Retail Employees Day: I want to continue to dream and think big

I enjoy celebrating small achievements. I also like to challenge colleagues enticing them with small gifts for completing the challenge. This helps create an atmosphere of innovation and new idea generation. Meeting these challenges, gives me a great kick and satisfaction.

In 2011, during the initial days of TRRAIN, we challenged ourselves to create a day which becomes the Christmas/Diwali of retail – something that retail employees can celebrate with a bang. This stemmed from the realization that while everyone in the country celebrates these festivals with their loved ones, retail associates are in the store, away from their families and friends, serving the customers. They rarely get a chance to celebrate any festival. Why not create a day when all the retailers and customers in the world come together to celebrate with their Retail Associates?

This is how the concept of Retail Employees’ Day emerged. What started as a small idea within a team of five members in a small TRRAIN office in Mumbai, saw more than two million retail employees in India celebrating the day on the 12 December, 2014.

Since our dream was to make this a global event, I presented the concept to many retailers around the world. I got a chance to meet and present the concept to the Chairman of Boyner Corporation, Turkey. He loved the idea and celebrated the day in a big way in 2013.

Inspired by their celebration and the impact it had, the Shopkeepers Association of Turkey joined hands in 2014 and more than 2 million retail employees in Turkey celebrated the day.

Retailers expressed their gratitude towards retail associates working with them in their unique way, making this event personalized yet global. Our aim is to inspire as many retailers in India and around the world to join hands and celebrate the day with their employees. And it’s happening, with more retailers joining in this year.

What took me by surprise, though is not how rapidly the concept is finding acceptance, but the impact that just one day of celebrations has on the lives of the retail associates and the businesses. Retailers have reported increased retention, improved sales, higher CSI scores and better service levels in the week following the celebration.

I am looking forward to the day when the entire retail fraternity across the world will celebrate Retail Employees’ Day, appreciating and thanking retail associates for the great work they do.

I want to continue to dream and think big.

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B S Nagesh

B S Nagesh

B. S. Nagesh (fondly referred to as BSN) is credited with taking Shoppers Stop to unprecedented glory. In 2009, he stepped out of his operating role as MS and is now the Vice Chairman of the board. A charismatic leader and an engaging speaker, BSN is as popular among the youth as his peers. BSN is considered the pioneer of the retail boom in India and is the first Asian to be included in the World Retail Congress Hall of Fame. The RAI Chairman now runs a charitable trust called Trust for Retailers and Retail Associates of India (TRRAIN).