In a reversal of history, the shop manager and their teams are once again becoming ‘The New Shopkeepers’ making key decisions in and about their shops. The grip and influence of distant analysts passing down generic instructions to shops will gradually be relaxed as the personal destination shop begins to re-populate the high street and control its own destiny.


Essential retailers must not only be essential to their customers but should learn again to be essential to their shop colleagues. The scales will shift from people looking for shop jobs, to shops looking for valuable colleagues and local advocates.

The result of ‘promotional misjudgments’ is unhappy shop managers promoted to unsuitable remote office jobs as a ‘reward,’ whilst shops are continually stripped of their most valuable and skilled assets

Career progression within the shop, or retail hub, should be meaningful and rewarding..

Meaningful in terms of having a real impact in all aspects of the retail hub from operational responsibilities, management duties, product assortment involvement, inputs into the running and the strategy of the shop, and a progression from building customer relationships into evolving and developing the community involvement of the shop.

The structure of the retail organisation is changing, and so too is the skill-set of its employees. So too are the people required to run the business. What is essential at the top of the business is a balance of vision and pragmatism. So much of good retail is about the “balance of diverse excellence.”

This combination of viewpoints is essential to manage the everyday business, whilst always seeing opportunities and planning for the future. In essence, one half manages evolution and introduces enrichment, whilst the other identifies ways to enrich, and sees directions to expand in the future.

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