Name: Marika Larsson
Education: Master in International Business from School of Business, Economics, and Law, Gothenburg, 2014
Role: Business Controller (BC), Online Sales
Journey so far: Previously BC Sales Planning for China and US, now BC in our Global Merchandising team at Online Sales
Hi, who are you and how did you end up at H&M?
Hi, I am Marika and I have been working as a Business Controller at Online Sales since I graduated in 2014. I have always had a huge interest in H&M as a company, and when I saw the ad for Business Controller it caught my interest - the analytical part of the role and to be part of the expansion and development of H&M’s e-commerce. As a company, the values and endless career opportunities were of great importance for me.
Do you remember what your first week was like?
I was surprised by the huge responsibility I got from day one! On my very first day, I had a meeting with my manager who told me that I was going to be responsible for planning and forecasting sales for our online business in China that was planned to open only three weeks later. It felt a bit scary to jump in as a newly graduate and take that responsibility without any experience, but it was truly a fun experience to be involved in the launch of one of the world’s biggest e-commerce markets.
Sounds like you really like your job, but what do you actually do as a BC?
I work with maximizing sales in the most profitable way for our online store. For me the main focus has been to plan and forecast sales, which also includes to identify risks and potential with our business. The most fun part of my job is to be able to influence how we drive selling. Given that we work with e-commerce, we are flexible and can take quick actions based on how the selling is developing. We follow up on sales every day to be able to take the smartest actions to succeed with our business and goal to be the number one global fashion destination online.
Can you share one of those smart business actions you have taken?
The Black Friday period is extremely important in US and we had a slow start of that period last year. I suggested we should do a small change to the customer offer and after a discussion with the team, we decided to go ahead with the change – and it turned out to be very successful! Not only did we perform very well in the second part of the period, we even made up for the poor performance in the beginning of this commercial period. That small change I suggested truly made a great difference, and that is what it is all about – to focus on the things that make the difference!
What has been your biggest challenge in your role?
We have access to a lot of data and sometimes I believe it can be difficult to not get too focused on the details. Luckily, “keep it simple” is one of our company values, so if you get too carried away there will always be someone reminding you of that and you get back on track again focusing on those actions that will make an impact on the selling.
Thank you Marika for sharing your story with us! We also heard that you are very active in H&M Sports, tell us more!
Yes, that’s right! I believe it is a great opportunity to get to know colleagues from various functions of the company. I have participated in a few races, and also Tjejvasan, which is a cross-country ski race in Sweden. Tjejvasan was truly a challenge and a lot of fun! I would recommend all future colleagues to take the opportunity to take on this amazing challenge.