We’re looking for an enthusiastic individual to join our small but passionate team on a 12 month fixed-term contract as we look to grow our business.

The Modernist Society

Job Description – Commerce and Admin assistant

Part-time: 26 hours pw (generally Tuesday to Friday but flexibility on evening and weekends working is also required)

Starting: August / September 2021

Fixed term: 12 months

Pay: £18,525 p/a pro rata

Location: The Modernist Society (gallery/shop) in central Manchester

Role: to provide e-commerce, in-store retail and administrative support at ‘the modernist’

Responsible to: Company Director / Co-Creative Director

Responsible for: the efficient functioning of our e-commerce, gallery shop, subscriptions, memberships as well as a small level of wholesale distribution.

The Modernist Society CIC is a creative project dedicated to celebrating and engaging with twentieth century architecture and design, through publishing, events, exhibitions and creative collaborations. The Society has expanded over the past five years and now has chapters in Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds and Birmingham, Swansea and further city chapters in planning.

The Modernist Society began life as The Manchester Modernist Society in 2009; a project that aimed to raise public awareness of twentieth century architecture in the Manchester area and champion the recognition of buildings of heritage and social value. 

In 2011 the Organisation established its publishing arm the modernist to publish printed magazines alongside an increasingly regular programme of talks, tours, exhibitions and special events, and from this developed an on-line store in order to sell and distribute its own publications and products.

In 2019 it opened a gallery/shop/events space in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, specialising in design related products, books, stationery and art prints. the modernist has a well established on-line shop which has recently been upgraded on the Shopify platform

This is an exciting opportunity to join a small, resourceful and dynamic team at 'the modernist'. The Commerce and Admin assistant will play a central role in the team, ensuring the commercial operation runs smoothly. As well as opportunities to make changes and improvements to processes there will be a chance to contribute creatively to the organisation.

Main purpose

The Commerce and Admin assistant, with the direction and support of the Company Director / Co-Creative Director, will undertake a variety of tasks for The Modernist Society.


  • Supporting the organisations online and in-store retail and wholesale operation by:
  • Fulfilling and shipping orders from our online store (the-modernist.org) including, in-store customer collections, packing and postage of items.  (Posting can often mean a daily delivery to the post office with some bulky and weighty parcels.)
  • Monitor postal supplies and franking equipment.
  • Responding to and fulfilling wholesale queries and orders from external retailers (primarily art gallery shops and specialist indie magazine shops).
  • Receiving and recording supplier deliveries, storing and stacking items.
  • Refreshing and maintaining our additional on-line book store (on bookshop.org), including liaising with marketing personnel.
  • Maintaining our online store – accurately uploading product details, monitoring P&P pricing and maintaining stock levels.
  • Creatively refreshing our online stock presentation to keep it moving; this includes maximising promotional opportunities and shifting old stock.  This will include liaising with Company Director and marketing personnel.
  • Assist the exhibitions, events, publishing and marketing team in identifying trends in shop and online sales.
  • Assisting customers in the gallery shop providing them with product knowledge and promoting items for sale, including our membership and subscriptions.
  • Maintaining the quality of visual merchandising in the gallery shop, replenishing stocks and keeping displays clean and organised. 
  • Handle card payments and sales records for gallery and shop sales.
  • Provide visitors to the gallery with comprehensive information about the exhibitions, our products and the organisation in general.
  • Perform regular stock-takes and keep stock tidy.
  • Accurately maintaining and updating our subscribers and membership databases. with an opportunity to help shape and grow our subscribers.
  • To assist with other office and administrative tasks as required.
  • Ensure security of both shop and gallery and action emergency procedures as required.
  • Keep shop and storage areas clean and tidy.
  • Opening and closing the shop and being a keyholder.


Essential Skills and experience:

  • Excellent customer service experience.
  • Experience of e-commerce / the management of an online shop.
  • Experience of visual merchandising (in store and on-line).
  • Accurate money handling skills.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Willingness to undertake any other duties appropriate to this role and/or in support of the team.
  • Must be able to work independently but take direction from senior team members as required.
  • Experience of working in a creative arts environment advantageous.
  • Knowledge of excel spreadsheets and online stores advantageous.

Person specification

  • Desirable:
  • An interest in Modernism.
  • An interest in architecture and design.
  • Experience of working in a cultural organisation/publishing/heritage/architecture.
  • Experience of working in a small non-profit organisation.
  • Experience of organising and working on promotional events.

Personal qualities

Ability to work closely with other members of the team in a collaborative way.

Ability to work flexibly, including occasional evening and weekend work.

Self-motivated, determined and positive attitude to challenge.

To apply : Send us your up to date CV together with a covering email to us telling why you are the right person for the role, including the name and contact email of two referees, and send these to jobs@modernist-society.org

Application Deadline 5pm, Wednesday 4th August 2021.

Benefits to include staff discount.

Equal Opportunities

The Modernist Society is committed to promoting equality and diversity and promoting a culture that actively values difference and recognises that people from different backgrounds and experiences can bring valuable insights to the workplace and enhance the way we work. The Modernist Society aims to be an inclusive organisation, where diversity is valued, respected and built upon, with ability to recruit and retain a diverse workforce that reflects the communities it serves.