Meet the team, Jon, Head of Merchandising

From analysing trend information to monitoring stock levels to make sure our customers get the styles they love, our new Head of Merchandising, Jon Hall, is the man in the hot seat for our latest Meet the Team. Here, he talks about returning to his West Country roots, a fondness for spreadsheets – and how he’s gearing up to embrace his best colours...

Can you tell us a little about yourself. Did you always want to work in fashion retail?

Haha no, I came to it relatively late and accidentally, to be honest. I actually completed a degree in Biochemistry with Microbiology before realising that it wasn’t for me and went home to Weymouth in Dorset to have a think about what to do next. The fashion retailer New Look had their head office in the town at the time, so I got a job with them as a stop gap and the rest, as they say, is history.


Jon and his favourite mug!

How did you come to join Kettlewell?

Fast forward a few years (well, 20 or so) and we’d been living in London for 12 years and, like a lot of people, had one eye on returning to the South West. My wife is from Frome and I’ve always liked it, so we decided to move back there during lockdown. When restrictions were lifted, I was required to go back to the office three days per week, which meant being away from the family. That prompted me to start looking for something closer to home which would mean I could stop living in Airbnbs and living off ready meals! The opportunity at Kettlewell came up and sounded really interesting – a growing company where I could apply my skills with an enthusiastic and engaged customer base that love the brand.


Jon exploring the scenic Somerset countryside he now calls home

Tell us about your role. What does being Head of Merchandising involve (we’re assuming it includes juggling a spreadsheet or two!)?

Merchandising really just boils down to getting the right stock, in the right place, at the right time. I work with colleagues in buying and design to put together a range of products that delights our customer. I supply the analysis (spreadsheets!) that supports the decisions we make, as well as monitoring sales, stock levels and so on. I produce forecasts based on historical data as well as taking into account future trend information from design to produce a shopping list which, when assembled, forms the range that we’re sure our customer will love.

Is there a typical day?

Well, you couldn’t do this job without loving spreadsheets, so they feature heavily! We use them to produce everything from sales reports to purchase orders for the next winning style and I use them to support the rest of the business making decisions about what to include in the next range.

In between, you might speak to me on the phone if you call our office (it’s great to hear feedback from our customers) and I recently completed my first shift in the warehouse, helping to pick orders. I find it really useful to gain experience across the business as I think it helps us better serve our customers if we know how everything works.


Hard at work on his beloved spread sheets; picking orders in the warehouse to get a 360-degree view of the business

It’s early days, but what is your favourite thing about working at Kettlewell?

Can I cheat and pick two? I think the colour is marvellous. I’m used to working in a high- street retailer where black and white plus the occasional pop of colour dominate. Kettlewell thrives on vibrant palettes and does a great job of communicating to their customers about it, so that they feel really confident about what suits them and helps them feel great.

And I really like the people – everyone’s so friendly and made me feel really welcome. I recently completed my first month, but it feels longer somehow!


'Kettlewell thrives on vibrant palettes and does a great job of communicating that to the customer,' says Jon

Outside of work, what does your dream weekend look like?

This is a bit of a sore subject at the moment. Glastonbury is only a couple of weeks away and I try to go every year. We took our kids last year and they loved it as well, however we weren’t able to get tickets in this year’s sale. I thought that was the end of it, but my wife, who teaches children’s yoga, is able to get a ticket through that and is allowed to take two kids. Which means everyone in the family is going – except me! I keep telling myself there’s always next year, but with mixed success!

More generally, we like to spend time outdoors either walking (there’s so much lovely countryside to explore) or camping, which the kids love even when it isn’t at a festival. We have a dog, a Romanian rescue, and she loves to join us for the exercise.


Camping with the family, Glastonbury and long walks with Luna, a Romanian rescue, all figure in Jon's perfect weekend

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us…

I bungee jumped into the Corinth Canal when on holiday in Greece a few years ago. It was quite the experience, timing your jump in between the boats as they sailed by. Not sure it would pass health and safety in this country!

Colour analysis pending, what colours are you most drawn to?

I’m a fairly standard man so you’ll often see me in blue or navy with the occasional pop of red if I’m feeling adventurous but I’m open-minded to expanding my horizons, so I’m looking forward to finding out which season I fall into. I’ll be investing in some tees and polos in my assigned palette as soon as I get my colours done.

Jon trying the Dean Tee in True Red

Ann Hird on Jul 15, 2023 4:01 AM

Get interview. If you are game Jon, would love to watch you getting your colours done. I live in Tasmania and can't find a colourist and doing via zoom my phone doesn't appeal. Wishing you well in your new choose career.

AK Minnick on Jun 20, 2023 12:34 PM

I’m impressed that Jon embraces the philosophy of learning all jobs within the company. My now-retired husband was a successful executive who made that a key part of his monthly routine.

Sarah W. on Jun 18, 2023 10:48 AM

Great spotlight on Merchandising (from a fellow Merchandiser & KW fan!) I’ve often thought it must be a fascinating business to work at, with specific sales & stock challenges. I’m sure you’ll make a very valuable contribution.

Sherry Enger-Gottschalk on Jun 17, 2023 9:55 AM

Welcome It’s so nice to learn about the team which brings such lovely and colorful outfits into our lives. There is so much going on and so many levels “behind the scenes” in a successful company, it’s wonderful to learn about how it all works. Sorry to hear that you won’t be able to join your family at Glastonbury this year. All the best to you and your family

Jacqueline McGrady on Jun 16, 2023 10:03 PM

Welcome and good luck in yoyr new role. was lovely to meet you.

Lyn Nelson on Jun 16, 2023 7:14 PM

Welcome ! You sound in your element with your new job!

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