The retail sector has been going through a particularly tricky time of late, with an average of fourteen shops a day closing down on British High Streets in 2018. Many big name brands have seen stores close or have disappeared altogether from our town centres, and many of them have had one thing in common – poor leadership.

With such a difficult and complex retail market, there has never been a more critical time for strong retail leadership and the best retail executive search services. Here’s why retail executive recruitment matters more than ever.

The trickle-down effect

When there’s strong leadership in place, you’ll see a trickle-down effect through every level. If those working the shop floor can see their executive is engaged and isn’t afraid to muck in, they’re more likely to have respect for the senior figures and take pride in their work. Work which seems meaningful and important makes for happier staff, and happier staff sell more. Simple. The best retail executives are those who are hands-on and show they care about their team.

Tight control

Top quality retail executives are those who know their store and their company inside out and keep control over the little things as much as they do over the big things. The best leaders do sweat the small stuff. If you don’t care about how the window displays look because you’re too busy poring over the balance sheets, why expect your staff to care? Strong executives manage a balancing act of ‘micromanaging’ whilst not letting others feel they’re meddling – make your staff feel empowered but make sure they’re acting on the freedom you’re giving them.


On a similar note, the best retail executives know when to delegate. Nobody can do everything, and good execs know where their skills lie and where their time would be best spent. For a store to survive and thrive, leaders in today’s retail climate have to spread the responsibility around. Spread the responsibility around, but spread the rewards around equally. There has never been a more critical time for executives to know when to share the burden, and incentivising staff with bonuses or other rewards is key.

Poor governance leads to poor results, never more so than within the retail sector in its current state. Put the best retail executives in place and they will lead by example, ensuring their store and their company can withstand the stresses and strains being put on the High Street.