Business Leaders Discuss Talent & E-Commerce at RILA Summit

At RILA’s 21st Century Retail Workforce Summit, Shipt’s CEO, Kelly Caruso, joined Party City Chief Human Resources Officer, Denise Kulikowsky, to discuss the impact of the pandemic on retail and the future of e-commerce, fulfillment, and consumer demands. Kelly and Denise highlighted how their organizations are adapting to an ever-changing retail environment which has a tight labor market and a growing digital footprint.
Denise spoke to Party City’s emphasis on digitalization across the organization at every employee level. Denise also pointed to the continuous struggle for finding talent and the value of working with Shipt to meet consumer demands. She and Kelly both explored how retailers are partnering with solution providers like Shipt and others, to expand their capabilities and reach. Kelly Caruso explained that their secret sauce is their shoppers who develop relationships with customers and become extensions of retail partners. She further noted, and Denise strongly agreed, recruitment of talent is vital to ensuring successful operations and they must know who their workers are and where to find them.
In addition, they spoke to cultural imperatives each of their organizations have adopted around empathy – specifically, that empathy has been a common theme throughout the pandemic and that retail leaders recognize the challenges many workers are facing – both frontline and HQ. Noting the disruption of the pandemic, Denise shared Party City’s silver lining to it all: an opportunity for a lot of learning. Denise referenced Party City’s manager of DE&I, Lorawn Dupree, in using the word “authentic” for how transparency and collaboration underlined this learning and restructuring. Kelly mirrored this sentiment by pointing out the new element of vulnerability in understanding life beyond the Zoom screen and what is occurring in coworkers’ homes. At the end of the day, recognition of the human beings that make up both their organizations is a huge factor for success in this ever-evolving workplace.
Finally, the panelists discussed on-going public policy threats that could hamper efforts for retailers to continue to meet growing e-commerce consumer demand. Specifically, Kelly Caruso highlighted Shipt’s participation in the RILA-led Coalition for Workforce Innovation (CWI) which is educating policymakers on the value of independent work for individuals, businesses, and the broader economy.
RILA’s Workforce Summits have become vital appointments for executives to meet peers, share insights and hear from experts about the evolving nature of the industry, and the workforce. Look out for additional updates for future events so you can take part.
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