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PiRA Judge Interview: Penny Grivea

We are thrilled to welcome Penny Grivea, a respected and influential leader renowned for her transformative leadership in the luxury and lifestyle sectors, as our latest… View Article


PiRA Judge Interview: Penny Grivea

We are thrilled to welcome Penny Grivea, a respected and influential leader renowned for her transformative leadership in the luxury and lifestyle sectors, as our latest judge for the People in Retail Awards.

With over 25 years of experience, Penny brings a wealth of expertise to the judging panel. As the former Managing Director of Rituals, Penny orchestrated remarkable growth, expanding its retail presence from 9 to 80 standalone stores and fostering an entrepreneurial culture. Her commitment to recognising excellence and empowering individuals shines through in her dedication to mentorship.

We are honored to have Penny join us as we celebrate and honor outstanding achievements in the retail industry.

What inspired you to become a judge for the People in Retail Awards?

I chose to take part because I love the idea of getting to hear more about what other brands and companies are doing, to stay relevant, be inspired by great people and companies.

What role do rewards and recognition play in the retail industry, and why do you think they are important?

It recognises talented individuals, and highlights company who allow those individuals to prosper and as a result build great brands. I am passionate about PEOPLE,  both employees and customers. Your employees are your biggest asset. Without them, you wouldn’t have a company, and through them your company either succeeds or doesn’t.

Recognition builds confidence because when your efforts, skills or achievements are acknowledged, it validats your abilites albeit that true confidence comes from within.

I also believe this is a great platform in recognising trends and themes which are important and very relevant in todays workplace like well-being. The more awareness that is created, the more companies will follow.

Can you share an experience from your career that exemplifies the significance of recognising excellence in the industry?

Throughout my 9 years at Rituals, I had a number of letters sent to me about store experiences that changed customers lives. It quickly made me realise that ensuring your employees give great service which is not only about selling great product but actually more about making that connection. A connection builds a friendship and a friendship builds a community.

I always feel so humbled and touched when leaders show compassionate leadership, when teams come together and support each other through very difficult circumstances. Its during these times that I feel very proud.

In your perspective, how integral are people to the success of a business, and why do you believe focusing on individuals is crucial?

You can’t run a company without people, given that a “company” is defined as a collective of people coming together. An organisation is a team sport and you need to attract talented people that come together and produce great work, collectively.

Focusing on individuals is equally as important because you need to invest in your people. You need to give them the tools to grow and flourish. You need to give them continuous feedback. You need to coach them to become better leaders.

What criteria or qualities are you particularly looking for when evaluating nominations for the People in Retail Awards?

PEOPLE: I look at individuals with behavours that show resilience, grit, passion in what they do, show consistency and are great team players. From a skillset point of view they need have great communication skills, be customer obsessed, have a great product knowledge, be adaptable and can demonstrate a good work ethic where they show commitment in delivering results and exceeding expectations.

COMPANIES:  I look at companies that have a clear purpose and vision, have a great company culture that values its employees, a clear mission, a focus on innovation and adaptability and effective communication and collaboration. It’s also important that they have sustainable business practices aimed at balancing profit with social and environmental considerations.

Utimately it’s a combination of a vision combined with operational excellence and a genuine dedication to serving its people and customers.

Any advice or top tips for companies entering?

It doesn’t matter how big or small your achievements are. Rome wasn’t build in a day so add all your milestones.

To find out more, visit The People in Retail Awards 2024.


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