Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Luxury Retail, It Really Can Be A Career - 23/06/09

One of the frustrating situations luxury retail brands experience when launching their stores or boutiques in Australia is the relatively unenthusiastic response from potential candidates about working in retail. They believe it is an oxymoron, retail and career...

Australians, unlike most key countries and cities within Europe, Asia & North America do not believe that retail offers a long term stimulating and challenging career. Most potential candidates or incumbent staff take up a retail position whilst studying at university or post high school, in essence they use retail as a stepping stone for their own career path.

This does not only exist in general retail positions but also within the luxury goods retail environment, several years ago it was easier to recruit for luxury retail but we are afraid it too is suffering from the same bad press. Maintaining good retail store staff is imperative to client relationship management, building loyalty with clients and knowledge of their purchasing habits. We don't often quote Justin Timberlake, but we do believe it's appropriate, retailers need to put "the sexy back" into retail.. How?

From first meeting with potential staff the company must talk about the career opportunities, show them there is growth within the retail business; sales executive, supervisor, assistant managers, store managers, department managers through to head office. We know there are always many more retail positions on offer than a head office position, however this needs to be discussed at the outset. Maybe there are transfer opportunities to other stores, states, even retail transfers in other countries with the luxury brand group. The cost of this transient trend of retail staff is enormous to companies and to reduce that to an acceptable level it means the internal public relations and the respect given to retail staff must be positively enhanced..

When headcounts are reduced it often comes from the retail teams, front line staff? The key to a company's success is most often the first thing removed. This in turn has an impact on morale and reinforces in the minds of the staff that 'their position is not that important to the company' and compounds the 'retail = transience' in the minds of many. You know what to do...

No comments:

Who's behind the MO DOWN

Melinda O’Rourke is the founder and Director of MO Luxury, a dynamic, Sydney-based management firm specialising in luxury brands and services. Melinda and her associates at MO work with local and international brands across prestige retail, fashion, fine jewellery, timepieces and specialised services. Melinda is well-connected, well-read, and well-versed in the demands of the luxury market and its client base. Her advice is firmly based in objectivity and ultimately, accountability. Melinda offers constructive counsel and both strategic and creative thinking and is able to draw upon a strong network of specialised talent to compliment the MO Luxury team as needed. Melinda enjoys excellent industry relationships and is regularly quoted in the business and fashion media. Read more about MO Luxury, www.moluxury.com.au