An Interview with Shaun Packe – Head of Sourcing
Superdry is looking for talented production personnel to support its rapid expansion.
Success story Superdry is expanding its sourcing and production team by nearly a third to support its growing ranges and international growth. Head of sourcing and production Shaun Packe explains what he is looking for and what the opportunities are.
You are looking to expand your team, but how is it currently structured?
There are about 60 people who fall under the sourcing umbrella, all located at our headquarters in Cheltenham. This includes garment technology, quality assurance, production and sourcing. Ethical also sits within the sourcing team – this helps to monitor and improve our suppliers’ ethical and sustainable credentials. All elements of our supply chain are managed centrally in the UK – it’s a great umbrella because all teams get to work closely together, and share insights and skills. We try and break this down into smaller working teams by product category. So, for example, design, garment tech and production can be working together on a single product area, such as jackets.
Why should people come and work at Superdry? What can the company offer?
For me – and I have worked in the industry for years – the good thing about Superdry is that it is just a phenomenal success story. It has grown over a very short space of time from being UK-centric to a massive global player. This means there are – and will be – lots of opportunities. We are looking for talented people to grow with us and with our brand. And we are really focused on developing people and giving them a career in this amazing industry. We do a lot of work on career mapping, and grade people in each role from bronze, to silver, to gold, so that everyone has a clear idea of what they need to do to get to the next level. We have spent a lot of time looking at what career progression should look like in each role, and have held workshops with the various teams to get their input. So it is something we have built together. Our aim is to grow talent and promote from within.
Are there opportunities to come in and work on different product categories?
Yes. Our ranges are diversifying all the time. We recently announced our collaboration with actor Idris Elba, which he has designed together with brand and design director James Holder. This is really beautiful, high-end product with a full range that includes everything from outerwear to tops, joggers and sweats, among others. We expanded into ski-wear for autumn 14, launched a women’s activewear range for spring 15, and will launch one for men for spring 16. For anyone looking to join the business, there are a lot of product categories that you will be able to work on.
Is this why you are recruiting?
Yes. We are evolving our product mix, so we need to bring the skills in to support these new categories, particularly around garment tech and production. We are recruiting for around 15 roles, across multiple experience levels. However, on garment tech we are looking for someone with a great background in tailoring for our premium ranges, as well as someone who really understands active and gym wear, particularly around technical fabrics and fit. We would also like to find someone with some experience in outerwear to work on our ski range. Then on the production side we need really high-calibre production merchandisers who are used to communicating with numerous suppliers in a multitude of locations around the world.
You have had a career of more than 20 years in production and joined Superdry from George at Asda in 2011. How has the business and your department changed in that time?
When I joined four years ago the business was very UK-centric, and we were set up to serve our 60 UK stores and more than 570 stores and concessions. Since then we have expanded massively. This year we bought out our US licence partner, acquiring the licence for North America – including Canada – and Mexico. The whole platform of how we source and service has completely changed. The business is growing at such a phenomenal rate, because we are expanding both our breadth by adding new and exciting ranges, and our depth because we are going into more territories all the time. We are now selling in more than 165 countries, which is incredible achievement for our business. This is one of the main reasons we are expanding our teams. We want to develop into multiple product types and categories. For anyone looking to come and work here, they will be joining a business where our founders, Julian Dunkerton and James Holder, promote a supportive family-like atmosphere. We have a very clear five-year growth strategy driven by CEO Euan Sutherland and a “good news” environment in which the company is going from success to success.
For more information on the recruitment drive, view all live jobs here: http://www.drapersjobs.com/minisites/superdry/jobs/