“There’s more of a connection between stores and the head office than there ever was before.”
The Right Fit: How WorkForce Experience Helps Kurt Geiger Put Their Best Foot Forward
Kurt Geiger is a designer footwear and accessories brand with hundreds of points of sale and concessions within some of the world’s most prestigious stores. Since setting up shop in 1963, the company has grown to become the largest luxury footwear retailer in Europe.
A massive generational change is occurring. Every day, members of Generation Z are joining Millennials in the global workforce and will continue entering it for the next 15 years or more. Their use of consumer-grade apps in their day-to-day lives is driving an expectation that their work experience should be just as streamlined and user-friendly.
“We needed a standalone app that we could easily upload content to,” says Retail Operations Manager Alice Millichamp. “Something where people could interact with the content and not feel like they were doing a task for work but using one of the social media apps that they enjoy logging into every day.”
Kurt Geiger was looking for a tool that would allow them to communicate quickly with store and field teams and was user-friendly for associates and managers.
The company began using WorkForce Experience, a component of the WorkForce Suite, to drive two-way conversations and collaboration between HQ and store teams and appeal to its younger generation of employees.
More Engaged and Efficient Employees
With most of retail’s workforce raised on social media, legacy software is no longer sufficient for most on-the-go store teams.
That’s why Millichamp was initially attracted to WorkForce Experience’s social media–like interface, which makes it easy for employees to pick up and use right away.
Since Kurt Geiger started using WorkForce Experience, associates are more engaged and motivated on the job and feel more connected to their employers and the greater brand purpose.
Not only are employees able to put a face to the communications they’re receiving, but HQ can share training videos through the app from lead product designers, enabling team members to convey the company’s brand and product story more consistently to customers, increasing sales.
“People working in the stores feel like they have a voice and a platform to share their thoughts and be heard,” she says. “There’s lots of interaction and camaraderie on the platform—even our retail director will regularly like and comment on posts.”
Compliance has “improved massively” since Kurt Geiger started using WorkForce Experience.
Before, it would take nearly a week to collate photos of store displays and promotions from each location and put them into a spreadsheet or PDF for easy reviewing at HQ.
With WorkForce Experience, Kurt Geiger can request photos of promotions, displays or any relevant information, assign the request to as many locations or users as necessary and monitor the results as they roll in.
“Now,” says Millichamp, “the whole process can be done in a matter of hours.”
WorkForce Experience is completely customisable to meet each organisation’s individual needs.
At Kurt Geiger, Millichamp mostly uses it as a communications hub to publish content and keep in contact with teams.
Now, stores can easily access guidelines. Managers can collate photos of product launches, sales and promotions and provide feedback. And it’s easier than ever to share daily updates and announcements with individual teams. Field team members can communicate and manage tasks directly with their stores and associates have a direct line to their superiors when they need advice.
“Our stores can post questions about products, report any issues they’re having or share frequent requests from customers about certain styles and send that info straight back to the merchandising team, who’ll respond directly to stores and share feedback within their department,” says Millichamp.
“It’s great for making sure our customers [and stores] are really getting heard.”
Increased Camaraderie, Even in Tough Times
What started as a journey to improve communications became something even more during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To keep furloughed employees connected while stores were shut down, the group used a dedicated channel in their WorkForce Experience community to share acts of kindness—like photos and videos of them participating in food drives and baking for family and friends—to remain hopeful and engaged.
“There’s more of a connection between stores and the head office than there ever was before,” says Millichamp. “You really get to see the personalities of the people.”
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