(Some) Positive News!

Some retailers are bucking the trend – these are some of them over the last two days:

Supermarkets seem to have done well, with Waitrose declaring sales up 41% in the week to 27 December and Sainsbury’s saying that their like-for-like sales,  and being careful to exclude petrol, rising by 4.5% compared to a year ago in the 13 weeks to 3 January.

John Lewis also said that their sales rose 27.4% in its department stores during the week that ended 3 January, compared with the same period last year.

JD Sports also said that in the five weeks to 3 January sales in stores open more than a year were up 2.8% and Jessops the camera company said in the five weeks to 5 January, like-for-like sales rose 3.1%, although the company warned that it had taken a hit on profit.

This is clearly some good news, and it got me thinking as to why these companies can do what they are doing while around them others tumble. Because this means that the public is still spending but being selective about where they spend and what they spend on things. And then it started to dawn on me – it’s obvious really. All the these companies have two big positives about the way they are working.

1. They are all either new or have embraced a serious change in the way they are being operated and they have involved their teams. Both those things deliver committed employees with a drive and a will to succeed.

2. They have decided to be less greedy and to set out their stall for the longer term. In the case of Jessops, the company have admitted as much saying profits have taken a hit.

Now for me the strive for increased cash, and to do better than the next man is something that has probably put us where we are today. For me personally, rewards in the form of money, have never been my primary driver – I actually would gain more from someone saying I’d done a good job, or from doing things that I enjoyed and believed in. And this is the dilemna in a capitalist society – money first, enjoyment and well being second, and sometimes if at all.

It’s very strange that when all around has started to become somewhat unstable that in a capitalist society we all look to our governments to resolve things, when actually we should be looking and demanding of the real leaders of the capitalist society, the financiers, entrepreneurs and industrialists to work together to resolve the underlying issues that are wobbling at the moment.

An organisation, that I am proud to be a graduate of, tries very hard to bring that awareness to emerging leaders across the world. Common Purpose is a not for profit organisation that works to bring together people from the private, public and charitable sectors. Working and collaborating together has changed things in local communities along with changing the perspective of the many people who have been through the programmes. It was founded in the UK in 1989 and since then has grown to 50 locations worldwide with over 120,000 people going through the programmes.  Find out about it and do your bit!


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