As the Regional Vice President and General Manager for Kmart’s Retail Services in the Eastern Region of the United States, David George sees firsthand the hard work our associates are doing to put our Members First every day. We recently spoke with David about Kmart’s efforts to move from simply selling products to building lasting relationships with our members.
What’s the biggest change you’ve noticed in the last few years at Kmart?
I’m often asked about Kmart’s business and whether we can execute our strategy to better compete in today’s marketplace. As we continue our journey from a traditional retailer focused only on “selling to customers” to a member-centric organization committed to improving the lives of our members, it’s important that each of us has a strong understanding of the role we play in the transformation. The days of generic print advertising without the ability to target members with offers are long over. Focused marketing can make us the preferred option for today’s mobile-savvy shoppers.
How are associates adapting to these changes?
As leaders, we are challenged with building a team of engaged associates who embrace change and technology, and are comfortable with supporting this strategy at every member touch point. Our associates on the sales floor must be not only able to guide our members through an integrated retail transaction, but anxious to have the opportunity to do so. Our front-end team must fully understand that both our members and our company win when we use the value of the Shop Your Way points in their account to give the member a reason to make incremental trips to our stores.
What is the role of the field leadership team in this transformation, and how do you accomplish your goals?
That question is answered on every visit we make to our stores. We set a strong example by explaining to each associate how we leverage the incredible value that rests in the Shop Your Way accounts of our members to increase the number of trips made. We take part in member rallies to spread the word about the power of membership. We validate the operational processes that are in place to ensure we are prepared to fulfill every online order.
Any additional thoughts?
Throughout my 32 years of tenure with this great brand, our ability to change has been a key component of our success. Today, the change that must take place is one that highlights our unique ability to make the lives our members and the communities that they live in better. This change is deeper than a paint job or a new sign. It’s change that begins and ends with our members and how we regain their confidence in our ability to be their choice for bringing together their online needs with the friendly faces they are used to seeing at their local store. In short, we own the challenge of embracing change.
David George is a Regional Vice President and General Manager for Kmart’s Retail Services in the Eastern Region of the United States.