Vice President Store Design & Construction – Hong Kong

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Client Overview:

The firm is privately held, and majority owned by the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, alongside the firm’s co-founder and shareholder, and is the world’s leading luxury travel retailer. Established in Hong Kong, the firm continues to be a pioneer in global luxury travel retail, offering its customers a carefully curated selection of exceptional products from over 700 of the most desired brands through hundreds of boutiques on four continents. Its network consists of duty-free stores located in major global airports and downtown T Galleria locations, as well as affiliate and resort locations. They are focused on creating inspiring retail experiences for its customers and will generate billions of dollars of revenue in 2019. In 2017, nearly 160 million travelers visited their stores. The firm is headquartered in Hong Kong and has offices in Australia, Cambodia, China, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Macau, New Zealand, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and Vietnam.

It is committed to contributing to the communities in which they live and work through socially responsible corporate activities. They are more than an employer: they support, assist and partner with local authorities, educational institutions, professional bodies and NGOs to ensure that they are responsible and caring corporate citizens. For over 55 years, passionate employees have led the way in building a culture of giving back and take pride in supporting causes that are important to our customers, brands and communities.

Philanthropically, the firm supports and creates opportunities for young people, specifically through education, health programs and development opportunities. The company empowers and supports women’s health through providing access to better medical support and skills-based training in underserved communities. Every year they team around the world to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The company preserves and fosters arts and crafts to ensure the work of local artisans continues to flourish and gives employees chances to give back through volunteering.

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About the role:

This is an exciting opportunity for a seasoned and savvy leader to join the firm as Vice President Store Design & Construction, with the objective of succeeding the Senior Vice President in two years or less. The successful candidate will be an experienced, visionary and high potential leader, with the requisite industry experience, relationships, leadership, and management skills to partner with the Senior Vice President to implement the company’s aggressive growth strategy.

The firm believes that individuals make the difference. They treat each other with respect, honoring and rewarding individual performances and contributions to the team. They embrace diversity and appreciate differences in people and cultures. They leverage their teams through an inclusive working style, inspiring everyone to achieve excellence. The employees make the company a great place to work through their humanity, inspiring all to share their caring nature with each other and the world.

The Vice President Design and Construction will be an integral part of the firm’s Store Planning, Design, Project and Construction Management and QS team, and be responsible for the overall day-to-day direction, coordination and management of the firm’s retail developments.

The primary responsibility is to assist the Senior Vice President of Global Design and Construction, Vice President of Brand Planning, Design Management Directors, Directors of Construction and Project Management and the QS team in ensuring the company’s stores development programs are realized reflecting the group’s strategic direction as the leading global luxury travel retailer with innovative, iconic and business savvy designs.

The scope of design and the delivery of the projects include Architecture, Interior Architecture, Space Planning, Fixture Design, Wayfinding, In-Store Digital, Finishes and Lighting. In addition, the objective is to oversee the delivery of a rigorous and highly professional process across the team’s disciplines from Design, Project and Construction Management and QS for an on-time store opening and under the agreed capex budgets.

The firm and its conglomerate are also environmentally conscious companies endeavoring to develop ecologically responsible solutions for the environment; therefore, the Vice President Design and Construction will assume a lead in ensuring that both in-house and consulting teams endeavor to provide such solutions.

Fundamental to this position is the continuous coordination and communications between the firm’s outside design and architectural agencies, general contractors, fixture fabricators and project management resources alongside the firm’s Store Development Management team to ensure the project development process is seamless and to assist the consultancies in creating, documenting and building a successful retail development.

An integral part of the position’s responsibilities will also include the continuous interaction with internal Merchant Groups, Store Operations, Marketing Department, and Visual Merchandisers to ensure each projects progress remains on track and aligned with the firm’s strategic goals and objectives.

 

 

RESPONSIBILITIES

 

  • Full functional participation in all store design efforts from the planning stage to completion
  • Responsible for overseeing the completion of assigned projects within budgetary and scheduling guidelines
  • Gather market intelligence regarding design trends in the retail, F&B and hospitality industries
  • Liaise directly with internal project managers, merchant groups, and visual merchandisers as well as with outside consulting teams to ensure a smooth and comprehensive project delivery
  • Liaise with external stakeholders, landlords, brand partners and airport management boards relevant to each project to present and explain development intentions and ensure required input and approvals are received in a timely manner
  • Work alongside the SVP of Store Operations on selection, recruiting, hiring, management, compensation and performance reviews
  • Continuous interaction with team members to ensure team and individual communications, and a seamless coordination toward accomplishing project objectives
  • Reinforce and review the overall goals of the firm’s environmental aesthetics and be responsible to continually speak/present in support of those goals as well as project’s budget and scheduling goals
  • Make necessary site visits, chair and attend necessary project and departmental meetings to gather and disseminate information and execute decisions
  • Manage the departmental operating budget, T&B, expenses and payroll etc.
  • Other duties and projects as directed by the SVP and President of Global Store Operations

 

REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS

The people the successful candidate will interact with most often include:

  • Store Development Leadership Team – Hong Kong
  • President of Operations – Hong Kong
  • CEO – Hong Kong
  • CFO – Hong Kong
  • Regional Presidents and Managing Directors, including one in Honk Kong
  • Outside Consultant Teams around the world

 

BACKGROUND, EXPERIENCE & CREDENTIALS

 

