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Are women the driving force behind retail success?

By Greg Bell

Gender balance is an issue that's faced the business world for many years, but one recent report has suggested it might have more of an impact on the retail sector than most people believe. The Commonwealth Bank Retail Insights Report showed that putting more women in executive roles could be the key to improving customer experience.

This suggests that not only do these companies need to make sure they're securing the right premises through retail leasing on the Gold Coast, but they're also employing the people to make their business successful.

The link between women and customer experience

Commonwealth Bank revealed that retailers with a minimum of three-quarters female executives place greater importance on customer experience than those with none at all. These businesses were also found to see the value of personalisation to improve people's experience of a particular brand.

Business confidence was also shown to be higher among companies with a higher number of women in executive roles. Of those companies which have a 75 per cent female executive team, almost a third (30 per cent) expect their business conditions to improve in the near future. This compared to just 16 per cent of firms without a largely female management team.

Jerry Macey, national manager of retail at Commonwealth Bank, explained there are a number of reasons why these types of businesses thrive over others.

"Retailers with more female executives prioritise customer experience within their business strategy and within that, see personalisation as very important," Mr Macey explained.

"And they're right: in previous research, we found that three-quarters of Australians will stay loyal to a business that personalises their experience."

How retail businesses are faring

There's every reason for businesses to up their game at the moment, especially as figures suggest the retail sector is now starting to thrive. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found that in April, retail turnover increased 0.2 per cent from the previous month, following on from a 0.4 per cent increase in March.

Companies in some sectors might be especially keen to lease commercial property, as the data shows that cafes, restaurants and takeaways experienced a 1 per cent rise in turnover. Other areas to have performed well included personal accessory retailing, up 0.5 per cent, and department stores who saw their results increase 0.4 per cent.

Commonwealth Bank indicated that employing more female executives could be the key to improving these results even further. Its findings showed that the larger the retailer, the fewer women were at the top – an imbalance that needs to be addressed moving forward.

In fact, half of business leaders among firms with a turnover less than $1million is a woman, which falls to 31 per cent for those generating $500million or more. This suggests that big companies could learn a valuable lesson from their smaller counterparts, but whether they actually do is yet to be seen.

Helping you find Gold Coast retail leasing

No matter how your company's management structure might look, having the right premises is crucial. This is where our services come into play.

We have more than 40 specialists with expertise in different aspects of leasing commercial property on the Gold Coast, including retail space. It doesn't matter what type of real estate you have your eye on, we're here to help you find it and move in with as little hassle as possible.

Give us a call today to discuss your needs and find out more about why the Gold Coast could be the right location for your retail business.

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