9 months full-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 full-time (fixed term) Shop Manager. Reporting to the Head of Trading (a newly-created role) they would oversee the day to day running of the ‘Letchworth’s’ outlet and manage the shop-floor team. They would work closely with the new part-time Buyer Merchandiser 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. The shop manager will have overall responsibility for providing ‘Letchworth’s’ customers with outstanding customer service, whilst maximising sales, controlling costs and delivering exemplary shop floor & back-of-house standards.
They will lead a team of around 5 people and be expected to provide the appropriate level of direction and support so that each member of the team is productive and embraces a ‘can-do’ attitude. They themselves will also be expected to play a hands-on and participatory role when required. Their remit will encompass ‘Letchworth’s’ online shop, to include picking and packing of customer orders. It will also include the Museum gift shop, which is managed by Letchworth’s but staffed by Museum front of house staff. The shop manager will also be required to monitor KPI’s and review EPoS sales reports in order to measure and manage ‘Letchworth’s’ progress and make informed commercial decisions.
They will also be expected to work closely and collaboratively with a new retail buyer merchandiser. 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 ‘Letchworth’s’ customers with an outstanding in-store experience. At the same time reviewing and improving operational practices so that future retail opportunities can be fully exploited.
- Managing the day-to-day smooth running of ‘Letchworth’s’ through the planning and prioritisation of tasks, including stock replenishment and delivery processing, and the efficient rotating of the shop team, ensuring adequate shop floor cover at all times.
- Managing the prepping and cashing up of tills and the associated banking and reporting procedures. Adhering to cash handling and reporting policies and schedules.
- Training, empowering and coaching direct reports and providing training and support to the Museum front of house team to enhance their retail skills.
- Providing direct reports with the appropriate opportunities to review and discuss their performance in line with the organisation’s PDR schedule. Managing underperformance in line with HR policy.
- Identifying and implementing new ways of working that will make the operation of ‘Letchworth’s’ and its online shop more efficient and profitable.
- Establishing a collaborative partnership with the buyer merchandiser based on a customer and profit centric approach to selling and buying.
- 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.
- Providing the buyer merchandiser with relevant customer and staff feedback so that they can make informed procurement decisions.
- Managing the processing of customer online orders from end to end and following up customer queries and order fulfilment issues promptly.
- Keeping the shop team informed of sales targets, KPI’s, best/worst sellers and new lines so that they are fully invested in the shop’s progress and own their part in its success.
- Supporting the part-time buyer merchandiser with their basic admin tasks (if required) so that invoices are processed and paid in a timely manner.
- 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.
- Maintaining ‘Letchworth’s’ online shop in terms of showcasing the appropriate merchandise mix and accuracy of product descriptions. NB: There are plans to upgrade the online platform in the future.
- 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: NB: Freemasonry attire and regalia product knowledge can be provided.
- Relevant retail management experience including a proven track record in the following:
- Leading, engaging and motivating a team
- Delivering outstanding customer service
- Driving sales and profit
- Identifying and interpreting key EPoS reports - system training will be provided.
- Performance management e.g. managing the PDR / appraisal process
- Highly organised and able plan and prioritise
- Able to work collaboratively to achieve shared goals and objectives
- Self-motivated, taking personal responsibility for getting things done
- Competent in MS Office
The following would be desirable:
- An interest in museums and visitor attractions
- Basic visual merchandising skills
- Awareness of the wider retail context
- Competent in Excel
Hours of Work
5 days a week for a 9-month fixed term contract.
To include some weekends and evenings. Working arrangements to be agreed prior to appointment.
The role will be subject to a 3-month probationary period.
Salary and Benefits
Salary: £27,000 - £30,000 pa (full-time) depending on experience + benefits. Fixed term 9-month contract with possible extension.
Other benefits include:
- Pro rata 25 days pa paid holiday (pro-rata 19 days based on 9 months contract)
- 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.