This is a deceptively powerful market. Did you know, for instance, that according to the British Footwear Association, every year in the UK, £5 billion of footwear is sold to consumers, £0.6 billion of footwear is manufactured and about £0.5 billion is exported around the world?
What you can't fail to have noticed, however, is that Britain is home to some of the world's leading footwear brands and the most innovative designers, so the average Brit has high expectations when it comes to the shoes and accessories they choose to complement their clothes.
When it comes to going for those store manager or top buyer jobs, you will be expected to identify and exploit trends across the UK, understand production, be a whizz at critical path analysis and be prepared to visit suppliers across the world.
Shoes come in all shapes and sizes (chic, dressy, casual, high-volume fashion, safety and protective, men's, women's or children's) so you need a broad understanding of the market. Employers will favour candidates with a strong footwear background, particularly if the role means you are sourcing footwear ranges and working alongside the sales team, footwear designers and product developers.
The same goes for accessories. Like shoes, you could be in a luxury department store, high street chain or boutique. And like the fashion world, you'll need a commercial approach to cope with ever changing trends, seasons and peak sales periods.
Altogether, this is a tough fast moving environment, but if you have got the drive, energy and determination to succeed, you'll get a buzz out of all the exciting challenges that the business kicks your way.
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