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One of the coolest ecommerce sales jobs around!
HARRY’S COMMENTS: We are working with Simon Li Furniture in its search for a Director of Online Sales and Operations based in High Point, NC. Simon Li Furniture manufactures leather furniture in Shanghai for the US market at the mid- to upper-price points. The firm deals mostly top-100 retailers such as Macy’s and Costco.
Simon Li Furniture operates it own factories in Shanghai and Jiaxing, which is 75 minutes southwest of Shanghai. The company’s founder and CEO is Simon Lichtenberg, a Dane who has lived in Shanghai for 25 years and is perfectly assimilated to Chinese culture and speaks perfect Mandarin.
SLF has a very unique value proposition in that it has a Western leader who understands Western culture and consumers. Mr. Li is a razor sharp entrepreneur who’s actively involved in day-to-day operations of the business, and his management style is said to be flexible, reasonable, and extremely intelligent. As the winner of the Shanghai Government’s prestigious Magnolia Silver Award, Mr. Li oversees SLF’s strategy (which tends to place a focus on product and manufacturing).
SLF’s go-to-market model has three prongs …
1.) National accounts / Large Retailers: This is by far the largest part of Simon Li’s business, and the firm is manufacturing and importing FCL’s directly to retailers like Costco, Macy’s, and Raymour Flanigan. Simon Li has a strong sales force that calls directly on national accounts, and orders are placed with Simon Li’s Shanghai office.
2.) Small Retailers / Independents: This line of business is 3.5 years old, and it’s geared primarily towards small independent retailers who prefer to order less than full containers. No minimum ordering quantities apply, and goods are stocked in Mocksville, NC.
3.) Online Retail: This is where things get interesting. Currently, Simon Li sells to Costco.com and Wayfair – but this business has demonstrated a ton of upside potential, even in light of the price competition and operating expenses of doing business online. In fact, ecommerce may be the most future oriented channel available to Simon Li.
If you’re unconvinced of the potential of ecommerce for home furnishings, consider Wayfair:
In a March 21 research report called “The Wayfair Effect,” Morgan Stanley noted that Wayfair continues to offer home furnishings items at deep discounts, is advertising aggressively and in turn is taking significant market share from category leaders like Williams-Sonoma, Restoration Hardware, and Bed Bath and Beyond. This strategy is resulting in top-line pressure and increased promotions across the entire home furnishings segment, and Wayfair’s deflationary presence on the segment will continue to weigh on sector results.
Wayfair now accounts for $17 of every $100 of home furnishings sales growth (up from $13 a year ago), and over the past 6 quarters Wayfair’s sales growth has been remarkable. Wayfair’s sales growth advantage appears to be accelerating. The company’s sales base is getting larger yet their growth rate continues to increase.
In fact, so serious is the threat of ecommerce to brick and mortar retailers that Lowe’s recently announced plans to deploy service robots in 11 California stores over the next seven months in an effort to make its physical stores function more like a website search box, thereby enticing more web-savvy consumers to pay Lowe’s a visit.
None of this is lost on Simon Li.
As Simon Li’s Director of Online Sales and Operations, your job will be to build Simon Li’s online business in North America. Period. That means doing whatever it takes to grow sales, reduce costs, and improve the company’s supply chain while managing a small team and optimizing the firm’s inventory levels. It’s a lot to say grace over.
This is a VERY hands-on role.
You’ll be working directly with each retailer and be fully responsible for the daily operation – without any subordinates (at least to start with).
In five years Simon Li would like ecommerce to account for more than 25% of total sales through third party platforms (Wayfair, Amazon, etc) and retailers (Costco.com, Macys.com). Beyond that, Simon Li sees itself possibly building a brisk etail business at SimonLi.com. You’ll run all of that. Obviously Wayfair appreciates the value of exceptional service — so the pressure will be on YOU to hire, train, and grow a customer service team that appreciates it too.
That’s in addition to growing the company’s top line.
Perhaps you’re familiar with the term “intrepreneur,” which involves behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization. That’s what this job is about.
As usual, my team and I have a MONSTER amount of intel to share with highly qualified candidates about this role. If you’re interested in this position, you definitely don’t want to apply without this information. Simply text “[your name] + Simon Li” to 404-281-2025. Or, simply apply for the position at the bottom of the page. Either way, we look forward to chatting with you about this great opportunity!
- Management of Online Business
- Manage and improve the overall structure and processes for the online business
- Manage product flow for the online business in a very organized way.
- Work with online retailers such as Costco.com and Wayfair on products and promotions, and coordinate inventory flow and stock positions on an ongoing basis.
- Be part of the working group to create and start up the SLNA’s own future online sales platform and be responsible for managing it when in operation. (This initiative is expected to launch within 1-2 years.)
- Coordinate and communicate with the High Point office staff as a champion of the online segment of the firm’s business.
- Work closely with the Management team to identify and see to fruition the products that are needed for the online business.
- Maintain clear and accurate reporting for inventory management and product flow, and work with the Shanghai office to ensure timely deliveries.
This position requires someone with experience in online sales, and preferably with the firm’s key online customers (Costco.com and Wayfair). You should be organized, aggressive, and self-motivated because you’ll be the primary manager of Simon Li’s online business. You’ll need to work well with others, given that you’ll sit in the High Point office with the firm’s current staff.
Applications for this position are being coordinated by Harry Joiner. To apply, CLICK HERE. Candidates, please be sure to email Harry for additional information that will differentiate you in your candidacy. Due to the intensely competitive nature of this search, thorough preparation for these interviews with this proprietary material is strongly recommended.