A survey of senior executives in the retail sector has identified as a significant threat, a digital 'skills deficit' amongst chief executives leading the industry.
With retail businesses becoming more reliant on online and data-driven channels, part of the concern is that many of those at the top have gained experience on and have risen from the 'shop-floor', through traditional retail operations.
This should self-correct, if retailers promote a diverse career path for those growing up within an evolving business. As one executive surveyed said, “retail businesses need to move people around... They need very high exposure to lots of things – they need outside perspective.”
However, retailers must also be wary of another risk - that of age-related bias. One tech entrepreneur has been quoted as saying that "in the tech world, gray hair and experience are really overrated". Yet, those at the top of any successful business have always been adept at managing change - it is not about age, but about diversity, vision and collaboration.
More than a third of UK retail chief executives have been branded “not fit-for-purpose” by a major new survey of 100 of the most senior global executives in the sector. A report released ahead of the World Retail Congress in Dubai has found that the current leaders of the retail industry are lagging behind the pace of change and are no longer equipped with the personal or technical abilities required.