During her time at UTT GROUP, Charmaine was responsible for the Visual Merchandising, Training, Store Design & Planning of their four (4) fashion brands: Barkins, Table Eight Clearance, Essential Man, The Intimates Store. Prior to Charmaine’s arrival, stores would receive product without guidance as to where and how to merchandise it in the store. She instigated monthly meetings with all of the buyers and merchandise planners to bring together the product and understand their individual visions for how the product should be presented, which lines had been purchased in volume and which lines were showing slow sales in which case they should be given every opportunity to sell before a possible markdown.
The end result was a hard copy Merchandise Information Kit which arrived one week before the stock was due to arrive and included information and pictures of the coming month’s key stories, window collections, front of store promotions and actual merchandising pics using sample ranges on a mock wall with actual store fixtures in the Head Office. Store Standards were also lacking, so a complete standards guide was developed and trained for each of the four brands, along with a new ticketing library for each.
New store openings & refurbishments were also Charmaine’s responsibility, where she would deal with councils, architects, draftspeople, shopfitters and shopping centre tenancy co-ordinators to successfully open 15 new stores and 3 major refurbishments and a total fixture changeover (including fixture design, development, offshore manufacture, store communication and execution. All of this was done in just under 2 years.
“Charmaine proved to me that it was possible to manage the fit outs and the visual merchandising guidance for our four fashion brands from her desk top. I had never seen it done before. This, together with the new fixtures, the ticketing, and store standards – she has had a tremendous impact on this business.”
Warwick Susskind – Director