Charles Tyrwhitt was established in 1986 by Nicholas Wheeler, founded on the belief that he could make a better shirt than anybody else.
Now a leading multi-channel, international menswear brand – we talk with Sue Willis, Head Office Practice Director at court & spark consulting who has, since the summer of 2012, worked in close partnership with Charles Tyrwhitt, placing eight Buying & Merchandising Senior Managers.
“The first assignment with Charles Tyrwhitt was for a Head of Merchandising. The business had grown consistently for 5 consecutive years and hadfurther international growth in its sight. From 21 stores and a mail order business it had become an award winning multi-channel international retailer with sales close to £130m.
“This rapid growth had created a need for a new approach to buying and merchandising and a need for experienced professionals who could establish new ways of working and prepare the business for the next stage of development.
“The placements I made were predominantly across the buying and merchandising side of the business and from one successful placement, I was asked to support the business on an exclusive basis to fulfil a number of roles in the wider team at Merchandise Manager, Senior Buyer and Merchandiser level as well as Catalogue Planning Manager and Branch Planning Manager.
“A strong relationship with the key leadership team allowed me to ensure that candidates I put forward fulfilled the company’s needs. I understood what the business was looking for, and by working closely with Chief Product Officer, Cathy Carrington Birch and the newly appointed Head of Merchandising, Rebecca Howat, I was able to understand in detail what was needed, from skillset and experience to fit within the business. This allowed me then to provide them with a very tight, shortlist of candidates qualified for each role.
“The challenge is always getting people with the right experience and the right fit but key with the Charles Tyrwhitt brand was finding people who could see past the single product retail business and instead identify with and relish how challenging and stimulating working in a business like Charles Tyrwhitt is at this time. With key international growth in the USA, Germany and Australia and the targeting prospects of other international markets too, candidates needed a skillset which could drive change and work at a rapid pace.”
Cathy Carrington Birch commented:
“With any hire the key is firstly and foremost finding the person that is going to fit into the business. Working with one recruiter not only reassured me, that at a time of great change within Charles Tyrwhitt, the candidates being presented to me would suit our needs to take the business forward, but my time was being utilised more efficiently.
“Though internet searches are now rife within recruitment, the success we have had working with court & spark consulting re-enforces to me the impact experienced recruitment professionals can have on a business. By utilising their network of contacts and taking the time to really understand the brief, court & spark has been successful in finding the best candidates to match our needs.”