading, they would work closely with the new Shop Manager and together they would have a unique opportunity to drive sales, whilst laying down the foundations for change.
Currently, ‘Letchworth’s’ generates combined in-store and online gross turnover in excess of £1m per annum; the profits of which are donated to the Museum of Freemasonry. This fixed term part-time role will have overall responsibility for the placing of orders for attire, regalia, books and gifts sold in all the in-store and online outlets, as well as managing the supplier base.
The buyer merchandiser will also be expected to review and improve (if required) the current buying and merchandising processes, in order that ‘Letchworth’s’ is set-up to exploit its future potential. This includes the opportunity to make interim changes to the current range plan and supplier base within the context of the organisation’s strategic plans and backed-up with supporting evidence.
They will also be expected to work closely and collaboratively with a new shop manager. Together they will need to determine how stock is presented on the shop floor, based on sales and stock data, customer feedback and basic visual merchandising best practice. They both may be required to work alongside and support external consultants. No prior knowledge of freemasonry is required.
Maintaining retail continuity and providing visitors to Freemasons’ Hall with the best possible merchandise offering. At the time same time reviewing and improving the buying and merchandising processes so that future retail opportunities can be fully exploited.
- Familiarisation with ‘Letchworth’s’ current supplier base and buying and payment procedures.
- Identifying and implementing new ways of working that make the buying and merchandising operation more efficient and profitable.
- Establishing a collaborative partnership with the shop manager based on a customer and profit centric approach to buying and selling.
- Forecasting sales and stock cover, ensuring replenishment orders are placed in a timely manner to prevent sell-outs or over-stocks.
- Negotiating with suppliers to secure the best possible terms and conditions including cost prices, minimum order quantities and lead times
- Liaising with the Museum team to help them offer the best possible capsule gift shop range to their visitors.
- Influencing how the shop is laid out and the stock presented. Basing layout changes on hard facts and figures that are combined with visual intelligence.
- Ensuring that invoices are processed and paid in a timely manner and supplier terms and conditions are adhered to.
- Adhering to internal financial reporting schedules which include stock-takes, rolling stock counts and the maintenance of stock file accuracy.
- Putting forward ideas as to how both the in-store and online proposition can be developed in the future, including the use of social media and marketing.
- Taking ownership of personal health and safety responsibilities and those that could impact on others within the workplace.
- Having an open and proactive relationship with the colleagues in other areas of the organisation.
The following skills and attributes are essential:
- Relevant buying and merchandising experience
- Highly organised and able to prioritise
- A proven track record in managing and developing a range plan
- Confident in data analysis and the use of EPoS, Excel and MS Office
- Self-motivated, determined with a meticulous attention to detail
- Able to work collaboratively to achieve shared goals and objectives
- Self-motivated taking personal responsibility for getting things done
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Awareness of the wider retail context and relevant merchandise trends
- Creative and entrepreneurial
The following would be desirable:
- An interest in museums and visitor attractions
- Basic visual merchandising skills
- Basic understanding of social media and marketing in the context
Hours of Work
3 days a week for a 9-month fixed term contract.
Working arrangements to be agreed prior to appointment. It may be possible to work one of the 3 contracted days from home.
The role will be subject to a 3-month probationary period.
Salary and Benefits
Salary: £33,000 - £35,000 pa FTE, depending on experience + benefits (3 days a week = £19,800 – £21,000 pro rata per annum)
Other benefits include:
- Pro rata 25 days pa paid holiday (pro-rata 15 days)
- Health insurance
- Membership of the United Grand Lodge of England’s contributory pension scheme
- Option to join corporate gym membership scheme
- Interest-free season ticket loan
Please email your relevant CV and covering letter to Elizabeth Gay no later than 5pm on Sunday 11 August 2019.