As commercial director in charge of fashion divisions at Galeries Lafayette, Averyl Oates oversaw the Parisian department store's product offerings within its men’s, women’s, children’s and accessories divisions, along with store layout and strategic merchandising. She stepped down from her role in March, after only a year and a half at the store, following the completion of the Autumn Winter 2015 buy.
Appointed in August 2013, Oates was also charged with the position of deputy commercial director within the group’s department stores, overseeing the group’s expansion into countries such as China. She also helped establish a more fashion-forward aesthetic for the store’s clothing departments, which have faced competition from other leading department stores such as Printemps.
Prior to joining Galeries Lafayette, Oates built up an extensive retail experience working in managerial positions in luxury design houses and high profile retail outlets. Having completed a bachelor's degree in music, Oates turned to retail shortly after her graduation, securing a role as a buyer at multi-brand store Club 21 .
In 1998 Oates moved to New York, joining Donna Karan International as general merchandising manager and subsequently vice president. Following a brief tenure at Emanuel Ungaro in Paris, Oates returned to London in 2001 as general merchandising director of Harrods, before moving to Harvey Nichols in 2005, where she remained until 2012.
She also briefly worked as commercial director of the short-lived luxury start-up Luxup, alongside Harriet Quick of British Vogue, in early 2012.