  • Graduate architect from an accredited university
  • 15-20 years + of commercial / retail architectural and interior design experience within the luxury retail department store environments and brands
  • Project design direction and project and construction management overview working across complex projects as both a design and project leader
  • Preferred experience working on both the client and consultant sides
  • Experience managing multidiscipline retail design and construction development teams
  • Multi-cultural global experience working across Asian Pacific, the Americans, Europe and the Middle East
  • A highly refined sense of luxury design acuity while combined with an awareness of commercial reality

 

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL ATTRIBUTES SOUGHT

  • Proven Leader and Manager: Able to manage, motivate, and persuade others. Highly organized and disciplined leader able to effectively focus an organization on key goals and performance levers.
  • Sense of Humility: Self-assured with ego in check, emotional intelligence and maturity – the ability to be self-critical and admit mistakes without being defensive. A mature individual who places greater value on reaching the “right” decision rather than on being “right”.
  • Clear Communicator: Outstanding verbal and written communication skills. Timely, transparent, direct, and specific. Able to influence large groups or interact with customers, employees, and others on a one-on-one basis.
  • Accomplished Strategist: A strategic thinker, a conceptual and thoughtful theorist; creative yet pragmatic, decisive, and analytical. Makes analytical/fact-based decisions. Not a “hip shooter” but entrepreneurial in mentality.
  • People Oriented: People are the firm’s most valued assets and the successful candidate will manage, motivate, communicate, persuade and influence employees through setting the right example rather than micromanaging.
  • Adaptable: Must be comfortable working with the firm’s environment, which is full of type “A” personalities who are full of opinions, short on patience and long on requests.
  • Multi-Tasking: Must be able to manage (juggle) multiple projects/tasks/teams/consultants and senior management across four continents at the same time.
  • Team Leader: Lead the team by example and not micro manage, take responsibility when the news is bad and give praise when the news is good. Facilitate team meetings ensuring full participation.
  • The Total Package: Must be extremely bright, great skills in negotiation, process management, conflict resolution, dealing with ambiguity, customer service and organizational savvy.
  • Able Presenter: Effective in selling big ideas, vision and design to Senior Management, Boards, Brands and Landlords. Presentation Skills (including hand drawing, sketching, PowerPoint and Photoshop). Design Presentation Verbal Skills, explaining and selling design vision. Basic CAD, Revit, PDF and Excel.
  • Driven and Results Orientation: have a very strong work ethic, persistent and committed, and motivated to succeed. Deliver projects on / under budget of the global capex annual program.
  • Community Involvement: Our successful candidate will be involved in the community, and in the firm’s efforts to give back.

 

LOCATION

The position is located in Hong Kong, which is part of the Greater South East Asian Metropolitan Area. The Hong Kong area is a highly desirable location, rich with history, culture, the arts, outdoor activities, professional sports teams, and the like.

Hong Kong is an autonomous territory, and former British colony, in southeastern China. Its vibrant, densely populated urban center is a major port and global financial hub with a skyscraper-studded skyline. Central (the business district) features architectural landmarks like I.M. Pei’s Bank of China Tower. Hong Kong is also a major shopping destination, famed for bespoke tailors and Temple Street Night Market. The population of Hong Kong in 2017 was 7.3 million.

Hong Kong is a popular tourist destination in southeastern Asia, with a mixture of Eastern and Western cultural influences. It has four main areas: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, the New Territories and a group of smaller islands. The words Hong Kong mean “Fragrant Harbor,” so named because of its deep-water harbor, which has contributed to Hong Kong’s success as a center for international trade and finance.

 

Geography

At a little more than 420 square miles, Hong Kong is about six times the size of Washington, D.C. It lies between mainland China and the South China Sea. It is comprised of more than 200 islands, with terrain that varies from steep mountains to flat lowlands.

 

Climate

Hong Kong is subject to typhoons and has yearly monsoons, with rainy, hot weather beginning in spring and lasting through the summer. The winters are humid, mild and cool.

 

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy in Hong Kong is just more than 81 years, which ranks it the sixth highest in the world. For comparison, the United States is ranked 50th, with a life expectancy of 78 years.

 

People

The population of Hong Kong numbers more than 7 million people, with 95 percent of the population of Chinese descent and a small percentage of Filipino or Indonesian descent.

 

Language

The official languages of Hong Kong include English and the Cantonese dialect of Chinese.

 

Religion

Ten percent of the population of Hong Kong is Christian, while the remaining 90 percent practice Buddhism, Taoism or other local religions.

 

History

After defeating China in the Opium Wars, The United Kingdom was given control over Hong Kong in 1842. Under British control, Hong Kong grew into an important trade, banking and finance center for all of Asia. The Chinese government regained control over Hong Kong in 1997, awarding Hong Kong status as a Special Administrative Region.

 

Government

The government of Hong Kong is based on English Common Law and is a limited democracy. While the People’s Republic of China maintains control over its foreign and defense policies, Hong Kong is allowed freedom of governance in its financial and social affairs.

 

Economy

Hong Kong maintains a free market economy and serves as a conduit for many of mainland China’s financial interactions with the rest of the world. Hong Kong has a large service economy specializing in international business, banking, trade and tourism.

 

Exports

Hong Kong has few natural resources to export. Its main exports are electronic goods, watches and clocks and textiles, such as clothing and footwear.

 

TIMING AND INTERVIEWS

The objective is to fill this position as soon as possible. Interviews will be with members of the leadership team and select directors from the firm. Expect these interviews to take place at the company in Hong Kong.

 

COMPENSATION

This position provides a competitive range of compensation to include base salary, Long- Term Incentive Plan based on company performance and individual performance, and a generous benefits package.

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