My Job in 5; Marion Rankine, Head of Promotions and Retail standards, Foyles

My Job in 5; Marion Rankine, Head of Promotions and Retail standards, Foyles

Describe your role

I work closely with the shop managers to plan and maintain promotional spaces across our flagship store in Charing Cross Road. I spend most of my time picking titles for displays, installing and merchandising them, organising signage and planning future promotions with staff and publishers. I have to keep days, weeks and months ahead of myself, so it often feels like I’m living in several time zones!

What do you like best about your role?

The people: My role requires me to coordinate with so many people across the company - heads of departments, shop floor staff, managers, marketing, web, buying, design, goods-in, events... Foyles is home to an incredible bunch of humans, and it's an absolute pleasure working with them all on a daily basis. The books: my favourite part of bookselling has always been recommending books to customers, sharing my excitement for new titles, working with publishers - and my role is all of those things writ large.


What events or projects are you working on at the moment?

My biggest projects are seasonal campaigns - which at this time of year means Christmas! 4 How did you get a head office role at a bookshop? After years of bookselling in Australian independents I ended up at Foyles, where I became Assistant Head of Fiction after about a year. Following that I had a brief stint in the Accounts Services team, looking after our corporate, school and government customers. I applied for my current position because it rolled all my favourite aspects of bookselling into one.

What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?

Read. Lots. But also: have an open mind, be curious, be genuinely interested in everything, right down to the operational aspects of how bookshops are run. Bookselling is about so much more than how many books you've read: it's about the conversations you have with other readers, the ideas you exchange, the reactions you have to books, and the joy of sharing your love of books with colleagues and customers alike.