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JOB TITLE: ZSL London Zoo Commercial Manager

DEPARTMENT: Commercial
DIVISION: Commercial and Communications
RESPONSIBLE TO: Head of Commercial, Kathryn England



The purpose of the job:

Working with the Head of Commercial, you will define the commercial strategy for ZSL London Zoo in order to maximise sales and profit. Successful implementation of this strategy will be driven through effective and efficient direction and operational management of all commercial revenue streams across the site.

With responsibility for driving income and effectively managing costs across the zoo to ensure a focus on profit from commercial activities, this role is accountable for achieving the income and profit budgets for a number of revenue streams across commercial operations for the zoo including admission income, donations, gift aid, catering, retail, hospitality events and experiences. This must be balanced with ensuring visitor satisfaction and long term loyalty.

Key responsibilities:

Business planning

  • Active contribution to Head of Commercial in the strategic planning of a rolling 3 to 5 year business plan for ZSL London Zoo including commercial development of existing and new business opportunities.

  • Effective and efficient implementation of the annual commercial business plan for ZSL London Zoo, including effective management of commercial expenditure budget, effectively and appropriately balancing profit targets with visitor experience. Annual plans should include plans for commercial products (including category management and visual merchandising), pricing, promotion (including campaign management, marketing and sales promotion of commercial activities) and an effective sales plan.

  • Development of an annual sales plan for the commercial team and commercial units across ZSL London Zoo, to include initiatives to increase up sell and cross sell plus impulse purchase opportunities during and at key touch points of the defined customer journey.

Defined KPI management

  • Modelling and agreeing the commercial KPIs for the business which will form part of the annual budget and stretch targets to exceed the budgeted income and profit. This will include income and expenditure projections and the person must have a focus on bottom line profit contribution through effective management of the commercial operation. Continual review of the commercial performance of key areas, both financial and visitor satisfaction across the business in order to ensure annual KPIs are achieved. Where targets are not being met develop contingency planning to ensure mitigation of any lost revenue and/or profit to ensure budgets are met.

  • Responsibility for the income and profit key performance indicators (KPIs) for the following commercial areas of ZSL London Zoo:

    • Admissions

    • Donations (voluntary donations made on LZ tickets)

    • Gift Aid

    • Car park revenue (ZSL and private hire)

    • Retail

    • Day visitor catering

    • Hospitality and Private Events

    • Experiences

    • On site commercial partnerships and concessions

    • Play and interactive commercial opportunities

    • 3rd party sponsorship and promotions

    • ZSL London Zoo commercial development opportunities

Visitor experience

  • Ownership of the commercial visitor journey for ZSL London Zoo and implementation of commercial growth and development plans and the achievement of measurable success metrics.

  • Lead on team recruitment, development and training including leadership on customer service training and initiatives. Work with Head of Commercial, Commercial Director and HR team on launching a customer service training and monitoring programme with team. Where there is a case use team incentives to enhance commercial performance and return to ZSL.

  • Work with the marketing team and Head of Commercial to develop a robust system of customer insight collation and through insight and consumer data, develop a deeper understanding of the customer base to influence commercial decisions that will benefit the business. Ensure the ZSL London Zoo customer is at the heart of all commercial operations and business decisions are made using insight and market information.

  • For all consumer events and initiatives led by either the Marketing or any other team (e.g. Zoo Lates) this person will build a commercial plan to maximise commercial opportunity and profit from these events, whether they be off or on site

Business operations

  • In conjunction with Head of Commercial, work with all areas of ZSL to ensure the success of the ZSL London Zoo business, in particular Marketing and Communications, CRM and Membership, Development, HR and recruitment, ICT and systems, Facilities Management, Finance including commercial systems and management information.

  • Work with wider Commercial Team to ensure the success of the ZSL London Zoo business, in particular Commercial Development, on any current or future opportunities. These could be the responsibility and managed by either the Commercial or Commercial Development Team depending of resource allocation. This person will be expected to bring forward ideas, business cases and plans to grow new and existing areas of the ZSL London Zoo business.

  • Accountability for commercial operations at ZSL London Zoo across all areas (listed above). Including normal day visitor operations but also commercial activities including events and experiences outside of normal hours. Accountability for operational management and performance of commercial suppliers including Ampersand, onsite concession suppliers and other suppliers. Responsibility for security, health and safety and adherence to ZSL staff and society policy across all commercial operations.

  • Accountability for the effective management of the Ampersand relationship in both DVC and C&B areas, ensuring the achievement of both commercial and satisfaction KPIs through effective supplier management and negotiation. Define, agree and manage up to date KPIs and associated business plans across the commercial performance, visitor satisfaction and quality of both areas. A Quality Assurance Scheme should be at the heart of all plans.

  • Ensuring the continued success of commercial operations at the zoo despite fluctuations in visitor volumes. Through effective business forecasting, ensure smooth operations, commercial KPIs and visitor satisfaction KPIs are met in peak periods and at quieter times the operations are managed effectively to ensure a continued focus on profit generation, effective cost saving and visitor satisfaction.

  • Represent ZSL within key external bodies and third parties.

Person specification
Strategic leadership and operational management of commercial business activities preferably within leisure and retail sectors.

Strong business acumen, able to discuss commercial performance verbally and in written reports.

Custoemr centric focus on operational manage

Commercially literate and use of management information reporting and business case creation

Strong negotiation skills and contract management

Inspirational leader and a confident professional manner and well developed interpersonal skills.

Ability to work well in cross-functional teams and at a senior level as representative of commercial function.
Effective and proactive day to day communication to staff as well as line managers on operational and strategic plans, performance and recommendations

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