HOT 100 2014: Anna Lyly, Watches2U

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Blowing her own trumpet doesn’t come naturally to Anna Lyly, supreme modesty being a pleasant quirk of her Finnish heritage, but when pushed she concedes that she has had a few highs since joining rapidly expanding watch retailer Watches2U in 2012.

Most important to Anna has been growing the portfolio of brands on offer at the business and changing the way that the retailer works with suppliers.

Watches are new to fitness fanatic Anna, a former capoeira disciple and salsa dancer who is planning to tackle the Helsinki City Run half marathon next year. Her background before joining Watches2U was at suitably sporty outfitters such as Mountain Warehouse, and she admits that it’s been a learning curve but that her previous experiences have helped her bring a fresh perspective to the retailer.

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“Having worked for slightly larger companies before, I have a more structured and systematic approach to buying and stock management, which has enabled me to implement and improve the processes and tools we work with,” she explains.

“With these changes I’ve been able to better track and forecast sales and improve the availability of bestsellers to make sure we’re not losing sales with no or low stock availability.”

She’s also been busy helping with the rebirth of the Watches2U website and the launch of the retailer’s Brighton flagship store ChrisElli and Chriselli.com, as well as putting plans in place to launch own brand lines.

“We’ve worked hard over the last year to get this far, and it’s not all been easy with many changes and unexpected obstacles to overcome,” Anna surmises. “We believe our growth in the last year launching two new websites, opening a brand new flagship store and improving our turnover and profit is only the beginning. We’ve achieved most of the goals we set 12 months ago, and are in a very good place to move forward building on these foundations.”

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