What's fresh

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes...”

…and the chances of a business winning or losing is down to the quality of its people.

Last week  we sponsored The Grocer’s annual Top New Talent Awards Event, which not only showcased retail’s rising stars but was attended by CEOs and HR directors from some of the UK’s leading retail and consumer goods businesses. This support underlines the importance of hiring, nurturing and retaining the best.

The industry is facing huge upheaval and disruption in terms of declining sales, store formats and new technology. For the likes of Tesco and Asda this has been further compounded by the challenges introduced by fast-growing discounters. But the future is bright - meeting the TNT winners and businesses leaders as well as speaking to hundreds of candidates at Freshminds, it is clear that it remains a great industry and a fantastic place to forge your career. The opportunities within the industry are huge, this was clear from the list of last night’s winners which included store managers, buyers, managing directors, entrepreneurs, inventors and pricing consultants, to name just a few.

I took three key reflections of the evening:

  1. People and leadership – not only did the cadre of 34 young successful winners prove that they have leadership potential, the awards were supported by a swath of the most senior people in UK retail – CEOs, HR directors and COOs. We recommend trying to get the support of a senior mentor within your business to help guide and challenge you on your longer career journey.
  2. Harnessing change – times are tough and there’s constant change in the retail space – but seeing those who can survive and adapt to the new challenges is heartening. The best talent needs to embrace and harness change to the benefit of their business and career.
  3. Trading in real stuff – inventing, manufacturing, moving, marketing and selling excellent products and brands remains at the heart of the retail industry. Driving innovation in how and what people buy is key.

When navigating the uncertainty of the industry over the next decade it is clear that having the best team on board, from school leavers and graduates to CEOs, will ensure the retail world is on a stronger footing than ever before and the UK continues to be a world leader in this space.