Tuesday Apr 05, 2011

The Leahy Legacy


Sir Terry Leahy at the Oracle Retail Week Awards.PNG
So much happens at the Oracle Retail Week Awards that it is often difficult to take it all in on the night. Yesterday, I found myself recalling Sir Ken Morrison's comments about Sir Terry Leahy, and in particular, his description of Leahy as "the greatest businessman of the late 20th and early 21st century" as he presented him with the Retail Week Lifetime Achievement Award.

This is a big statement. There is no denying Leahy's achievements at Tesco, the legacy he leaves behind and also the impact this has created around the world. Sir Ken referenced the Clubcard as one of the key successes of the era and indeed Leahy himself sees this initiative as the enabling factor that drove the customer to the heart of the Tesco business. Developed while Leahy was Marketing Director, Clubcard has been influential in maintaining Tesco's stance in the number one position and has been copied to less effect throughout the world.

Another element of Leahy's legacy that stands out for me is the retailer's impressive international expansion, with the Tesco Operating Model at its foundation. By no means is this a unique offering - several retail organisations utilise a common set of technologies and applications upon which they manage their businesses. However, the Tesco approach has been to be very specific in identifying the very best set of solutions for  particular aspects of their business. Tesco worked hard to create a model that was able to work locally from Turkey to Thailand.  Much has been made of Tesco's ability to identify emerging markets and develop the Tesco concept successfully within these countries but the Tesco Operating Model is a key element of this success. If you don't get the HQ, DCs and stores working effectively, your business will fail. If you can't get the right product to the customer at the right time, you lose a sale and sometimes that customer's business. Serving a global customer demands a business to have truly global process and technology.

Leahy's successor, Philip Clarke in his previous role as IT and International Director was influential in ensuring that the Tesco Operating Model was implemented to great effect. It will be interesting to see over time how retail businesses seek to copy the Operating Model, as they have done the ClubCard. It is too soon to speculate on what Clarke's business legacy will be. Putting the customer at the heart of business is a lesson that every company can learn from Tesco.  Creating a truly global business for a global customer is where Clarke's international and technology skills give him a real edge as a forward looking businessman for the 21st century. 



Wednesday Mar 23, 2011

Feedback from the Oracle Retail Week Awards

After the awards, we interviewed several of the staff from Retail Week as well as our own Sarah Taylor on their thoughts about the Oracle Retail Week Awards 2011 and which they thought were their favourite categories.  See the video below for some exclusive insights from Joanna Perry, Charlotte Hardie and Tim Danaher of Retail Week. 


Tuesday Mar 22, 2011

Sir Stuart Rose's speech at the Oracle Retail Week Awards

Below is our video of Sir Stuart Rose's acceptance speech for his Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oracle Retail Week Awards in London in 2011.


Tim Danaher's Speech at Oracle Retail Week Awards

Below is a video of Tim Danaher's Welcome Speech at the Oracle VIP Reception before the Oracle Retail Week Awards. 


Tim Danaher Editor of Retail Week welcomed the guests to the Oracle Retail Week Awards VIP party. The room was packed with retail luminaries from Charles Dunstone and Sir Philip Green to the award winners Sir Terry Leahy and Sir Stuart Rose. Sir Terry Leahy and his Tesco team sipped Tesco Finest Champagne to celebrate at the beginning of a night that would honour the life time achievements of Sir Terry Leahy. The room was buzzing with energy with the industry poised to celebrate his long journey from a career that began stacking shelves at his local Tesco store in Liverpool to becoming what Sir Ken Morrison later called "the business man of the late 20th and early 21st century".

Wednesday Jan 26, 2011

Tomorrow's Retail Talent

The Retail industry is built on talent, personality and finely honed business skills. It is the individuals working in retail stores and head offices who redesign the customer experience, reinvigorate operational excellence and re-imagine growth every single day. The Fashion Retail Academy is dedicated to making its students ready for careers in this vibrant retail industry. Oracle has a deep and lasting commitment to the retail industry and has been a supporter of the Fashion Retail Academy from very early in the Academy's history.


FRA front.jpg Based in London, the Fashion Retail Academy is backed by some of the leading figures of the global retail industry. There are a variety of courses for students of different ages and skill levels. Sir Philip Green leads a long list of retail luminaries who spend time with the students to inspire them to work hard and build lasting retail careers.   The opportunities created for the students are truly unique and highly motivating with the majority of students walking into industry jobs immediately upon graduating. Subjects taught include Buying, Merchandising, Planning, Marketing, Product Development and Retail Industry Technology.

Many Oracle customers are also supporters of the Academy including New Look, Selfridges, Tesco and Gap. So, from the Oracle customer's perspective there is a clear benefit to recruiting Academy students who have been using Oracle solutions in the classroom and are already fluent in technology when they enter the workplace. The partnership between Oracle and the Fashion Retail Academy in action within the industry reduces the burden of training requirements on the Oracle Retail customer base.  Every successful retailer today uses technology and students understand the type of systems they can expect to use when they enter the workplace. It was a natural commitment for Oracle to make and we are really proud to be the Academy's technology partner.

We are currently working with the Fashion Retail Academy on Point of Sale and Planning solutions being taught on their syllabus. Oracle and its customers will be giving lectures in 2011 to help expand students' thoughts on how technology can help them become really visionary retailers with great insight. 

It is a really exciting year for technology and retail. Online retail continues to grow and demands new skills from the retail workforce. At Oracle, we look forward to working with the Fashion Retail Academy this year to explore how technology can be used to make buying decisions based on social media sentiment analysis.  We will continue to spend time with the Academy students and staff this year exploring these new trends.

Additionally this year, we are starting to work more closely with the alumni of the Fashion Retail Academy, tracking their progress in the workplace. It is a very exciting year for Oracle's relationship with the Fashion Retail Academy. We will keep you posted of developments through this blog and our 2.0 channels. 

If you are interested in hearing more about our work with the Fashion Retail Academy or want to become a supporter of the Academy please contact me Sarah Taylor at sarah.taylor@oracle.com


Everything Retail.

Principal contributors:

Sarah Taylor, Senior Industry Director, Oracle Retail.

Marie-Christin Hansen, Senior Industry Campaigns Manager, Oracle Retail.

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