This slogan may be about cost cutting your grocery bill but it could also be talking about the leadership of change in the retail sector. The high street is seeing record closures with household names disappearing every week. Retailers like Jessops and HMV are in administration. Yet other retailers are doing remarkably well so it can’t just be about the economy. For example Whistles saw sales rise 26 per cent in the Christmas trading period. John Lewis, one of the best multi-channel retailers, reported like-for-like sales up 13 per cent. And Japanese retailer Fast Retailing who owns Uniqlo is expanding fast across the world.
One of the factors we believe is at play here is the quality of leadership in retail firms. In a survey of 1,227 employees, 35% said the leader of their organisation made them aware of why change is good for them personally – one of the key attributes of leading in the face of change. But just 14% of those working in Retail said the same. Unless employees and leaders themselves have a clear understanding of why the change is good for them it is hard to sustain new behaviour.
I have been interviewed by Jeff Randall at Sky news on my views on leadership and the Retail sector. Basically my message is get your people engaged with the change, every little bit of effort you put into that helps.