10 Lessons From A Retail CEO

10 Lessons From A Retail CEO

Ten lessons that I learned as a Retail CEO

First, I have made it my mission to bring the mortar back to the bricks of retail. That’s not to say that e-commerce is not important it is now very much a part of retail. However, if you want to succeed in this new economy you can’t forget what’s important.

  1. All executives must make it a regular routine to visit stores talk to employees and customers.
    You would be surprised how much you don’t know about what is really going on in your stores. The truth about what you need to address is where your customers are.
  2. In retail, today you are running two businesses e-commerce and brick and mortar. Develop a gap analysis to understand three things:
    a. How is each segment performing and is there any cannibalization to sales and profits?
    b. Are you bridging the customer experience between the two?
    c. Is customer traffic growing in both?
  3. Don’t turn away from negative facts, there is always something in the data. It could be an opportunity to explore, address or possibly invest in. Review bad news in detail.
  4. Take nothing for granted. Ensure you ask a lot of questions, especially around operational execution. The majority of strategic initiatives fail to achieve their objectives, because expectations on operational execution fall short.
  5. If you can’t figure it out from within your organization, on what or how to do it, there is something missing, you own that!  Pay Attention To The Data There Is Always Something To Learn!
  6. Focus on making your brand competitive. Forget about competitors like Amazon. Trying to compete against a competitor takes away all your resources and energy from what’s important. Only allow competitive discussions during competitive reviews. Don’t let marketing, operations or merchandising stray from doing their job, which is building your brand.
  7. Your business culture is the most important asset you have. The moment your people learn that you have turned to external advisors for help  you are sending a message internally. Your people will begin to believe that you have given up on them and the brands potential to succeed. Be careful.
  8. Build customer experiences from within. The problem with external programs and initiatives is that they are one person’s or groups ideas. In the end, you are not differentiating. Before you embark on rebuilding your customer experience.  Make sure your retail business does has boiler plate operating standards in place, if you don’t, get it done fast!
  9. Nurture and respect your organizations talent. You have three goals, turn talent into an asset, constantly challenge them to improve their skills and knowledge and hire or develop the capabilities that are missing.
  10. Don’t take futurists, retail predictions or those who offer a one fix it all approach, too seriously. At best, what they have to offer is speculative. Perhaps it may be just good entertainment but they can’t fix your business. However, they all have something to sell.

My name is George Minakakis I am the CEO for Inception Retail Group. I have led retail chains in Canada, USA, China and Hong Kong. Author of The Great Transition – Emergence of Unconventional Leadership and  Last Retailer Standing Relevant Leadership Relevant Brand. Frequently interviewed by the media for my strategic perspective on retail and consumer strategies in addition to the behaviour of leadership.