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. Since 1841 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.
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). Just like your colleagues within Business Navigation, you are primarily responsible for your own region. You provide insights, high-quality analyses and recommendations which support the business and challenge them to take the right actions that will add direct value for the Dutch market.
You are responsible for the periodic management reporting & analyses, the annual budget, (rolling) forecast and latest estimate for the full Dutch P&L. You not only support them with key business insights about their financial and operational performance, but also ask them daily the question: are we still doing the right thing and remain financially healthy, or can we do better? You are the financial backbone for the Dutch market and continuously challenge the business on the risks and opportunities you see, keeping a sharp eye on the balance between quality, costs and efficiency. Using Reporting tools, you make sure that the right control information is clear, and you tell the story behind it.
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. You provide the business with transparent analysis and insight on which actions to take!
You are a skilled business advisor on 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.
“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. And thus, we are looking for somebody who can be convincing, approachable, and most importantly: committed to understanding our business.”
C&A is market leader in Belgium and in the top 3 of the Netherlands. 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. 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, Laudes Foundation aims to address the dual crises of climate breakdown and inequality by accelerating the transition to an inclusive and regenerative economy. The 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.