Fred Perry

"I believe that retail is about people and experiences, brand and stories, and engagement and connection."

How Fred Perry Cultivates Employee Engagement and Empathy

At Future Stores Europe 2019, Concrete CEO Tristan Rogers sat down with Heather Lowe, Global Brand Manager at Fred Perry and the Head of Global Retail Ops at a fashion brand. The trio discussed the indispensable role of the store associate, the importance of building employee empathy, and how to stay connected to store associates. Keep reading for highlights of their conversation.

Associates tell the brand story:

“We have very limited time with the customer in-store. We can’t compete on price or technology, but our advantage is the story we have. The role of the store associate is to tell our story in that limited time, which makes them completely vital in getting that message to customers.”

-Heather Lowe, Global Brand Manager at Fred Perry

Understand the store employee to understand the store customer:

“It’s easy to undervalue employees and the frontline teams. If you know your employee then you know your customer. Whatever the angle for your brand, you need to be able to understand the employee before you can become fully customer-centric.”

-Head of Global Retail Ops at fashion brand

For great content, put yourselves in the shoes of the employee:

“We have an internal communications platform that goes down to associate level, which is great. The challenge is making the content organic, and making the activity on the platform something people want to engage with, on top of business-critical tasks. It’s very easy to get disconnected with associates, but you have to think about all levels of user. What is it that they want/need to know? Don’t just communicate what you feel you want to say.”

-Head of Global Retail Ops at fashion brand

Store associates are an extension of the brand:

“Empowering stores with greater responsibility is extremely important. Store associates have become visual merchandising ambassadors in areas where an owned store may be competing on the same street as a department store to sell Fred Perry.”

-Heather Lowe, Global Brand Manager at Fred Perry

AI and robots aren’t replacing store associates anytime soon:

“I run a software company and we exist to help people, not robots. I believe that retail is about people and experiences, brand and stories, and engagement and connection. Artificial intelligence can’t do that. I believe stores and store workers have a bright future. Their role is changing, but they will continue to be extremely valuable for brands.”

-Tristan Rogers, CEO of Concrete

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