Q&A with Retail Consultant at Carter Murray

We asked Sophie Marshall, Retail Consultant at Carter Murray, about the market and day to day retail recruitment.

Sophie graduated from the University of the Arts London (London College of Fashion) with a BA hons in Product Design and Development. Since then she has taken on roles at luxury British brand Jaeger, cosmetics company Benefit, high-end designer Ralph Lauren, and French luxury brand Lancome, working in various marketing and communication roles, before moving to the UAE in 2010 in order to pursue a career in retail recruitment. She joined Carter Murray in January 2014 and over the past 2 years she has built relationships with luxury brands and retail clients across the MENA region.

Could you give an insight into what the Retail market currently looks like in terms of new projects and hiring opportunities within the region?

Towards the end of Q3 we saw an increased number of requirements for senior and C level positions within retail businesses across the region- in the lead up to 2020 companies are looking to diversify their business or acquire fresh talent from outside the region to inject fresh ideas from more mature retail markets. We also noticed an increased demand for ecommerce and digital candidates for retail businesses which shows a lot of retailers are now realizing the importance of their online presence through ecommerce and mobile commerce. In Q3 we helped a couple of startup businesses both ecommerce and retail with their team structure from placing CEO’s to buyers- we are seeing an increased number of assignments from businesses and brands still looking to have a presence and invest in the region.

What are some of the key aspects you look for in potential candidates?

Experience working with strong reputable brands both globally and regionally as well as longevity in roles. It is important that candidates have stayed in a roles long enough to deliver results.

What advice would you give to candidates currently seeking a new opportunity within the region?

In our industry we work with brands on a daily basis so see yourself as a brand when writing your CV. Where do you position yourself in the market? We meet many candidates who are great in person but their CV does not reflect them. Personal branding is key in order to secure the first interview. The content of your CV should be interesting and factual- we see a lot of CV’s that are just a copy/paste of a previous JD. Take time to get your CV right.

What future do you see for the retail sector in Dubai?

The retail sector is looking promising despite tough trading over the past year for most brands. Investors and brands are still looking to create new concepts/customer experiences and opening new stores across the region. Africa, Iran and Saudi Arabia are very promising markets and ones to watch over the next few years in terms of future opportunities and investments.