When it comes to our products and seasonal collections, our buying teams are an integral part of the whole process – from product selection and design, supplier communication and price negotiation to report writing, statistic analysis and so much more.
As a Buyer, you will manage a small team and collaborate with other departments in the business – primarily Quality Control, Merchandising, Marketing and Creative – to create quality clothing that’s made to be loved and lived in for a long time.
We go to great lengths to source skin-kind cotton that’s naturally breathable, comfortable and built to last so, for the majority of the buying team, foreign travel is very much a part of the role. It requires a great amount of personal commitment but you will be working as part of a passionate, dedicated team who want to offer the very best to our customers.
It’s not just about the fashion though – commercial sense is also incredibly important, so strong numeracy and analytical skills are vital. It’s also crucial that you are a confident communicator, in order to both sell your vision to the company Directors and negotiate prices with suppliers to ensure a healthy profit margin.
Our Assistant and Trainee Assistant Buyers work closely with the Buyer. They support them every step of the way by compiling product statistics and providing constant sales analysis. They assist the Buyers with the product range presentations and prepare all aspects of the Buying trips abroad. This involvement will, without a doubt, develop your buying, negotiation and leadership skills in the hope to one day become a Buyer yourself.
Our Central Services team is responsible for the day-to-day management of facilities, which includes building maintenance, cleaning, security and reception, as well as retail logistics. They also provide a comprehensive procurement service to the business to ensure we purchase in the most efficient and cost effective manner.
To work in Central Services, you need to be able to think on your feet, be adaptable – as every day can bring difference challenges – and have a ‘can do’ attitude. In procurement, you need to be a strong negotiator and influencer with exceptional communication skills.
Cotton Traders is one of Britain’s most successful mail order companies, which is why we have over 200 Operatives at hand. Based in our Contact Centre in Altrincham, we work to enhance the customer journey by providing our customers with a friendly voice, efficient order processing and exceptional service overall.
To succeed as a Contact Centre Operative, you will have a friendly, professional and confident telephone manner, with a natural ability to build rapport with our customers. You will need a positive attitude and a genuine desire to deliver a consistently excellent service to our customers. If you have these qualities, then the rest we will teach you though our comprehensive structured training program.
Our Contact Centre roles come with plenty of opportunity for progression. Wherever possible, we will promote from within and give you every chance to move onwards and upwards with us into Customers Service and Team leader roles, as well as into Management through the role of Controller.
It’s a lively, fast paced environment, so not for the faint hearted, but you’ll be rewarded with a great sense of achievement working as part of the team to provide world-class customer service.
“Make the business strategy visible through design”
Our innovative team of creative and productive individuals are responsible for all creative solutions for the Cotton Traders brand, from initial conception through to final artwork and print.
The Creative team’s key role is to influence the customer’s perception of the brand through design, by promoting the products, benefits and services in both an appealing and informative way. It is our job to communicate the brand’s core values and to adapt creative solutions to suit our many channels to market consistently across Home Shopping, eCommerce and Retail.
The roles that go into making a successful Creative team vary from Junior and Senior Designers to Studio Manager, Creative Copywriter and Creative Co-ordinator.
Examples of roles:
Creative Co-ordinator – gatekeeper of all planning, scheduling, budgets, bookings and workflow within the team.
Senior Designer – responsible for creating conceptual ideas, producing working layouts, art direction of photo-shoots and building final artwork.
Creative Copywriter – in charge of the brand tone of voice, creating all the written words that give the company a unified voice and portrays all its products, services and values to the customer.
To be part of a successful Creative team, you will need to be passionate about creating ideas that will help to move the business forward, as well as an awareness of what our brand is about and what our customers want.
It’s up to the Finance team to analyse the company’s financial performance and understand how it affects the bottom line. We have a range of roles within the team, from purchase ledger clerks to financial accountants. Our team will ensure that timely and accurate management information is collated – this data underpins the day-to-day choices we make as well as more strategic business decisions.
To be successful in our Finance teams, you will need a keen eye for detail and be a strong communicator in order to impart your findings to the business. It is important that you are commercially focused with plenty of drive in order to help make the business a success.
“To add value and drive performance through our people”
Cotton Traders is committed to ensuring that our people are happy and engaged in the part they play in making this business successful. Our people are the backbone of our business and we are proud to say that we encourage a culture of openness, enthusiasm and passion.
The focus of our HR team is therefore to support every aspect of an employee’s career with us from recruiting the right people for the right roles, ensuring they are engaged in the work they do through to supporting with all aspects of performance and development.
The roles that go into making a successful HR team vary with an Engagement & HR Business Partner, Retail HR Business Partner and a HR Advisor.
Examples of roles:
Engagement & HR Business Partner - we are proud to show our commitment to making Cotton Traders a great place to work driving all aspects of our Engagement Strategy ensuring this isn’t just a buzz word but is the foundation to how we conduct our business.
Retail HR Business Partner – partnering with our Retail division to provide field based support to drive our HR Strategy, ensuring best practice and alignment with our Company goals.
HR Advisor – advisor to all our employees, providing a genuinely supportive service to get the best out of our people ensuring they act within our policies and procedures.
