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There Is No Way Wine is Better Than Pepsi.
Liza Amlani --  Retail Strategy Expert Liza Amlani -- Retail Strategy Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Toronto, Ontario
Tuesday, May 14, 2024


Like George Costanza, I don’t drink wine. I drink Pepsi.

Well, diet Pepsi. I love the stuff. Skip the can and just stick it to my veins.

Diet pop isn’t the only thing that I like about the Pepsi brand. The parent company, PepsiCo, churns out high caliber CEO’s like it does corn chips.

I’ll name a few CEO’s who are part of the Soda Mafia: Brian Cornell of Target, Lauren Hobart of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Vivek Sankaran of Albertsons, Mary Dillon of Foot Locker.

According to Fortune, PepsiCo cranks out rockstar talent due to an intense focus on identifying and developing high performers. The process is deliberate and systematic. The company ID’s their high-potential talent and throws them in the deep end, so to speak. Talent is challenged, mentored and given room to fail.

Also, you don’t have to be in the corporate office to be considered a high-performer….even truck drivers can be identified as one.

Oh, and you’ll love this, PepsICo. has an expectation that executives understand the business as a whole. Being confined to one’s own business unit is a no no.

That sounds superior to one and done leadership workshops and handing out meaningless certificates of completion.

So, why would this matter to you?

Liza was quoted in a BoF article last week discussing the “sales floor to c-suite” pipeline in retail. Specifically, how this pipeline is drying up. This isn’t earth-shattering news given that Fortune, NYT and Forbes published articles in early 2023 about the same topic. But, it does bear repetition.

There was a time where future retail leaders were groomed at companies like Lord & Taylor, Abraham & Strauss and Macy’s. People were able to work their way up and take on various roles.

However, sales associates are the biggest source of employee turnover in retail today. Is it any wonder that the cupboard is bare? Being on the front lines can be tough work, especially if you deal with jerks pretending to be customers. As such, there needs to be a clear connection between performance on the shop floor and how that translates to success in the corporate office.

Further, executives would be well served to spend time in store, not only to talk to customers, but to provide mentorship to their own high-potential talent waiting in the wings.

If we believe that there is a retail CEO crisis, then I argue that it’s self-inflicted. A more rigorous approach to developing talent is required, and that can start on the shop floor. In the meantime, retailers are looking externally to help fill the top job. But, even that could be falling short. Consider that Under Armour decided to punt Stephanie Linnartz (formerly of Marriott International) from the CEO role to bring back founder, Kevin Plank.

In sales, I learned about how to manage my pipeline of opportunities. It was the foundation of my book of business. When I moved into sales management, I learned about the importance of my talent pipeline and why it was crucial for my long-term success. Both required consistent effort to develop and maintain, like a garden.

If you have seen an unkempt garden, you know the kind of mess that can be.

What’s worse than an unkempt garden? A barren one.

Retail Strategy Group works with market-leading brands to help them improve profitability and increase organizational effectiveness. For more information, visit www.retailstrategygroup.com.

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Title: Chief Rainmaker
Group: Retail Strategy Group
Dateline: London, ON Canada
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