Business Navigator - C&A - ask critical questions and challenge the status quo
What do you do?
Strolling through the shopping streets, the stores of C&A cannot be unnoticed. With 1,400 stores in 18 European countries, C&A is one of the most enduring and pioneering retailers in global apparel. Almost two decades ago the Brenninkmeijer brothers Clemens and August formed the basis of the leading retail fashion business, providing quality, affordable clothing to millions of customers each year. Today, the founding family is still the owner of the company and is still active in the company.
The retail sector is transforming quickly and so is C&A. With a fairly new European management team and a new strategy, C&A is heading towards a sustainable and futureproof era of growth. Working side by side with the Benelux business, you will play a pivotal role in this transition. As the Business Navigator, you report directly to the CFO and work closely together with your 2 peers. You each have your own area of expertise, but support each other when necessary and work on projects together. As the new Business Navigator, you will be the right hand of the CFO and sparring partner for the business (District Managers who are responsible for a cluster of C&A stores in the Benelux). You contribute to strategic decision-making and profitable growth by providing the business with actionable insights. Your regular performance analysis and reviews with the business will cover insights on KPIs like the total volume of sales, on- and offline traffic, sell-through rate, the average spent per transaction/ customer, return rate, etc.. More importantly, you will identify key learnings that could be implemented in other stores/districts and give actionable insight on strategic trends and market developments.
You will also be involved in strategic European projects, as the liaison from the Benelux. Together with the European strategy team, you will deliver input on strategic initiatives and coordinate the pilot implementation in the Benelux region. Besides that, you will participate in process improvement projects within the Benelux, such as the Workforce Management project which will start later this year or take on a leading role in developing the business analytics function.
GOOD TO KNOW...
Apart from the periodical KPI performance analysis and reviews with the District Managers and budget owners of the staff departments (like HR, Marketing, and IT), you will be involved in a lot of (ad hoc) projects, (scenario) analyses, and business cases. You will act as a business partner for the business owner and define thresholds, benchmarks, and KPIs. For example the current challenge regarding staff shortage in the retail sector: how should C&A invest to overcome this issue and how will it affect the P&L if they choose not to invest? Or the financial underpinning of new business initiatives like giving customers the opportunity to buy a “surprise box” at a reduced rate. Also, the rebranding of C&A asks for Capex investment, for example for renovating existing stores or where and when to open a new store.
Because of the focus on opportunities for growth and effectiveness, you provide the business with transparent analysis and insight on which actions to take. To do so, you will structure and deep dive into the data that is available (and there’s a lot of it!), connecting different data sources. By including external (market and geographical) data in your analyses, you will be able to predict market developments and advise the business on how to respond. Another example on a more detailed level is doing a benchmark analysis on several stores throughout the Benelux to pinpoint key learnings from well-performing stores, or creating a dashboard that gives insight in the pricing policy per store (average spent per brand/collection/category).
Who are you?
You are a skilled business advisor on a tactical and strategic level and have mastered the skill of collaborating with stakeholders at different organizational levels and across the globe. Superior presentation and communication skills allow you to convert complexity into digestible information for your stakeholders. You are confident and take ownership of your projects, but also collaborate with and motivate your colleagues to build a future scalable finance domain. Above all, you are passionate about business growth and reaching results, inspired by learning new things, and motivated by interacting and collaborating with people and listening to new or differing points of view.
“Finance holds the “one version of the truth” and that is why the Business Navigation team is so important for the success of C&A, now and in the future. This team cannot only explain the figures in an understandable manner but dares to ask critical questions and challenge the status quo to unravel the true story behind the numbers within the very fast-paced retail business. Just as important is the ability to build strong relationships by seeking dialogue, truly trying to understand the challenges of the business, and also showing them the added value finance can bring, building a bridge between finance and the business. And thus, we are looking for somebody who can be convincing, approachable, and most importantly: committed to understanding our business.”
- Master's degree in Finance, Economics or equivalent
- Minimum of 5 years of progressive experience in (Business) Controlling
- Experience or interest in the retail or FMCG sector
- (Strong) knowledge of Excel and PowerPoint and business intelligence tools (S4/Hana Finance, Infor, Tableau, Jedox)
- Solid technical finance background; able to understand the core financial processes, do the financial sanity check, and build mature, scalable processes
- Analytical, eager to know what drives the figures and what the business impact is
- Helicopter view with a vision of how to improve process and systems
- Positive and forward-looking mindset with a can-do attitude
- Ability to influence at all levels (fluent in English, Dutch preferred & French is a plus), build bridges and valuable relationships
More about C&A
C&A is a European clothing company with headquarters in Düsseldorf and Vilvoorde (near Brussels). For generations, the company has been one of the leading suppliers of modern, fashionable clothing at affordable prices, produced at high levels of sustainability. The company is offering its merchandise in 1,400 stores and on digital channels in 18 European countries. The company has over 31,000 employees worldwide, of which 4,000 are in the Benelux.
In September 2008, C&A opened its first own online shop, which today is one of the 100 best performing online shops in Germany. C&A also operates online shops in Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, and Switzerland. Since 2018, the company has also been operating an English-language European online shop for several other countries, including Croatia, Portugal, Romania, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, and Sweden. C&A offers modern clothing for the entire family under its C&A and Clockhouse brands and licensed brands, including Disney.
Making sustainable fashion the new normal
C&A is working towards a vision of the new normal – where sustainability is just another word for normal. As an industry, C&A has the opportunity to move away from the current ‘take, make, waste’ model to a circular approach where nothing is wasted in the creation or disposal of clothing. C&A’s goal is to foster the adoption of these innovations across our supply chain and to provide their cradle-to-cradle innovations to the wider industry for far-reaching positive change. To achieve this change, however, C&A must go beyond the fashion industry alone. In 2020, C&A Foundation became part of the newly launched Laudes Foundation. An independent foundation and a part of the Brenninkmeijer family enterprise, the Laudes Foundation aims to address the dual crises of climate breakdown and inequality by accelerating the transition to an inclusive and regenerative economy. Laudes Foundation continues and advances C&A Foundation’s pioneering programmatic work in fashion, also building on the experiences of its flagship initiative Fashion for Good, but has extended this work to include the built environment and the financial sectors.