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Lorna Dunne

Junior buyer, BrandAlley

What does your job involve?

BrandAlley is an online designer discount department store that specialises in private Sales. No two days are the same. We have five to six new Sales going live every day, so I’m continuously researching brands, trends and people, in magazines, online and in stores.

I need to be ahead of the game, keeping an eye on competitors and being able to recognise what our members want. A key part of the role is presenting the company to new brands, regularly meeting partners to discuss the business, our initiatives and strategies. On a daily basis I upload Sales, analyse and select product, and make sure we are as price-competitive as possible.

What skills do you need?

Trading is a key factor in this job so a good head for numbers is essential. Being creative is integral and a keen eye for detail and strong commercial acumen can help you stand out. Strong interpersonal skills and a positive attitude are crucial.

What do you like and dislike about your job?

I love the buzz of introducing a new brand to the business, and the satisfaction when it performs well. I enjoy meeting brands, learning about their businesses, and from people who have years of experience. Sometimes brands see BrandAlley purely as stock clearance when we first meet them, when [in fact] we have so much more to offer in terms of media partnership, customer shopping patterns and sales analysis. Changing that perception is challenging, but satisfying.

How did you get to where you are today?

I worked part-time in [Dublin department store] Brown Thomas while studying law and commerce at University College Dublin. I decided to major in marketing, which has given me a great foundation for my career. I went straight into retail management after university because I wanted to be a fashion buyer and retail management seemed the best route. I joined BrandAlley in January and was promoted to junior buyer in September after buying director Caroline Withey saw my passion and dedication to the company.

What is your proudest career achievement to date?

Moving to London was daunting; being promoted at BrandAlley so quickly was an achievement.

What is your ambition?

I want to offer the next big brands and trends to our members, while still bringing them the best of their favourite established brands. Long term, I hope to play a key role in BrandAlley as we expand and grow into new markets.

How do you intend to get there?

Working closely with existing suppliers and analysing sales history to grow an established business, and plan new ranges. I look forward to approaching new brands at trade shows, and identifying new trends and product initiatives.

What three words sum you up?

Hard-working, passionate, enthusiastic.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Work hard, and never shy away from opportunities. Be patient – don’t expect progression overnight. Experience always wins in this role and it takes time to learn the ropes. Keep a friendly, positive, can-do attitude. 


2011 Junion buyer, ready-to-wear, BrandAlley

2011 Assistant buyer, BrandAlley

2009 Assistant fashion buyer, Arnotts

2007 Department sales manager, Arnotts

2007 Assistant manager, Covent Garden flagship store, Pout

2006 Department manager, Dunnes Stores

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