Our payroll is the team that ensures everyone gets paid accurately and on time, pushing that big red button for each pay run. Processing payment for over 900 employees, our Payroll team runs both monthly and 4 weekly pay and ensures the business is fully compliant with payroll legislation both in the UK and for our store in the Isle of Man.
Payment not only includes wages but our Payroll team also process any bonuses, manages statutory payments, taxes and oversees the relationship with our pension providers.
The team that deliver this is made up of a Payroll Manager and Payroll Assistant.
Examples of roles:
Payroll Manager – oversees all aspects of payroll and any projects including pension auto enrolment.
Payroll Assistant – responsible for processing pay for over 900 employees and any changes associated with ensuring our people are paid correctly.
Our IT team develops and manages the entire IT landscape that supports our business’ success. From merchandising and retail tills to distribution and procurement, our experienced team of staff supports the day-to-day operation as well as its development into new areas.
We are always looking for new systems and enhancements that will improve the service to our customers and information delivery to the business.
We run a highly sophisticated, multifaceted IT estate with robust market-leading solutions throughout every aspect of the business.
To succeed in our IT team, you’ll need to be a logical thinker and lateral problem solver with sound commercial acumen. Communication skills are key, especially when liaising with the non-technical teams within our business.
Our Marketing department delivers the Cotton Traders brand proposition to our customers, ensuring a customer-centric approach across all communications and multi-channel shopping options – Home shopping and Retail.
With a single-customer view, we invest in technology to drive customer insight and provide an exceptional personalised shopping experience for our customers. With voice-of-customer research at the heart, our marketing plan is designed to target customers with bespoke promotions and offers.
If you’re a Marketing specialist, be it, offline or digital or analytical, we have a range of roles:
Planning & Insight - an expert team of analysts who manage business planning, marketing planning, marketing campaigns, customer segmentation and targeting, and in-season trading.
Offline Marketing – disciplines include direct marketing, marketing communications, customer acquisition, partnerships, customer retention and loyalty, retail marketing and catalogue production.
Online & eCommerce - disciplines include online customer acquisition, eCRM, digital marketing, onsite and offsite content, social media marketing, website developments and new technologies.
To join this ever-evolving team, you’ll need passion, tenacity and confidence, and enjoy working alongside likeminded people who work hard and play hard.
Working within our Retail and Home Shopping business, our Merchandising team are responsible for having the right stock in the right place, at the right time and in the right volume. This involves estimating the amount of products we will sell by analysing the previous season’s sales figures and reporting on the current season’s product ranges.
To be part of this team a strong analytical mind is a must, as you will spend a lot of time interpreting data and, in unison with the buying team, producing the statistical analysis that will shape our collections. You will be a confident decision maker in order to deal with changes in sales and weather, have good commercial acumen and be results-focused to ensure that we deliver both volume and profit.
Our Junior Merchandisers and Trainee Assistant Merchandisers support this process. Their role is to help maximise sales and profitability through the management of range and line performance. They monitor stock levels ensuring sufficient levels to satisfy our stock holding targets.
If you are interested in a Merchandising career and have strong analytical skills and a head for managing stock, you’ll fit right in. In return, we will develop your abilities through a structured training programme and provide a career path within a close-knit and supportive environment.
Our QC Technicians are a team of highly experienced specialists who make sure our products are fitting correctly and produced to the highest standards, in order to meet our customers’ expectations and protect the reputation of the brand.
Our technicians set performance standards for our suppliers across the globe, so overseas trips to their factories are sometimes required to oversee and ensure the production quality is as agreed.
To join our team, you’ll need to be incredibly methodical and extremely thorough. You’ll also need to share the company’s passion for quality, have excellent communication skills and be confident in liaising with other departments in the business – primarily Buying, Marketing, Merchandising and the Contact Centre.
Our store management team drives every aspect of our stores and is fundamental to the success of our Retail division.
Made up of a Store Manager and a Team Leader, being part of the store management at Cotton Traders brings with it plenty of exciting challenges and reward whether through motivating the store to perform in our incentive schemes, seeing the store go from strength to strength or whether it is watching a team member who has been mentored grow in confidence and success.
For all of types of stores - whether managing one of our concessions in a garden centre, a store on a high street or an outlet centre, or whether heading up one of our motorway services travel stores, our management team needs energy, drive and a passion for our customers.
Both Store Managers and Team Leaders are expected to lead our teams from the front, making sure they are just as happy as the customers they serve. Between them and the culture they instill in the rest of the team, we want our store management team to create an unforgettable in-store experience.
Within Cotton Traders, our frontline Sales Assistants are known as Team Traders. For us, teamwork is everything and runs through every aspect of the role – including the job title!
Being a Team Trader goes far beyond the till – it is about upholding our reputation from the front, exceeding customer expectations and providing a shopping experience they will remember, being the reason our customers leave with a smile on their face.
We are proud to say that we trust our teams and leave them to trade our stores to maximise the store’s potential. It’s an important job that calls for someone approachable with plenty of positive energy, dedication and an eagerness to help. Our Team Traders need the stamina to be at their best, even while they are on their feet all day, helping customers get the very best from their in-store experience.