Job Profile: Brian Graham knew he was tailored for success from the get-go!

Brian Graham, of JR McMahon Armagh, spoke with Armagh I about his life-long service to the independent menswear shop.

Knowing he was the perfect suit for the company, Brian dedicated his working life to the company and exclusively reveals that he will be hanging up his jacket this August, announcing his retirement after 51 years with the business!

What was your route into the company?

It all began when I was 14 years old. I started the job working Christmas and school holidays with the late Irving Wilson who owned the shop at the time and he talked me into staying. From there, I was back and forth shopping and buying in London then.

How long have you been involved in this type of work?

I have been with JR McMahon for 51 years now.

Where did you work before this?

First and only ever job from I was 14, I knew it was the place for me.

What were your favourite subjects in school and why?

I enjoyed being challenged in school. I’d say maths and geography where definitely my favourite subjects.

Did you go on to university or further education and what did you study?

I studied business studies after school whilst working the job and also completed a course through the menswear association in England.

Did you always have this career in mind?

I had thought of going to surveying at one stage but when the opportunity arose I decided to stay put.

What do you enjoy about it?

Satisfying the customer needs. It’s so important to me for the customer to leave with something that feels right for them is so important. You have to have confidence in what you’re selling. Irrespective of price, it has to look and fit right to the person.

What are the main skills required for it?

You need the right personality and positive attitude when dealing with different people. You have to adapt to the different types of people you meet along the way.

What would your advice be to anyone thinking of it as a career?

Think clearly on what you want, and if you have something in mind you’re sure of, just go for it. No matter what career you are in, always aim to progress as you go along.

How do you relax when you’re not working?

I enjoy working on different machinery, welding and gardening at home. I also love travelling especially the USA; my favourite place I have visited is Chicago.

What has been the biggest challenge in your job?

I would say making sure that you have the right products. Customer attitudes have changed, people are now looking quality but value for money when shopping. Young people are more into their fashion and are brand conscious now more than ever, which is something we have had to adapt to.

What is the most helpful advice that you have been given?

No matter what you do in life, have a positive attitude and put the best into it that you can and that way you will be satisfied yourself.

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