08 Nov 2022

Executive mindset: advice for your business

Photo by Brooke Lark

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the current state of affairs, given the UK inflation rate and the rising cost of living. According to the Office for National Statistics, “Retail sales volumes fell by 1.4% in September 2022.”

Nonetheless, your business can navigate current challenges by looking at things in a positive and entrepreneurial way. Our Content Editor, Lina Vaz, spoke with Jonathan de Mello, Founder & CEO of JDM Retail, about the executive mindset and how to make the most of it.

Successful CEOs tend to have traits such as drive, resilience and risk tolerance. What’s the best way of applying these to overcome business challenges?

We are facing yet another crisis – so soon after coming out of COVID. Belief – in both yourself, your colleagues and your business – can help to overcome even the most challenging obstacles however. Every challenge creates opportunity and many small businesses, that were founded during COVID, are now flourishing. Agility and adaptability to change is a hallmark of any successful business – which many of these newer businesses have in abundance.


How to develop a business strategy like a CEO?

Developing a successful business strategy involves having a clear vision as to where you want your business to be in the short, medium and long term. Everything stems from this vision, in terms of customer acquisition and retention, and investment in products and people – particularly when competing against bigger and more established firms.


The Battersea Power Station attracted 250,000+ visitors on the opening weekend. How to you interpret this when considering the UK retail industry as a whole? What can brands and retailers learn from this success story?

Battersea Power Station’s successful opening weekend is testament to the strength of carefully curated physical retail and leisure, which the owners of Battersea Power Station have managed to create. UK Retail is evolving – becoming more mixed use in nature, and more experiential. F&B and Leisure are key components of this, and other property owners would do well to try and replicate the approach Battersea Power Station have taken in their centres.


Another success story is GymShark, that has just opened its first London store. What contributed to such a rapid business growth?

Gymshark has gone from an idea to a multi billion pound brand in a very short space of time, and highlights the ever increasing demand for casual/sports-based products in the UK. The continued success of multi brand stores such as JD Sports and Sports Direct is testament to this, as is the growth of Nike, Adidas, Puma, New Balance, Asics, Under Armour and others – all of which are looking to expand their physical store footprints considerably in the UK and beyond.


According to ONS, “the proportion of retail sales taking place online was 26.4% in September 2022; this has remained at a broadly consistent level since May 2022.” How can brands and retailers make the most of ecommerce?

E-commerce sales as a proportion of all retail have dropped since their COVID driven peak in 2020/2021, but are still significantly higher than 2019 levels. Many retailers invested in their transactional online capability during COVID, and continued investment is important – not just in their website – but also in marketing and SEO – as online retailing becomes an increasingly crowded space. As a consequence, we have seen a rise in online pure play brands taking physical stores in order to ‘showroom’ their products and build brand equity. Ensuring a seamless customer experience both online and offline is key to maximising the most of this ‘new normal.’


If you want to learn more about how successful Chief Executives drive their business forward, McKinsey has done an extensive research on this topic: The mindsets and practices of excellent CEOs. You can also watch Jonathan de Mello's video interview about Hybrid Retail, to learn more about the ongoing transformation of the retail industry. 


Jonathan de Mello, Founder and CEO of JDM Retail





View all Inside Fashion

Partners and Sponsors