Kevin Harding

Product Merchandising / Buying Manager

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About me

An entrepreneurial and resourceful Product Merchandiser / Buyer, with experience of managing product categories from initial design to in-store delivery at Burberry and Alexander McQueen. Seeking a role where my success of driving positive and impactful results will add long term value.

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Skills

  • Buying
  • Creative Merchandising
  • Brand Planning
  • Analytics and Analysis
  • Fashion Merchandising
  • Range Planning
  • Pricing
  • Management
  • Leadership
  • Development

Work history

2017

Fashion Buyer

Huishan Zhang

Oct 2016 - Feb 2017
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Freelance
  • Managing the process from design concept to product delivery for this luxury womenswear brand.

2016

Fashion Buyer

Strathberry

Nov 2014 - Sep 2016
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Full Time
  • Premium handbag brand founded in 2013, with 10 staff and £4.2m turnover (2015/16), 90% of sales from ecommerce 10% from wholesale. Grew turnover by 200% to £4.2m by working with the new designer, using competitor and market analysis to establish a balanced product range. Created and managed the Product Merchandising / Buying function with 2 direct reports for 4 collections per year, which included range planning 200 skus for A/W 2016. Reduced production costs by 10% by building partnerships with suppliers in Asia and Europe. Established monthly new product deliveries and managed and divided the £1.6m OTB. Initiated the Zedonk product lifecycle management system and all analysis, interpreted data to inform mark down and carry forward strategies and future collections.

2014

Fashion Buyer

Career Break

Oct 2013 - Oct 2014
  • Full Time
  • Career break whilst travelling in America, Asia and Europe.

2013

Fashion Buyer

Alexander McQueen

Oct 2012 - Sep 2013
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Full Time
  • Oversaw McQ Accessories and Shoes (£21m/37% of turnover) for 8 collections per year. Reported to the Merchandising Director and developed a direct report. Grew turnover by 25% by collaborating with designers to deliver consistent and balanced collections and introduced partnerships with Puma and Safilo. Reduced product development and sampling costs by 12%, by establishing a range planning process (200 skus for AW13) based on market and sales analysis. Managed a £4.9m budget, including OTB for McQ London store. Worked closely with store team to monitor and drive sales.

2012

Fashion Buyer

Burberry

Sep 2008 - Oct 2012
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Full Time
  • Managed handbags and leather goods with 3 Product Merchandising Assistants, from product inception to delivery for 12 collections per year, valued at £330m/26% of retail sales (2011/12). Grew Women’s handbags 12% to £280m, with focus on iconic shapes and introduction of Burberry Check vs. Solid buying guidelines to overcome Burberry Check overexposure. Grew Men’s accessories by 33% to £50m, with a broader range of styles, increased shop floor space and exposure in marketing campaigns. Led the introduction of See Now Buy Now to Women’s and Men’s Bags, included managing collaboration between multiple teams to ensure successful delivery. Managed the £200m global OTB, collaborated with Planners to divide the budget and regional Buyers to formulate the retail buy. Established pricing strategy by analysing competitor pricing in multiple currencies, whilst protecting margin and supporting brand positioning. Managed the collection edit (from 1.5k to 1k skus for SS13) and established monthly new product deliveries, based on company sku targets, store capacity and campaign messages. Collaborated with Planners to analyse, interpret and react to sales reports, presented findings to senior management.

2008

Assistant Buyer

Pringle of Scotland

Jul 2006 - Aug 2008
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Full Time
  • Managed and divided the £6m OTB between product categories for 3 UK stores, built a range from 1k skus for SS08. Initiated sales and competitor analysis to assist with range planning, buying and setting store sell through and margin targets. Created and organised product knowledge training programme for store staff, including visits to factories in Scotland.

2006

Administrator

Cartier

Feb 2005 - Jun 2006
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Full Time

Education

2004

Aug 2001 - Jun 2004
  • Rochester, United Kingdom