Magazines Archives - 2008 March
NRF honours industry excellence
MACYS INC chairman and CEO Terry Lundgren was awarded the NRF Gold Medal for excellence at the 2008 NRF Annual Retail Industry Luncheon. The award was given in recognition of industry leadership.
In his acceptance speech, Lundgren called for renewed emphasis on executive training programmes in retailing. He recalled his own entry into the industry in 1975 as a trainee at Bullocks, which he said stood out for its executive training programme.
Other such programmes said to be highly rated were Macys own, Abraham & Straus and Bloomingdales. Lundgren also appealed to top-level retail executives to get their humanresource departments help to identify colleges with strong programmes that prepare students for retail careers, urging them to take the time to recruit the best kids from these colleges.
This CEO even schedules several road trips a year to talk to students about the rewards of a retail career. In his speech, he encouraged retail chief executives to make themselves available to their young trainees on a one-onone basis, citing his own 30-minutes-aweek breakfast or luncheon meetings with trainees at Macys. He holds these meetings inviolate, persuading others to do the same.
For the first time, NRF announced two Silver Medal Awards. One went to Dan Doyle, vice-president of Loss Prevention and Human Resources of Bealls Inc (and chair of NRFs Loss Prevention Advisory Council), who was commended for his initiatives in keeping criminals out of his stores. The other silver medallist was Elaine Rubin, president and co-founder of ekrubin Inc, who was recognised as an expert in e-tailing for over 20 years. She has also chaired the Shop.org board of directors for eight years.
This year, the International Retailer of the Year title went to Lane Crawford (Hong Kong) Limited. The award was accepted by its president, Jennifer Woo, who shared how her company had transformed from an old-fashioned department store into Asias primary fashionspeciality store group, which recognised early on the rise of the luxury industry and the potential of wealthy Chinese customers. Bass Pro Shops Inc founder John L Morris clinched the Retail Innovator of the Year honour.
Morris said Bass Pro Shops, recognised as one of the most beloved and recognisable brands, was founded on his love of bass fishing and the outdoors. He related how he came to discover the needs of sports fishermen for specialised equipment after storing some fishing bait in his fathers liquor shop before growing the idea into a specialised sports chain.
Bass Pro, which features waterfalls and golf-putting greens in its stores, sponsors fishing competitions, boat shows and the like, as well as takes part in several sporting events such as Top of the Rock golf events and NASCAR.
Customer-service winners for 2007, based on the results of the NRF Foundation and American Express research, were also announced at the NRF annual luncheon by American Express vice-president of Retail Industry Strategic Relationship Group Christopher Hollings.
Number one on the winning list was LL Bean, the big catalogue and online retailer which also operates a handful of brick-and-mortar stores. The retailer was third in the 2006 poll.
The survey of 8,800 consumers was conducted by BIGresearch last September.
What emerged somewhat surprising was the dominance of Internet retailers in shopper satisfaction for customer service.
Shoppers said they expected the most in customer service from restaurants and speciality stores, which each garnered a rating of 4.4 out of a high of five, and the least from discounters.
Ranked second in the survey was footwear e-tailer Zappos.com, followed in order by multichannel e-tailers Amazon.com, Overstock.com, Blair, Lands End and Coldwater Creek, and retailers/e-tailers Nordstrom and Land Bryant, and online retailer Newegg.com.
Hollings and other American Express executives reminded the audience that shoppers reporting a positive experience tended to be those spending more time in a store or shopping online.