Retail Execs Discuss Leading In A Recession

January 16, 2009
Posted by Bruce Temkin in Customer experience, Executive leadership, Managing in a recession.

At the National Retail Foundation Convention, a panel of of retail senior execs discussed leadership in tough economic times: Kip Tindell, CEO and Co-Chairman of The Container Store, Roger Farah, President, Chief Operating Officer of Polo, and Burton Tansky, Chairman, President and CEO of Neiman Marcus Group.

Their observations were straightforward:

Don’t panic

Communicate

Be flexible

Remember who you are

Put your employees first

Bring in outsiders…when it makes sense.

Guide your employees

Cultivate trust

Bruce Temkin’s takee: These retail execs echoed advice that is talked about in previous posts about managing in a recession. There’s no magic bullet in these tough economic times; firms just a need to remain focused on the fundamentals: customers, employees, and brands.

Bruce particularly liked this quote from Neiman Marcus’ Tansky:

You don’t spend that much time developing a brand and let it drop or change because of a crisis, it just can’t be. We have no intention in making any changes of our brand. There is absolutely no groundswell, no discussion, about changing who we are.

If companies start cutting costs without a keen focus on their brand, then there’s no telling what type of firm they’ll be left with.

The bottom line: Don’t forget to lead through a recession.

My humble opinion: connect to the context of the recession. Commit and act. And do that compact

Even in a recession you can go to walhalla
Even in a recession you can go to walhalla
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