Clarks eyes global growth with new hires

Clarks is creating a global marketing team to create a more co-ordinated global brand strategy to capitalise on growth opportunities and the brand’s increasing popularly worldwide.


The footwear retailer hopes that the new global approach and marketing structure, which sees the creation of three global head of marketing roles, will help change both the emphasis on marketing within the business as well as the kind of marketing it does. The restructure is part of Clarks stated aim to double its turnover and profitability by 2015.

The business generated turnover of £1.4bn in the year to January and more than £100m in profit for the first time in 2010/2011. Clarks sells more than 50 million pairs of shoes every year in 35 countries worldwide.

Roy Gardner, Clarks group director of category marketing, told Marketing Week: “We want to leverage the scale and opportunity we’ve got by acting as a coordinated global business. At the moment we are loosely co-ordinated and collaborating [globally] now what we want to do is create a much clearer vision and enable each of our regions to live that in the right way in their market.

“There’s a great emphasis on building a consistent brand and clarifying what that should be to create a modern, multichannel experience. As a marketer, when you scratch at the surface of what this brand has in its armoury of assets it’s phenomenal. We just have to put it together in a compelling way and present it to whole new world of consumers who are going to want to buy Clarks shoes.”

While the businesses is developed in the UK and the US, Gardner still sees a huge opportunity for further growth in these regions as well as in the Far East, China and India.
It has created group head of marketing roles for its men’s and sports, women’s and children’s divisions. Both the women’s and children’s roles have have been appointed from within Clarks and and the posts will be taken up this month. The mens and sports role is yet to be filled.

Each new group head of marketing will be responsible for developing the global marketing strategy and will also influence product development.

All three roles will report to Gardner, who will oversee the footwear retailer’s global marketing strategy.

Clarks will also look to improve its digital capabilities in the coming months and years to build a global digital brand presence.

Gardner says: “What were’ doing digitally today is a pretty effective selling environment … but do we aggressively maximise our potential of marketing the brand in a digital brand space – no I don’t think we do. It’s something we’re seeking to address.”

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