Can you still go from the shopfloor to the board room in retail?

Stairs

In the latest story in our No Limits campaign, which aims to drive social mobility in retail, we explore if it is still possible to progress from stores to the top job

Morrisons’ Dave Potts, Sainsbury’s Simon Roberts and M&S’ Steve Rowe. Three CEOs of UK retail’s biggest companies started life on the shopfloor.

Their journey to the top from a hands-on start is one that used to be the norm in retail as the value of learning on the job was valued over degrees and qualifications. 

But in recent years, as retail has become more complex and increasingly tech-driven, the qualifications and skills that make for a good CEO have shifted and those that start at the bottom rung of the ladder and climb all the way to the top are an increasingly rare breed.

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