A former mobile hairdresser who took a part-time job at a fashion store and went on to become the manager is celebrating a quarter of a century working there.
Melanie Rogers, 44, is in charge of the Dorothy Perkins and Burton’s Menswear store at Eagles Meadow shopping centre – and has no plans to put away her tape measure anytime soon.
The married mum of one has lived in Wrexham all her life and attended Ysgol Bryn Offa which is now Ysgol Clywedog.
She has been presented with a certificate honouring her 25 years of dedicated service and says she’s thoroughly enjoyed her retail career.
Melanie said: “I was only 18 when I took a part-time job while I got my mobile hairdressing business up and running. However, once I started in retail I slowly realised I was suited to it and, well, I’m still here!
“I started as a part-time sales assistant and then became a full-time assistant manager at the Dorothy Perkins store in Regent Street, Wrexham. I then transferred to the joint site we had with Burton’s Menswear in Hope Street and then moved to Eagles Meadow eight years ago.
“I also spent a little bit of time in Manchester so I could get used to much bigger stores. The one there had more than 10,000sq feet of shop floor which is very different to running a small unit.”
Melanie has seen a great deal of change in the way fashion stores are run and how the internet has revolutionised retail sales during her 25 years of service.
She said: “It’s so different now-a-days. We have iPads in store for customers to use so they can show us the item they want if we don’t have it in stock. We can then order it and ensure its here when the customer wants it.
“People want to come into a shop and browse for ideas and see what the current styles are. We plan well ahead and we already know what the ‘must have’ lines will be this summer.
“It’s going to be all about collar necks, off the shoulder blouses and full skirts and ruffle sleeves and collars. Shoes will be all about mules and velvet sandals.”
She added: “It’s vital, as a store, we keep up with fashion trends and give our customers what they want. When I started Dorothy Perkins was all about work wear, formal skirts and jackets.
“However, we are now right up there at the forefront of fashion and catering for all ages. We need to keep up with trends and offer customers modern fashion designs by top designers and top brands.
“Eagles Meadow is really busy and we do very well. The reduction in the cost of car parking had a really beneficial effect on footfall too.
“I’m lucky I have a full-time team leader, Dianne Griffiths, who has been with the company for 15 years, and Gillian Daly, a full-time sales assistant who has been with us 12 years as well as part-time sales assistant, Liz Evans who has been with us 15 years.
“It’s a very experienced and friendly team and we all get on so well. As a store we have raised more than £700 for breast cancer charities over the past few years through raffles and customer-based fundraising events.”
She added: “It’s hard to believe I’ve been with the Burton Group and Arcadia for 25 years. It has flown by but there’s no doubt, working in retail suited me and I think I have suited retail. I couldn’t be happier.”
Dorothy Perkins sales assistant Gillian Daly also found her calling working in retail at the Dorothy Perkins store in Eagles Meadow..
She said: “I came to Wrexham from my native Dublin. I couldn’t afford to live in Ireland and tried Scotland first. I then moved down to Wrexham. It was only on a trial basis to be honest.
“I managed to get a part-time job with Lloyds shoes that had a franchise within the Burton store in Hope Street. I then transferred to Dorothy Perkins shoes and accepted a full-time role when we moved to Eagles Meadow.
“It might have been for a trial period of six months but I’m still here. I’ve been in retail all my life but only with fashion since I’ve been in Wrexham.”
She added: “I really enjoy working at Dorothy Perkins here at Eagles Meadow. We have a great team and in Melanie Rogers we have a top manager. I’m not married so it’s just me, myself and I.
“I do miss Dublin in many ways but I like it here in Wrexham and enjoy my job a great deal. I get home once or maybe twice a year but view Wrexham as my home now. Maybe it’s a Celtic thing?
Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley said: “It’s an achievement in the retail world to work for the same company for so long and I congratulate Melanie. She is a great store manager and she leads a very successful team who have worked together for a great many years.
“When you have a shop manager with that length of service it means you have continuity and there is no doubt Eagles Meadow benefits from having a number of managers and sales assistants who have been with their respective companies a long time.”
He added: “It means shoppers can talk to dedicated staff who know the business inside out and have the right expertise to help and ensure first class customer service.”