PiRA Judge Interview: Gill Smith, The Perfume Shop
Meet Gill Smith, the newest judge on the People in Retail Awards 2024 panel.
With over 20 years in the FMCG sector, Gill’s journey from chartered accountant to Managing Director at The Perfume Shop showcases her passion for retail and talent development. As a trustee for charities and a board member at the Fragrance Foundation, Gill shapes industry standards. In this interview, she discusses the significance of recognising excellence in retail and offers valuable advice for nominees.
What inspired you to become a judge for the People in Retail Awards
Our people inspire me. They are at the heart of our business and critical to our success. Being a judge in the People in Retail Awards brings the satisfaction of contributing to the growth and recognition of talented individuals, potentially helping to shape the course of their careers. The ability to make a difference to someone’s future in retail is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a judge.
What role do rewards and recognition play in the retail industry, and why do you think they are important?
There are far reaching benefits of rewarding and recognising people, and awards like this shine a spotlight on their exceptional work within the retail industry. Witnessing colleagues being acknowledged by leaders in the industry for their contribution creates a positive atmosphere that boosts morale and makes people feel proud of what they do.
More generally, rewards and recognition serve as powerful motivators, encouraging people to surpass expectations. By recognising people’s efforts and accomplishments, businesses create an environment where employees feel valued and satisfied. A sense of appreciation leads to people being happier and fulfilled in their roles, ultimately helping to reduce turnover rates and attract best-in-class talent.
Can you share an experience from your career that exemplifies the significance of recognising excellence in the industry?
It’s really hard to pick one example as there have been so many over the years! I couldn’t possibly choose one of so many fantastic people that I’ve worked with.
In your perspective, how integral are people to the success of a business, and why do you believe focusing on individuals is crucial?
From my point of view, people are at the heart of a business and critical to its success. They are directly responsible for carrying out its mission and purpose, which then translates to the decisions they make and the way they behave. Everyday our store teams showcase their expertise to our customers, helping them make confident perfume choices and making sure they feel special and valued.
What criteria or qualities are you particularly looking for when evaluating nominations for the People in Retail Awards? Any advice or top tips for companies entering?
When evaluating nominations, I’m looking for how people have gone above and beyond in demonstrating their initiative and how it’s delivered a positive impact for their retail business. Demonstrating initiative comes in a variety of ways and includes delivering exceptional customer service, fostering improved collaboration and teamwork and helping to improve the workplace environment.
For companies entering these Awards, I like to see how they’re creating a culture of engaged employees, who are passionate and motivated in what they do. I’d like to see them demonstrate how the efforts they’ve made to support their people have positively impacted the wider retail industry.