Retail: Talent Wanted
By George Anderson
Roger Farah, president and chief operating officer of Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., told an audience at the National Retail Federation conference in New York this week that the biggest
challenge the retail industry faces is attracting creative people to the business.
“Talent is the largest challenge we face,” said Mr. Farah. “When you see businesses faltering, going stale, I attribute that to gaps in talent.”
“We haven’t done a good job of selling ourselves as a group,” he said. “Unless we rally ourselves as an industry and fight for the best and the brightest, that will be the biggest
challenge in coming decades.”
When retail businesses have succeeded in attracting creative managers, said Mr. Farah, they have not always enabled these employees to put their creativity to work. Faced by
continuing obstacles, many choose to look outside of retail to find fulfilling work.
Moderator’s Comment: Do you agree that the retail industry has had a hard time attracting topnotch talent? Why do you think this is so? Where within
retail is talent most needed and how can companies go about attracting the type of people they need? –
George Anderson – Moderator