As we move into 2017, and the most challenging retail year yet, does the past help you compete?

January 5, 2017

I have the good fortune to have been born into a retailing family, and have been working in shops since the age of 15 years old. I started work in our local newsagent, after spending my younger years talking about “The shop” with my family.

“The shop” comprised of a High street building with a ground floor shop, a warehouse and a couple of floors of living space. My great grandfather bought the shop at 23 years old, with a mortgage to look after his family. At the time he said to his wife “If we own a grocery shop we will never go hungry”…what a wise man he was.

The “shop” was opened in 1923 and has always influenced my retailing career. The values and principles set back in the 1920’s are still very true to this day. It is fair to say the “way” that we retail is substantially different to the 1920’s, but values and principles remain the same.

I have only ever worked in retail and I doubt I will ever work full time in any other industry – retail is fast moving and has kept me busy since I was 15 years old.

We now live a digitally driven world where we use mobiles and online shopping more than ever before, but we still need the retail experience and the retail principles to help us buy the products.

As we move into 2017, the retail world is changing at a pace – technology has enabled us to sell products, anywhere, at anytime, to anyone – competition is the highest it has ever been and success is ever more challenging.

Understanding and appreciating the past is important for success in the digital world we live in. That said, we must adapt our mind-set and the way we retail, old systems, processes and procedures will slow down retail growth, and larger organisations are struggling to adapt quickly enough to the new world.

I believe that having a passion for your business, whichever industry you work in, is the key to success. Our business lives, are moving faster, with more information than ever before – having a deep rooted passion will help you succeed and thrive in this world.

The pace of change will only grow and 2017 will see more new technologies and more competition for your customer….are you ready?

My definition of Passion:

Christmas day retail expertPassion: Spending your Christmas morning discussing Retail on Sky News