As Chief Experience Officer at Victra, the largest authorized Verizon retailer in the U.S., Michael Moore has a broad range of responsibilities, including:
- New e-Commerce efforts to help drive “clicks to bricks”;
- Standardizing merchandising and supply chain management for the 1,150 Victra stores, which can differ significantly in store design and assortment;
- Store manager training to ensure everyone is operating on the “same sheet of music”; and
- Clarifying the company’s culture and purpose as part of efforts to retain employees, particularly Millennials.
Prior to joining Victra one year ago, Moore spent 29 years in the CPG/grocery retail segment, first with Procter & Gamble, then Supervalu and Lowes Foods. Moore talks about new initiatives at Victra in this exclusive Q&A:
RTP: You spent a long time in grocery retail before your recent move to A Wireless (now Victra). What experiences there have helped you in your new role?
Michael Moore: I helped Lowes Foods rebrand and appreciate the hard work involved in that process as well as the importance of company culture. A brand change has tremendous implications on the culture and the way forward for a business. Also, what’s interesting about grocery retail is that it often gets commoditized. It’s very similar in my new position. Competitors try to claim the same reliability and performance as Verizon and they also try to leverage price as a competitive strategy. That is very similar to where I came from. One other thing I’ve been able to bring to my new position is my expertise in category management.
RTP: What are some of the key initiatives you’re currently working on at Victra?
Moore: I own Marketing, CRM, Merchandising and Supply Chain, which are all tied to creating demand and a great store experience. Right now, we are launching a new e-Commerce effort with new platform capabilities to help drive clicks to bricks. I also am working to standardize our approach to merchandising and supply chain management. We have 1,150 stores and they are all ‘snowflakes’ — store interiors, merchandising and assortments are all different, since many of them came to the company through recent acquisitions.
RTP: How does employee engagement and training define success for Victra?
Moore: We have just completed a tremendous effort focused on training for all store managers. We are working to make sure they all are operating on the ‘same sheet of music.’ It will help to get everyone level set. We also have completed nine months of working a detailed process to unite the company under one common vision, brand and culture, and we used this opportunity to tap into the organization and understand our employees’ viewpoints on the business and the culture. Through surveys, focus groups and cross-functional teams, we have been able to define a new brand platform, including principles, purpose and core values.
We know that our largest employee group — Millennials — will leave a company if they don’t feel like the organization has a clear purpose. In our next phase we are initiating a series of well-thought-out training investments that will continue building off the new brand and make sure the culture is vibrant.
We are working very hard on employee retention. It is one of the key areas we’ve identified as important along with our rebranding. We are looking at things we might be missing in terms of culture, compensation and benefits.
RTP: What other initiatives are you currently working on to differentiate your brand from the competition?
Moore: We are supporting new store interiors, in terms of how the brand gets represented with fixturing and merchandising. We recently partnered with Verizon to test a new fixture approach in our new metro New York stores.
Also, endless aisle is a very interesting area. With all the accessories available today, we have to balance inventory investment in a small box format. This is a key initiative we have been exploring.
Bringing digital content and commerce together is also is a big focus for us, supported by thoughtfully considered CRM. We need to be sure we are developing a true omnichannel business model.
Finally, we’re doing some interesting testing in terms of beacon technology; and we’re looking at what is relevant vs. intrusive.
RTP: Is AR, VR and IoT in your current or future plans?
Moore: We are in a fun space because connected devices and IoT is going to explode. That opens up tons of interesting opportunities for us. There will be a day, in the not-too-distant future, when you will be able to download full seasons of your favorite TV shows or a catalogue of movies instantaneously. The speed, reliability and network performance will have a significant impact on the success of those opportunities.