Laura Leroux discovered her career start while studying Fashion Management at George Brown College – at a TJX information and recruitment session.
“The representative from TJX was discussing a new program for recent graduates and I knew I would be a great candidate for that role,” she explains.
“My schooling was completely geared towards retail management, so I knew I would able to draw on that background.”
She also recognized a wealth of potential in a career with TJX.
“The company’s ongoing growth was a big draw for me, as they had recently brought new banners to Canada,” Laura says.
“Being a part of this recent graduate program has given me a tremendous amount of exposure in the company and so many opportunities to move around.”
She joined the TJX team in April 2013.
Learning and training
To prepare for the responsibilities of an Assistant Manager’s role, Laura underwent 8 weeks of training to learn about every aspect of TJX and its operations, including specialized training courses on leadership, management and customer service.
“It’s a self-guided program, so you can learn at your own pace,” she explains. “Coming out of school, I was totally ready for that learning style.”
While the program was a great fit for Laura, she benefitted from TJX’s support.
“TJX made sure I had the support I needed, answering questions and providing feedback if there was something I wanted to learn more about,” she says.
Laura soon moved into her role as an Assistant Manager at a Winners location in Toronto, and quickly got the chance to put her training to the test.
“As an Assistant Manager, I’m responsible for the presentation standards of the store, along with supporting the other areas of the business, including customer service, hiring, training, and assessing sales reports to identify new opportunities,” she explains.
Merchandise is a big part of Laura’s work.
“We receive shipments every day, and I’m responsible for overseeing the processing of that new merchandise and making sure that it is properly displayed and positioned in-store,” she explains.
Connecting with people
Another one of Laura’s responsibilities is leading and motivating her in-store team.
“Associate Care is a top priority, and that’s something I lead every single day, making sure that this is an enjoyable workplace for everybody, with respect and open communication,” she says.
That priority goes hand-in-hand with engaging customers and making sure they have a pleasant experience – challenges Laura is naturally equipped to face.
“I’m very outgoing,” she explains. “In retail you need to have customer service skills and be customer-service-oriented to be able to engage with customers.”
Building a next move
Already managing significant responsibility in her current role, Laura is eagerly looking forward to her future growth with TJX and says that her management experience is a great asset when it comes to planning her next move.
“Regardless of the area you want to go into, it’s great to have in-store management experience because it equips you to move into other areas at TJX,” she explains. “It would be fascinating to travel and see other parts of the business, understand how we operate globally and learn more about our customers.”
In the long-term, Laura hopes to explore opportunities to work in Merchandise Planning and Allocation.
“I really enjoy working with numbers and data so I think I’d be a strong candidate to work in that field,” she says.
TJX is helping her build the skills she would use as an Allocation Analyst, one of the roles in Merchandise Planning and Allocation she hopes to pursue.
“Together with my manager, I’m working on tasks that can make me successful in Merchandise Planning and Allocation,” she explains, adding that she’s also had opportunities to interact with professionals in that department to ask questions and learn more.
“I’ve made sure to connect with those team members as much as possible to see how they enjoy their roles,” says Laura.
“I’ve heard positive things and that’s a big part of why I’m planning on pursuing that area.”
Excited for the future
With her own career underway and a plan for the future before her, Laura couldn’t be happier about the decision she made to join the team at TJX.
“Coming right into an Assistant Manager position is an amazing opportunity for a recent graduate,” she says. “Being responsible for all visual merchandising in a store and managing a team of over 100 associates is not something a lot of people get to do right out of school.”
Leadership is the highlight of her role.
“I work with so many amazing and fantastic people every day,” Laura explains. “I work to be supportive of them, to help them learn and grow how they want to and strive to connect with the opportunities they want for the future.”
Less than a year after joining TJX, she has returned to the same recruitment and info sessions where she got her start, sharing her experience with other interested students and grads.
She has a lot to say.
“I let them know that it’s challenging, rewarding and worth it,” Laura says.
“There are so many opportunities in TJX – it’s an amazing place to begin your career.”