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Friday, February 7, 2014

Mark Derbyshire Understands Retail @ Holt Renfrew

It is no secret that Mark has helped transform luxury retailer Holt Renfrew since his appointment years ago, but more recently HR has come under pressure from other US based retailers moving to Canada.

Nordstrom and  Saks Fifth Avenue will be opening stores in Toronto this year. That will put pressure on existing luxury retailers to step up their game. 

Do they really have to step up their game? Look at Target, they took over the Zellers operation to take advantage of their real estate footprint, but is failing at grabbing the consumer mindset. They have not done any direct mail flyers in the local paper and when trying to shop in their stores the selection and inventory count is very poor. Every retailer was scared about the Tarjay entry into the market and they have proven the fear to be false. That is too bad since Walmart does need a competitor to keep them on their toes and they have been quietly make improvements. However, the food shopping experience is cleaner at Target.

So what does Mark DO KNOWING THAT COMPETITION IS COMING? he takes 100 loyal and not so loyal customers out for lunch and asks them simply how they can make a better store and a better shopping experience. This is a perfect example of how the leader of a company takes an active role in innovative transformation. Too many leaders do not have any experience out on the shop floor or sales floor and appear to be blindsided when the quarterly earnings are way below expectations.

This is how its done and the results in the creation of a cultural innovation mindset is a real game changer. In today's highly competitive market place it is imperative that the C Suite be out in the field with a nose and ear to the ground to understand what is actually going on.

The Yorkdale Holt Renfrew store has doubled in size and has been redone to the nines to ensure every shopper has a thrilling experience.

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