Developing a career path in retail
A Harrods case study

Page 1: Introduction

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‘Harrods of London’ is a British institution. It is probably the most well-known and respected retail store in the world. For 162 years, Harrods has built its unique reputation supported by its key brand values – British; Luxury; Innovation; Sensation; Service. Harrods employs approximately 5,000 people from 86 different nationalities who deal with up to 100,000 customers a day at peak...
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Page 2: The importance of training and development

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Training and development is vital to any business. Its purpose at Harrods is to better the performance of employees to enable Harrods to meet its business goals. For example, at Harrods the Sales Academy develops employees’ sales skills, leading to increased sales when they return to the shop floor. Allowing employees to acquire new skills, expertise and qualifications supports employee...
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Page 3: Developing a career path

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Harrods stands out from its competitors by providing a wide variety of development opportunities for all employees. This means the business can recruit and retain good managers and maintain improvements in sales and business performance. Individuals’ self-esteem and motivation is raised. Once a year, managers talk to employees about their progress and ambitions during appraisals. Employees...
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Page 4: Retaining talent

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Employee retention is important for businesses. A low employee turnover can keep recruitment costs down. It also ensures a skilled and experienced workforce. Employee development is beneficial for both the employee and the business. However, sometimes employees think that their new-found skills will enable them to gain a better job elsewhere. Harrods, therefore, has put in place strategies to keep...
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Page 5: Careers at Harrods

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Harrods ensures there is a clear career path for any employee, from any background. Three key levels in Harrods are the sales employee, department managers and senior managers. At each level, employees can benefit from Harrods development programmes in order to build a career. James is a Sales Associate and one of Harrods first Sales Degree students. When an injury prevented him from...
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Page 6: Conclusion

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People may have negative ideas about retail work based on their own experiences of part-time or vacation work. Harrods is different as it is possible to start building a career from any level. Harrods is about the ‘theatre’ of retail. As with a theatre production, however, excellence is built on hard work and basic skills. The flair must be underpinned with discipline and attending to...
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