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HOT 100 BRAND CHAMPIONS: Zoe Uhrmacher

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“No fashion watch brand has ever reached sales of this level,” proclaims Zoe Uhrmacher. It’s the sort of statement we at WatchPro hear from time-to-time and normally treat with a degree of journalistic cynicism. But when the watch brand in question is Michael Kors, and the claim comes from Zoe Uhrmacher, head of brands at Fossil UK, we realise she is understating her success. The brand is a moneymaking machine.

But Zoe isn’t about to retire on the success of Micheal Kors. She is nurturing a number of other Fossil-owned or licensed brands to ensure that if MK flares out, another of her fashion labels takes its place. Emporio Armani, Armani Exchange, Tory Burch and Burberry watches are all in her portfolio, and each is given equal attention by Zoe and her talented team.

“Fossil Group has such a strong portfolio of brands. In 2014 Fossil UK’s overall market share rose to the highest level in the history of the company. A key contributor to achieving this was through tactically and strategically managing the brands and distribution. The objectives and goals of the brands align with those of the overall Fossil Group and this provides directional vision for everyone within the business,” she explains. “The driving force behind these achievements is the team, they are such a hardworking and dedicated group of individuals,” she stresses.

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Success is not just about power brands and products. It is just as much about driving sales through Fossil UK’s retail partners. “We have extremely strong partnerships with our retailers. A lot of our initiatives support this, be it window take overs, pop up shops, incentives etc. Bespoke staff training has been a highly successful initiative whereby the training has been tailored to the audience; the region where the store is and also the brands to which they stock. Our plans for 2015 will take training and the brand experience to another level,” Zoe reveals.

With Michael Kors, Zoe has a tiger by the tail, but it does not stop her prioritising time for her family and friends. “I am a very proud mum of two children. It is non-stop but a lot of fun and I wouldn’t change it for the world. When I go home after a long day or week and jump straight into doing my children’s homework, after school clubs or baking with my little girl it allows me to put a lot of work related matters into perspective. I am mainly the same person at home and at work, at times business requires you to isolate emotion in order to achieve key goals. At home, I try to cut off from work and focus on having fun,” she concludes.

Zoe Uhrmacher has since joined Links of London.

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