Top Women Execs Share What They Enjoy Most About the Retail Industry

By: Caitlin Sullivan

In the Winter 2016 issue of Total Retail (sister brand of Women in Retail Leadership Circle), the cover story featured the brand’s sixth annual list of the leading female executives in retail. To get know the 17 honorees better, Total Retail sent them each six questions. Here are select answers from some of this year’s honorees to the question, “What do you enjoy most about working in the retail industry?”

Mary Beech, Chief Marketing Officer, Kate Spade & Company
“The immediacy of the connection with our customer. We’re telling the story of the kate spade new york brand every day, and our customer is part of our story, the very essence of the story. Our retail stores and digital presence provide not only amazing mediums in which to tell our story, but a feedback loop with our customer that’s both enlightening and inspiring.”

Mary Dillon, CEO, ULTA Beauty
“I love being in our stores with our incredible associates. We have more than 22,000 beauty-loving associates across our nearly 900 stores who help us deliver all things beauty, all in one place. I’m particularly proud that we give our associates — 92 percent of whom are women — opportunities to grow into leadership roles. In the last two years alone, we promoted 1,200 women to management positions. That’s incredibly rewarding for me as CEO. On top of this, we’re providing more jobs. We’ve created more than 5,300 jobs in the last two years, an increase of 30 percent.”

Marci Grebstein, Chief Marketing Officer, Lowe’s
“The retail industry is so dynamic. No two days are alike, and it’s never boring. I do my best work when there’s constant change and always need to consider the ever-changing needs of the customer. Working in retail requires both very short-term execution to meet the day-to-day needs of the business as well as long-term strategic planning to understand your customer and think about where the company wants to be in the future. Having to balance both is very engaging and energizing to me.”

Susie McCabe, Senior Vice President, Global Retail, Under Armour
“I love that retail is both art and science, instinct and data. For me, retail has always been the perfect mix of strategy, financial acumen, creativity, problem solving, inter-personal connections and emotion. It has an amazing pace and rhythm to it. No day is the same, but there are patterns that you can come to expect. Retail has always energized me!”

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