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Hong Kong, China
Regional retail design and development manager, Asia

Aesop is looking for a regional retail design and development manager,  Asia to join its head office in Hong Kong.

Aesop has carefully cultivated a work environment in which our employees are constantly challenged to do their best. Our company is determinedly creative, intelligent and progressive, and nurtures these qualities by employing people who share our passionate interest in design, innovation, and incisive enquiry across all fields.

Aesop has carefully cultivated a work environment in which our employees are constantly challenged to do their best. Our company is determinedly creative, intelligent and progressive, and nurtures these qualities by employing people who share our passionate interest in design, innovation, and incisive enquiry across all fields.

Our organisational culture is entirely unique, distinguished by an uncommon blend of courtesy, cordiality and intellectual energy. We seek those who can bring a wealth of life experience and inspired ideas to our table.

In return, we provide comprehensive induction and training programmes, and encourage an inclusive culture that nurtures enduring professional relationships. We also appreciate the benefits that flow from our employees’ external pursuits.

We raise our bar high at Aesop and never lower it; this is one of the keys to our success and one of the many reasons why people wish to work here. If you would like to join Aesop, we invite you to peruse our current career opportunities.

Position purpose

The retail design and development manager, Asia is responsible for project management of each new retail door in Asia from search, sourcing and initial proposal to completion of construction and hand-over to retail operations. This role is also responsible for developing strategy, systems and processes around retail planning and development that will be a basis for future opportunities. In the pursuit of these objectives, the role must achieve commercial and financial objectives while adhering to Aesop’s design framework.

Main responsibilities 

Design, procurement and planning

  • create – with approval of general manager, Asia– a store opening timeline and budget and adhere to agreed-upon deadlines
  • manage stakeholders and ensure deadlines are met
  • act as the design lead for all projects across Asia, partnering and seeking design approvals with head office
  • procure, and manage, appropriate materials vendors in all key markets, ensuring
  • cost efficiency
  • reliability
  • brand aesthetics
  • develop an understanding of the retail and personal care industries and keep key head office staff aware of pertinent developments including industry trends, products, channels, competitors and promotions
  • develop and lead a team of in-house architects and project managers to design and deliver contextually relevant, aesthetically inspiring stores and offices across the Aesop Asia region
  • improve on above procedures by standardizing, then seeking economy of scale savings
  • act as the voice of Aesop retail design in Asia, working collaboratively with Aesop global retail design to seek intelligent design solutions designed in-house or under collaboration with external architects ensuring a marriage of operational standards and aesthetes

Project management

  • deliver signature stores, counters, offices and store renovations, on time and on budget across Aesop Asia region
  • manage and ensure transparency of costs associated with each project, being able to disclose the total cost and projected costs of a project at any one time
  • develop and implement a standard Aesop new retail door acquisition checklist and project management approach
  • shop for and liaise with third party vendors in order to effectively move forward with retail strategies
  • vendors include: contractors, external architects, materials vendor, government agencies
  • manage all vendors in terms of budget and deadlines
  • ensure general manager Asia is apprised of all roadblocks and issues that arise during the project and propose ways of overcoming these obstacles
  • maintain proper project records and ensure that the key outcomes from each project are implemented in a sustainable manner and that key lessons learned are applied to the next project
  • compile regular monthly reports, staff and distributor presentations and other information as required and ensure that the global store opening and development platform is updated to reflect the Aesop Region Asia projects
  • create materials library

Store maintenance and improvements

  • lead project management in all stores (new and existing) in terms of repairs, windows and general store maintenance
  • consistently maintain a network of relevant suppliers for all prospective store maintenance and improvements
  • ensure legal compliance within all store spaces (i.e. OSHA standards)
  • improve systems and find ways to reduce costs. This includes sourcing vendors who can deliver better prices through economies of scale for all Aesop stores
  • support the general manager, Asia by managing projects designed to extend the capabilities of the business or improve its systems
  • propose and implement creative ways in which to improve business operations and performance without compromising Aesop’s core values
  • maintain a balance between Aesop aesthetics with practical elements necessary for a successful retail operation
  • assist with enhancing retail business intelligence systems and practices
  • some travel will be required to nominated Aesop Retail Design summits


  • responsible for the continual improvement of the construction and design function in Asia
  • align needs of counters, signature spaces and office with the appropriate systems and support
  • provide input into the scheduling of the store-pipeline with the appropriate analysis of resources needed and feasibility
  • create systems to ensure the effective tracking and monitoring of costs

Financial management, budgeting and reporting

  • know and monitor the costs associated with construction to ensure transparency of cost as well as the ability to report the total cost of a project at any one time
  • compile, review and analyse monthly management reporting to provide the general manager, Asia with proactive scrutiny of financial results
  • compile a monthly board report with accurate inclusion of the current and projected costs of each project

Skills and experience 

  • bachelor’s degree in architecture, or the equivalent experience
  • previous experience in bespoke retail design and project management or similar
  • seven years progressive experience in architecture and project management
  • three-five  years’ experience in a management position
  • demonstrated ability to proactively identify and escalate issues and process improvements
  • hands-on, practical problem solving and process improvement skills and ability to complete tasks within set timeframes
  • strong written and verbal communication skills
  • working knowledge of architecture-specific design programs (AutoCAD, Rhino, etc.)
  • strong attention to detail and design aesthetic
  • ability to show initiative and proactively present and escalate ideas, suggestions and problems to ensure outstanding results
  • strong written and verbal communication and language skills

Click here to apply

  • Applications have closed.