1 January, 1970

Drapers: Retail leadership in ‘crisis’, survey finds

According to a global survey of retail chairs, CEOs and senior executives, released by Green Park and the World Retail Congress, many top teams across the sector are "not fit for purpose.” 

The DNA of Future Retail Leadership, released at the World Retail Congress, reveals:

  • Only 36% of respondents feel their company’s leadership team is moving fast enough to keep up with changing consumer behaviour
  • Just 27% believe their leadership team has the digital expertise necessary for success in the future
  • Just 26% feel their leadership team has the necessary expertise in data and analytics for success in future
  • 56% believe their leadership team is not diverse enough to properly reflect their customers
  • 75% believe that their leadership team is most comfortable managing their individual functional silos but struggles to manage end-to-end processes

This follows on from The DNA of the Future Retail CEO, released in 2015, which found that most retail CEOs lacked the attributes and skills they needed to prosper - and that the gap would spread within their leadership teams over time. Following today's survey many concur that these previous warnings were accurate and the sector is now suffering from a crisis in leadership, due to: 

  • A failure of leadership, in particular, an inability to adapt to the rapid changes to consumer behaviour brought about through technological change
  • A failure of culture, with a functional, siloed set-up within leadership teams which is clearly unsuited to providing a seamless experience for customers who want to engage across multiple channels and touchpoints
  • A lack of diversity within the top team, leading to less insight and focus on customer demands from a younger and rapidly diversifying consumer demographic
  • A failure of skills with many retailers with a store-based legacy in particular struggling to implement transformational changes to make them more competitive against newer, pure-play companies with completely different attitudes to risk and innovation


This article was published in Drapers on the 14th of May, 2019. To read the full article please click here

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