Retail Execs on What They Enjoy Most About the Industry
The question below was included in the cover story of Total Retail's Winter issue, Top Women in Retail 2017.
What do you enjoy most about working in the retail industry?
Yael Aflalo, Founder and CEO, Reformation: I love that fashion has the power to change a person’s mood and persona. Working in retail and the fashion industry was always something that came naturally and effortlessly to me, so it became my vehicle to do something meaningful.
Helen Vaid, Global Chief Customer Officer, Pizza Hut: Working in retail is challenging, invigorating and meaningful all at the same time. It’s changing at a pace that reflects our customers’ pace, and keeping up with our customers and trying to get ahead is an incredible task. Retail today is a melting pot of science and art that can push your intellectual and creative boundaries, but all of the output has to be grounded in the reality of making it work operationally. I love that balance of building experiences using all the new tools technology has to offer and serving it up in a simple way to those who want to access these experiences. And last, I love interacting with the incredible people in retail. You learn something new every day, and that’s hard to beat.
Jessica Herrin, CEO and Founder, Stella & Dot: What I love in particular about the Stella & Dot family of brands is that we’re not just a company that sells accessories or skincare. We have what we truly love most spelled out in our mission: we get great joy out of designing irresistible jewelry. And yet, jewelry is just the tangible expression of something much greater we’re creating. We have a vision of the world where strong women live bold and joyful lives. They know what they want and they work for it. They inspire each other. Passion and joy are their best accessories. I love that what we offer gives women means and confidence.
Laura Alber, CEO, Williams-Sonoma, Inc.: Retail is both an art and a science; it’s the cycle of creativity and analysis. Our customers continue to evolve, and I’m excited about the challenge of constantly innovating in a way to better service our customers.
Shira Goodman, President and CEO, Staples: I really like the chance I have to help associates grow and develop. Many of Staples’ retail leaders started their careers as cashiers. It’s been very exciting watching them become real leaders and excellent business people years later. Of course, I also love the ability to interact directly with our customers so we can better understand their needs and fulfill them.