2016: What Did We Do?

With 2016 coming to a close and 2017 resolutions already made, it’s time to take a look back over the last year at Amara as we reflect on the successes of the team. From new recruits to our own label launch, it’s been another exciting year for Amara and we share some of our favourite facts from 2016!

Everyone knows how busy Customer Services is throughout the year but seeing the yearly stats is still quite overwhelming! Throughout 2016, Customer Services have solved 84,125 email enquiries with an average response time for all new enquiries of 21.75 hours. Live chat has also seen 8,712 enquiries solved during 2016 with an average answer time of 15-30 seconds!

The Amara Customer Services Team

The Amara Customer Services Team

This year Amara have started selling around 150 exciting new brands for customers to get their hands on, including exciting jewellery lines, Mulberry Home exclusives and much loved outdoors brand Joules!

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Merry Christmas!

It’s finally here – Christmas Day! Father Christmas has made his way across the globe dropping off neatly wrapped Amara gifts in all corners of the world, the delicious turkey smell is filling the home and the family are gathered around with a glass of bubbly. The Amara team have headed home for a few festive days with loved ones, but just before the out of offices were switched on, we caught up with CEO Andrew to find out his Christmas favourites…

What is your favourite seasonal party food?
Over the past 20 years Sam and I have always spent Christmas Day and Boxing Day at home with family. Although the format has varied slightly (we went through a phase of going out for Christmas lunch), we have always started Christmas morning with smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and a bottle of champagne. This year will be no different.

What is your favourite Christmas song?
Growing up in the 70’s (the era of classic Christmas songs), meant Slade, Mud and Wizard. However, all those at last year’s office party will probably never forget Sam and I singing Fairytale of New York on the Karaoke.

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The 8 Favourites of Christmas: Stockings

The big day is just around the corner, the present shopping is (hopefully) done, food order about to arrive and Christmas tree twinkling with lights. Now it’s time to think about what might found in your stocking! From toiletries to new trainers, everyone has their own tradition and classic gift from Santa. We hear from Merchandising and the Finance department to find out what they are hoping to discover in this year’s Christmas stocking.

Mat, Jessie, Claire and Jane from the Merchandising team talk us through their top stocking gifts:

Mat: Tom Ford or Acqua di Parma Aftershave
Jessie: Seletti Mouse Table Lamp
Claire: Chocolate is always nice!
Jane: London Calling platter plate

Do things get busier, or is all the preparation finished?
From October onwards, there is a definite shift in how busy we are, not just as a team but as an entire business. There is a real focus and excitement that seems to engulf everyone, including our customers! Part of the excitement of working in merchandising is that there is always a new challenge just around the corner. Things really start to get busy when we start identifying product for the impending sale period. As organised as we like to think we are, there is always something to keep us on our toes!

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Amara Christmas Celebrations

Following the exciting Christmas jumper day, Amara staff were to be whisked off to The Green Man at Lindsell for a night of Christmas celebration, food and drink organised by the Amara Social Committee. The afternoon passed in a bit of a blur as team by team Amara fleeces were transformed into dresses and suits fit for any occasion.

Since the invites had arrived on desks weeks before, the Christmas party had remained secretive with nothing but rumours and hearsay circulating the Amara offices about what the Social Committee had organised for the team. With everyone dressed to impress, prosecco and beer greeted the staff on arrival, with several canapes of beef carpaccio, prawn wontons and brie puff pastries floating around to satisfy hungry stomachs.

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The 8 Favourites of Christmas: Chocolate

One of the best things about Christmas is the food. In the Amara offices the amount of sweet treats drastically increases as we get closer and closer to Christmas and with just a few days to go, the tins of Heroes, Quality street and Roses have appeared around the offices. With that classic fight for the Maltesers and Green Triangles and an argument about crèmes or no crèmes, we catch up with the Web Development team to find out what they are hoping for…

Harriet: Strawberry Delight from Quality Street
Ross: Chilli Penguins from Hotel Chocolat
Vincenzo: Anything from Vivani
Luis: Toblerone (preferably a 5kg one!)
Ollie: Snickers from Celebrations
Loran: Any dark chocolate, I’m not fussy!
Donatas: Toblerone

At work, how do your team prepare itself during the lead up for the big day?
The Christmas projects start really early for us,

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Amara Staff Impress in Christmas Jumper Competition

Friday 16th December marked both the annual Amara Christmas jumper competition and the national Save the Children Christmas jumper day. With some exceptional prizes for placing first, second or third up for grabs, the team had been briefed that a truly spectacular Christmas jumper – with some element of handmade craftsmanship would take home the top prizes. Cue late night crafting, newfound talents and a whole lot of Pinterest inspiration.

The time and effort put in to each jumper was amazing and with such a high standard and varied ideas, HR decided an additional fourth and fifth prizes were essential. After an intense two rounds of voting in the office, the shortlisted top 10 were whittled down to just five, each of which were announced and awarded with a prize atthe Amara staff party that night. Paying £2 to enter, the day saw surprise entries, awfully timed sickness and a lot of indecisive voting, from first to fifth, here are our winners!

Taking first place: Jessie from Merchandising! Boasting her Delivering Christmas Around the World jumper with hand sewn sequin stars, 3D world, and Amara delivery vehicles, highlighting Amara’s global deliveries. Including a painstakingly put together Airfix plane, DPD delivery van and Santa pulling a delightfully wrapped sleigh-full of presents, she stole the show!

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