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HOT 100 PREMIER BUYERS: Kelly Best, buying controller, Signet Group


It’s an exciting time to be part of speciality retailer Signet Jewellers right now as the company continues to expand and upgrade its UK store network and increase market share. One person who knows that only too well is buying controller Kelly Best, who now holds a key senior position within the group.

Becoming established in a very competitive industry and earning the respect and trust of her peers are achievements that Kelly is incredibly proud of, while she admits that being in a position where she is able to make a positive contribution to the watch retail environment is a real highlight.

So what personality traits do you need to work in a position like hers at the cutting-edge of the watch retail sector? “I’m very determined,” she answers. “If I set my mind to do something I will do it, which sometimes leads to stubbornness! I learn by my mistakes. It’s always good to listen to other people’s opinions and never dismiss them out of hand. You can learn something new each and every day, no matter how experienced you may be.”


Kelly says the person she admires most is Ron Jones, who she worked with for 18 years at Signet. “He has taught me everything I need to know about the watch industry. His knowledge of brands and people has been invaluable through the years and has really helped me to progress my career. He has a certain way of dealing with people, which really inspires and motivates,” she says.

Things can change quickly in a retail environment, which for a buyer means being flexible enough to stay one step ahead. It’s a philosophy that has served Kelly well so far and will continue to do so as Signet looks to execute some big watch plans in the months ahead.

“Key business objectives over the next one to five years are to continue to grow the EJ watch business within our existing range of brands, as well as being first to market with new and exciting brands and leading our watch buying team into an experienced and successful team, which is well-respected in the industry.”

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