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Frain - Area Manager - Manchester, England, UK

Karen Frain

Manchester, England, UK


Area Manager

  • Full time
  • Part time
  • One time
  • Contract
  • Temp

Work History

Regional Manager for the North West

The Body Shop

Up to September 2013

• Responsible for driving sales and profit within a region, of 30 stores, £24 million (stores include airport and station sites), and 2 Outlet stores, Cheshire Oaks and the Lowry, and the flag ship stores, Trafford, Manchester, Liverpool and Chester through coaching great teams using all the tools available to deliver results.
• Overseeing a team of approximately 290.
• Driving sales budgets and KPI goals across the region.
• Delivery of exceptional customer service, brand management, including event planning.
• People management, coach and develop store manager and assistant manager to identify and develop a cohesive team within the store.
• Supported by regional HRBP, attended quartley TMR, talent management review meetings, encouraging succession planning across the super region.
• Control of all expenditure, including payroll, shrinkage, to protect the profit.
• Encouraging managers in stores that had a shop fit to continue to grow their business by event planning and sharing these best practices across the super region.
• Teams supporting across the region during shop fits to ensure successful store openings and encouraging people development.
• I to work closely with stakeholders at Head office, ie Marketing, Merchandising, CRM to ensure great store openings.

• During my first year at The Body Shop I was employed as regional manager of 16 branches for the South West, which included the Bristol, Bath, Cheltenham and Gloucester
• During my first 12 months with this region I was recognised by head office for driving unplanned events which stores achieved great results, this also gave the store managers more accountability of their business, changing trading hours and becoming more commercially aware.
• This region maintains on standard results in line with the business and on two event days planned by Head Office the South West region won both event days by achieving over 25% LFL.

• The following year I went on to manage the West Midlands region, this...

Store VM manager Manchester Flagship

Marks & Spencer Plc

- Manchester
2004 - 2008
Women's wear Business Manager, North Super Region, and 2 days a week head office.
Store VM manager Manchester Flagship.
£71.4 million turnover, team size of 580

• I was responsible for the development and planning of women's wear business in all stores within the North region, new stores and store developments. Working closely with all key stakeholders, also working from head office approximately 2 days a week building relationships with key departments .. I was promoted to this role in August 2006, prior to this I was store visual merchandising manager based in the Manchester flagship store, as a VM Manager I worked very closely with the general manager and the commercial management team across six business units ensuring both teams visual and commercial are implementing easy to shop layouts whilst adhering to policy and the look of the store at all times.
• This store end of year results was £71.4 million (+4.1%) against plan.
• Accountable for shop fit programme, fast tracked from Visual merchandising manager to womenswear business manager after 12 months.

• In March 2006 I was responsible for delivering the 'first Light Touch Development', this was an amazing challenge with a great deal of pressure to deliver areas of the store to deadlines and to have no negative impact on sales during the development.

• My management style was crucial to the store performance during the development, I was accountable to meet deadlines, I challenged and re-planned work with the contractors, attending and chairing weekly communication meeting with all the Project Managers and Contractors.

• As I am a driven and passionate Manager every detail of the scheduled work I checked and followed through, morning and evening to ensure we were going to deliver a development but to exceed mentality and to have no negative impact on the customers shopping experience.

• This achievement contributed to my promotion of Women's Wear Business Manager in the North...

General Manager

Flagship Store

Includes all brands - women's wear, menswear, body, kids and baby
Turnover £4.8m, 8 Managers, 1 Loss Prevention Manager, 60 Members of Staff (peak trade with seasonal up to and above 115)

As General Manager of Manchester I also covered the North West district when the district was on holiday or absent from the business. This involves strong communication and organisational skills to balance both roles. As a support to the District Manager I regularly was given a section of the monthly meetings to influence the team communicating either via conference calls or regional calls.

• Accountable for store performance, including driving results, creating teams and partnerships.
• Training and development of all the team including development plans for all managers
• People skills, setting people up to succeed
• Commercial awareness
• Providing clear and consistent direction
• Continually raising the bar by providing outstanding service to all customers
• Total accountability for sales/margin, store budgets and controllable costs.

Store Manager


Ladies wear & Junior (Kids wear)
King Street, Manchester

Turnover approx £2.5m

This was a very sales driven environment; due to this I was constantly seeking ways to improve customer service and the selling culture of the store. Teams are trained and developed to a high standard, encouraging strong selling skills to develop using styling and product training. This ensures a high standard is maintained; I was responsible for the merchandising and layout of the store as only guidelines are given from head office. This was challenging, to deliver a commercial store layout.

Store Manager - Men's wear & Ladies wear

French Connection

Turnover approx £2m

As Manager, I was responsible for the development of this business, improving sales and performance by consistently providing good customer service. Developing the Men's wear business in this branch as it was on the lower ground floor, which was not performing to, expected budget. I recruited staff especially for this part of the business and within 12 months exceeded the plan. Within the first six months as Manager I received recognition in my performance by winning 'Manager of the Season', I also worked alongside the Area Manager with 'Investors in People' Award, which French Connection was recognised and achieved. (My team in Manchester were chosen to be interviewed on two occasions as the team were trained and developed to a high standard).

Area Satellite Manager

From September 1995

Sears Women's Wear Group

30 King Street, Manchester


From December 1993

Turnover approx £1.8m

Whilst based in the King Street branch I was also responsible for six other branches within the North. I assisted with the development of Managers using personal development plans, looking at delivery and implementation of business planning ensures best practice was adhered to and customer service was to a high standard and on going.

During my time as Satellite Manager I also received recognition for turning my store around readily open for trade after the bomb disaster. I received recognition from Sears Women's Wear Retail Ops Director for my 'Leadership Skills' during such a horrific time, I was in total communication with Head Office, staff at home, counsellors etc. and I was able to remain calm, controlled and lead the team back into the store to succeed again.

Manager and Merchandiser for the North West Area

River Island

Store Manager

Deputy Manager


Area Fashion Co

Sales Assistant


Qualifications & Certifications

Whalley Range High School for Girls

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