Jaume Miquel, the president and CEO of Spanish fashion retailer Tendam Group, was one of the attendees of the World Retail Congress (WRC) 2022, which took place in Rome from April 5 to April 7. Miquel gave a presentation about what the post-pandemic era might look like for the retail sector, and explained his role within Tendam, which is the parent company of clothing chains Cortefiel, Women'secret, Springfield, Pedro del Hierro and Hoss Intropia.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has impacted all sectors, and retail is no exception. In addition to the acceleration of online commerce and a new consumer outlook, companies are going to have to adapt their internal organization to the new paradigm.
“In the aftermath of Covid-19, people have become aware of the fragility of their lives and this has led them to ask themselves new questions such as whether their retail spending is simply an expense or more of an investment,” said Miquel. “The answer to this question is closely linked to sustainability. Customers now demand better, more sustainable products, which in turn leads to less production.”
Therefore, brands have had to change their traditional working methods and adapt to new consumer needs almost overnight.
"Pure capitalism is dead," said Miquel. "We are facing the era of new social capitalism and I believe that for companies this is a great opportunity to be part of society. It's not just about making better products, but about creating better companies."
In this new scenario, companies must generate value and the CEO must lead the project. It is no longer a question of accumulating the highest profit for shareholders, but of asking what role the company has in society and how it can contribute to society in a positive way.
Adaptability and leadership
If there is one thing we have learned from the pandemic, it is that the future is uncertain; we are in a constantly changing world. "Previously, companies’ organization charts were vertical, but today they are transversal. As CEO you must be committed and feel the obligation to bring light into your organization. You must communicate the importance of adaptability to minimize the emotional stress of change," said Miquel.
Soft skills are revolutionizing the workplace in the post-Covid era and everything seems to indicate that they are here to stay, according to Miguel. Since the pandemic, the market has identified the need to integrate different competencies in the company, based not so much on technical skills and work experience, which are still valuable, but also on aspects such as emotional intelligence, collaboration, communication skills, agility and teamwork.
These skills can be defined as ‘behavioral skills’ and often encompass positive effects on interpersonal and emotional relationships and have proven to be very useful in the workplace.
"Soft skills are going to be fundamental for the CEOs of the future. Determination, generosity and transparency are some of the most important qualities of the new leaders," Miquel said.
This article was originally published on FashionUnited.ES, and translated and edited into English by Veerle Versteeg.