Morag Eadie, Livingston Designer Outlet.
Morag Eadie is the Centre Administrator at Livingston Designer Outlet. She’s been working at Scotland’s largest designer outlet (292,672 sq. ft.) in West Lothian since 2012.
She describes her role in the retail industry as a complete mix. “What does my role entail? Support worker, agony aunt, queen of the multi-task, hostess with the mostess and a jack of all trades. There is a never a dull day.”
In reality, Morag’s role means she is responsible for the smooth running of the Outlet’s management suite behind the scenes of a busy and thriving shopping destination. “The Centre Administrator role is constantly evolving and while there is an element of routine and structure, every day is different and there is definitely no time to get bored. My main priority is to meet the needs of internal and external visitors whether that’s finance, footfall figures, stationary orders, minute taking and even fire marshalling.”
Morag ended up in retail “by fluke or fate” she recalls.
“Aside from the odd Saturday job in my teens, my only experience with retail was a trip to the local supermarket. I previously worked in library services, however following a restructure, jobs were no longer guaranteed, so I decided it was time to get a glimpse as to what else was out there. I applied for a job at the information desk in Livingston Designer Outlet without even giving it much thought. Shopping was never my passion so it seemed ironic to even consider working in a busy Outlet; however after initially going to the interview I walked out with my fingers crossed. And the rest as they say is history. Hello whole new world!”
After starting out as a Customer Services Advisor in October 2012, the job quickly became Morag’s passion.
“The job itself was far more varied and interesting than I had anticipated. In April 2013 I became Supervisor at the information desk and on occasion would help out in the management suite. One day the Centre Manager queried whether I’d be interested in applying for the Centre Administrator role. I’m not sure if she was just desperate to fill the position or if she’d recognised that I had a genuine desire to learn more about the business… whatever the reason, the seed was set. I considered, I discussed, I realised I was indeed interested and in September 2014 I had another new job title as well as my own office and a whole lot of new responsibilities.”
When she thinks about the highs and lows of life in retail, she considers her progression and friends to be the highs and the business lingo to be the most challenging.
“I’ve made some very good friends at the Outlet which is really important when we all spend so much time together! Working my way up from CSA to Supervisor to Centre Administrator and passing the training courses was a real achievement for me.
“One of the main challenges when I started here was getting to grips with the business terminology. Retail language was all quite alien to me coming from the humble library! Average transaction value, conversion rates, point of sale, dual pricing weren’t something that rolled off the tongue. But like anything in life, if you don’t know the answers, you ask, you study, and you learn. And one day it all makes perfect sense!”
Morag would encourage anyone to think about a career in retail. “Students should speak to their careers advisor at school or college; it could be there’s a partnership project in place that you could get involved with, like we have here at Livingston. Remember sometimes it’s better to start at the bottom and work your way up. You’ll potentially learn more about the business (and yourself) that way.”
Fun fact: Morag collects magnets and currently has 207 on her fridge!
First posted on Thursday 12 October 2017