Starting out in retail? Embrace the opportunity.
FIVE things I would say to my daughter about the retail industry at the start of her journey with the wonderful John Lewis Partnership
1> There are no barriers. It is really true that you can work your way from the shop-floor to the boardroom. This industry rewards hard-work, commitment and passion for doing the right thing by customers.
2> No two days are ever the same. Retail reflects the consumer in all their needs and wants during the year. Think ahead. Anticipating the consumer needs to surprise and delight them with new products, cheaper prices, outstanding service or a commitment to doing whatever is possible to support small suppliers and local economies will always keep you energised and ready for the next challenge.
3> Wonderful people work in retail. Whether board members, independent retailers, suppliers or the shop-floor team members, retail brings out the best in people. You'll gain another family!
4> You will be constantly challenged to learn. Retail is an art of 13 disciples that all need to work together like an orchestra to produce a wonderful offer for consumers. When one chord is out of tune, it affects the whole. It takes a whole career to understand these disciplines across ranging, buying, marketing, technical, store format, packaging, supply chain, finance, store operations. There is always something new to learn.
5> Retail can be a force for good in so many ways. From supplying vulnerable families and foodbanks to driving healthier choices amongst convenience stores and their wholesalers for low-income families. Retailers are in every walk of life and influence our every day... let's make their contribution a positive one.
To my darling daughter, congratulations on taking the first step on this path, embrace the opportunity and enjoy the ride wherever it takes you.
Image credit: JLP