Human Resources in Retail: JCU Welcomes Liu Jo Company Representatives
John Cabot University welcomed Liu Jo company representatives Arianna Viaggi and Elena Fregni, on November 5, in the context of Professor Antonella Salvatore’s course “Retailing applied to fashion.” Viaggi (HR Retail Specialist), and Fregni (Product Trainer), shared their experiences in the area of human resources, explained how Liu Jo expanded over the years, and gave advice on how to develop a career in the field.
Liu Jo is an Italian clothing company that was created in 1995 by Marco and Vannis Marchi in Carpi, a small town in Emilia Romagna, a region famous for its knitwear tradition. At first, the company was a family business that only produced two collections. From 2000 to 2010, Liu Jo developed a “total look” idea, expanding its collection to include menswear, beachwear, underwear, children’s clothing, and household linen. In 2011, the visibility of the company skyrocketed when former British supermodel Kate Moss became its testimonial. In the year of Liu Jo’s 25th anniversary, the company counts 490 mono-brand retail stores and 5480 multi-brand ones worldwide.
Since Liu Jo is an international company, it is very important for HR specialists to connect with local recruiters, who can help them with the hiring process in different countries. “What I like about my job is that through the interviews with the candidates I get to know new people every day and have the opportunity to learn from them,” said Viaggi.
Once employees are selected, they need to be trained and acquire comprehensive knowledge about the company and its collections. Fregni provides employees with custom-training programs about product knowledge and sales techniques.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, we had to develop new strategies for customers to continue to enjoy a unique experience in our stores, and to help employees find new ways to connect with clients,” said Fregni.
Viaggi’s advice to students that are interested in pursuing a career in retail is to train and do internships in the field. Working in the retail industry requires some important soft skills, such as proactivity, problem solving and customer care. Internships allow students to gain experience by getting them to see the organization from the inside and understand how clients are key to the brand.