RETAIL MAY BE DYING

Retail may be dying. The title is very much confined to things I have come across and experienced. Any one can tell the growth  in retail industry is going through and the number of job it is creating is just amazing. I am part of the industry for last 5 months or  so. I genuinely  felt that the excitement is just missing. A friend of mine who has joined an organization and in three months of her tenure she is feed up with the work she is being doing. Once one understands the process , which one has to deal with then it is quite boring. It happens with me as well. Out of nowhere I did quote her an example of our mothers. For instance my mother is suppose to cook, clean , be the family PR and she is doing the same thing for last 25 years or so and still does same things in an impeccable way.Retail may be dying is because I see many more  mannequins then the stores do have. I am talking about the CSAs ( customer service associates). They are the face  of the organization  , they create impression in minds of  customers. In short they are our brand ambassadors . A vendor of  ours ,with whom I happen to speak , he said “Retail is Detail” . And he is and was very true. Yes detail, who crafts those details, we do in our offices and the CSAs are one’s who execute the same. I have always felt that there is a vacuum . I have seen in most of the coffee cafe day outlets ,they are process driven company. And the execution is quite good to brilliant. The coffee outlets to Mc Donalds to pizza hut to Taco bell, they are purely process driven. Being a process driven is a feat in itself. The process driven company from inception evolve purely because they are Knowledge oriented and the companies consciously spend time , money and energy in facilitating the process of learning.If we look at the attrition rate in retail is because after a point of time a CSAs may choose to exit because there is no more value addition to him and to his knowledge. The HR practices and point of view is very very crucial in developing the intangible assets ( not mentioned in balance sheet) the “Employees” particularly the CSAs .Me being an alumni of a B-school was never imparted the so called soft skills. I have on day to day basis issues with tackling with people , what will be fate of those CSAs who may be 10th or 12 th class pass/fail . I know you will say the margins are like thin wafers  , I absolutely agree in contrast to Pizza hut or coffee cafe day the margins may not be that high . Either a retailer can grow as a whole or a retailer can grow in terms of space it holds. It is important to understand issues , it is important to motivate the CSAs , it is important to think from there perspectives. It is important to be a CSA with a CSA often. Retail is here to bloom for another decade or so but will an organization bloom /flourish will depend on are we just profit centric organization or are we people centric, knowledge centric and profit centric organization. Either Retail may be dying or I am lying. What is your thought , do share?

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