The Top Women in Retail 2017: Stacey L. Renfro, Senior Vice President, E-Commerce, Pier 1 Imports
What do you enjoy most about working in the retail industry?
I enjoy the constant challenge, change and pace. Customers and the retail landscape will forever change quickly, thus creating an industry where there’s always the need to evolve and capitalize on the opportunity.
If you weren't working in the retail industry, what do you think you'd be doing?
I really can’t imagine not being in retail. I truly love what I do. However, if retail weren’t an option, I’d probably be an interior decorator. Interior decorating is a passion that my husband and I share. We look forward to the calls from our friends looking for help with their homes … as there are only so many times we can move, remodel or redecorate ourselves.
How would you describe your leadership style?
Transformational. I lead by inspiring, empowering and stimulating others to push themselves to a place that may not have seemed possible. I’m passionate about maximizing individual strengths, coaching and mentoring.
In addition to the people elements of my style, I’m also very results focused and ensure that I clearly define the vision and translate this in a way that everyone knows how to achieve the desired result. As a transformational leader, I’m internally motivated and lead with high energy, passion, authenticity, collaboration and courage.
What's the best advice you’ve ever received, and who gave you the advice?
When I graduated from college, my dad asked me what role I wanted in 30 years. I told him that I wanted to be a CEO in retail or run a retail consulting practice.
His advice was to keep my eye on the long term and pay special attention to the things along the way that will be beneficial in those roles. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t remember this advice in some way. His words have played into both professional and personal decisions.
Do you have any mentors in the retail industry?
I’ve had so many mentors along the way. Many didn’t even know they were my mentors, since I learned from them from afar. However, there are a handful of mentors that have directly molded my leadership and career. Liz Sweeney, who recently retired as chief merchant for J.C. Penney, taught me so much about this business. She’s a brilliant retailer and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from her.
Alex Smith, who recently retired as CEO of Pier 1 Imports, has also been an amazing mentor to me. I learned so much about the importance of company culture and leading with patience. Pier 1 Imports is also a company that’s highly supportive of female leadership. This philosophy paved the way for me to work alongside three amazing women: Laura Coffey, executive vice president of planning and allocation; Cathy David, executive vice president of merchandising; and Sharon Leite, who is now the president of Sally Beauty. All three of these women have provided mentorship, feedback and the invaluable role of a sounding board.
What do you enjoy doing when you're not working?
First and foremost, I enjoy spending time with my family, although I wish I had more time to do so. Other than that, I enjoy yoga, live music and a random mindless movie on a Saturday morning.
To see the full list of this year's Top Women in Retail honorees, click here.