One of the most important aspects of our newly launched first floor in Knightsbridge is the delivery of exceptional service, with which we are taking our offering to a whole new level. To make sure we provide the best experience possible for our clients, our lovely L&D team organised two celebratory training days for all existing and new first floor talent in CANVAS. We're reporting on the first floor training triumphs and give you some first floor talent testimonies.

Discussion panels and pub quizes
The first floor training days were all about understanding the floor, from providing a brand overview to boosting everyone’s fashion knowledge, to talking business and budgets and customer profiles. Our COO Manju kicked off the event with an impressive impromptu speech and Management Board members Paul, Barry, Julie and Christopher also made a personal appearance. There was even room for a panel discussion with management.

Owing up to our promise of being playful in attitude, plenty of games were played, including a mini catwalk, a store “pub” quiz and a rewards bingo with prizes. As the cherry on top luxury make-up brand Trish Mcevoy came in to give a make-up master class, leaving everyone well looked after with an extensive make-up planner. The success of the two days was all stakeholders being involved and showing how important our colleagues are to the floor.

Talent testimonies

Now let’s hear it for the trainees themselves! Our talented first floor colleagues spill the beans on their background and vision for working on the floor.

Joseph Mangu, Style Advisor Designer Shoes
I came to London from Haiti 10 years ago, and I’ve been building a luxury fashion career for myself here ever since. I’ve worked for many top brands such as Harrods, Selfridges and Gucci but what I like so much about working at Harvey Nichols is the freedom we get! There is not too much restriction and you get to be expressive on every level. 

I will be working in the new generic shoe area, which is exciting. I very much look forward to all the new brands emerging, such as Off-White. We’ve had clients wanting Off-White to come in for a while now. Calvin Klein and Raf Simons are also a great addition. I saw their collections from Paris Fashion Week yesterday and they were mind blowing, so I’m excited for what we're going to offer.

Looking at the future, I want to grow within the business here. My principle and motive has always been: if the company succeeds, you succeed. I want Harvey Nichols to succeed and I think I will then reap the benefit of it. I feel very privileged!

Anthony Lowe, Brand Consultant Alexander McQueen
I’m from Italy and have been with Harvey Nichols for over a year. I previously worked here from 2004-2008 and then went on to Harrods, but I decided to come back. I knew that coming back here was going to be good because a lot of great people were still working here and we were moving down to an incredible new floor. I'm very happy to work in ladieswear fashion here. When you get a delivery at Harvey Nichols it feels like Christmas!

The training so far has been very interesting. We’ve been going through the whole shopping experience from start to finish: from what we’re doing right and what we need to improve on to what make us different from our competitors.

The best thing about this launch is that we're discovering something new together and it makes us all feel part of one team. We’ve all got a sense of fun and we get along because we’ve worked together for such a long time. It’s great that we can now also get to know the new people who’ve come in and who are bringing a new energy to the floor. New people have new experiences, so we can learn from them and they can learn from us. It’s nice that we’re all different but with the same passionate mind-set.

Chanel Holnes, Brand Consultant Valentino Shoes
I’m from London and have been with Harvey Nichols for 5 years now, previously having worked at Selfridges and Harrods. I started out in the generic shoe department and have now worked my way up to Brand Manager for Valentino Shoes. I love the fact that Harvey Nichols feels more like a boutique and that I’m not just a number. Christopher, Simon and the buyers say “good morning” to us and ask us how we're doing. The management board is also very supportive.

The training so far has been really enjoyable with plenty of fun activities that make us laugh and keep us engaged. It's making us more aware of the business so we can feel comfortable in what will essentially be our new “homes”, as we spend so much time on the shop floor.

I’m very excited to see the new generic shoe area. Our shoe department attracts a lot of interest because our shoe edit is always slightly different from what you see at other department stores because our buying is done in-house. We are the only department store in London whose shoe department isn’t owned by PG, so I think this shoe area has been a long time coming!