As part of the next phase of our fabulous Knightsbridge transformation, we have taken on a new Department Manager Abigail Pullin, who just got promoted to Sales Manager on Monday! Coming from a family of retailers, “Abi” lives and breathes retail. We could not have been more fortunate to have her lead us into this exciting new chapter for Knightsbridge. At only 27, Abigail is setting a solid example of true ambition. We caught up with her to discuss her background and her excitement for the first floor project.
What’s your background and how did you end up in retail?
I come from a family of retailers - some of whom have been General Managers for department stores themselves, so the passion for retail is very much in my genes. Retail is what we discuss over Christmas dinner! I’m from Portugal originally (believe it or not, Portuguese is actually my first language) and at 18 I moved to the UK to study Retail Management at University. Upon graduating I started my career on the shop floor as a sales assistant. I was very determined to succeed and was lucky to be recognised for the top sales I was doing so that I quickly progressed up to management. After working in management for John Lewis I was looking to step into the luxury world, and that’s how I ended up at Harvey Nichols.
What has your experience at Harvey Nichols been like so far?
In the six months that I’ve been here I’ve certainly been kept on my toes. I’ve been involved in the delivery of the exciting masterplan for the first floor project whilst also balancing the day-to-day running of my department and team. I’ve been lucky enough to have met some very supportive team players that have welcomed me in and listened to some of my crazy ideas…
What do you like in particular about working for Harvey Nichols?
Harvey Nichols has the uniqueness of being luxury, but it’s also small enough so that you can make it personal. You give it your own touch and choose how you want to deliver that. It’s not as structured as other companies in that you have to follow a certain path, you can create your own experience here!
What makes this first floor unique from other fashion floors in London?
The combination of the beautiful aesthetics of the new space, the brands and products selected for it as well as the team that will be delivering the forefront of customer service. I am hoping that when customers set foot onto our floor they will feel really inspired. It’s the newest luxury brands floor being launched in London, so that’s a pretty unique milestone.
What have you particularly enjoyed about working on the first floor project?
I’ve had the opportunity to recruit in some amazing new people. Probably one of the most favourite parts of my job is getting to know new individuals. We brought in some real gems. There has been real growth in new talent and the core of the team.
What are you most excited about for the first floor launch?
Seeing the final result! Behind the scenes a lot of work has been taking place and it is something everyone has been talking about for a long time so it’s exciting that we are now all counting down the final days. The first floor is going set the tone of our fashion offering with some fabulous brands and from a customer standpoint it will be an environment where they can truly relish a luxury experience. This will grow our name on the map of luxury fashion!
What advice do you have for people who aspire to climb the career ladder in retail/sales as fast as you’ve managed to do?
Some of the most sound advice I have ever been given is to really focus on delivering your very best in your job whilst behaving as if you are the next in line. People are important too. Treat them the way you want to be treated, ask questions, don’t make assumptions and be open to learning as it can only better you.
Curious about the talented team Abigail has been growing? With only 36 days to go until the first floor launch we will get to see the end result of her new team overtaking the floor soon!