A focus on staff, brand and the customer is the key to a successful retail recovery, according to a panel of leading retailers.

Speaking at the World Retail Congress in Berlin on Tuesday, Maxeda chief executive Tony DeNunzio said a focus on staff is the key to turning a business around. “If you get your colleagues on side, motivated and believing in the leadership, you’re halfway there,” he said.

Mark Rollman, chief executive at mother and baby retailer Prenatal, said: “When our business lost its way we realised that it was because we had forgotten to follow the customer. Today’s mother is not the same as a mother a decade ago and we needed to refocus. You can’t forget the customer.”

HMV Group chief executive Simon Fox said the power of the brand needs to be harnessed in recoveries. He explained that HMV has branched out into fashion, live music and festivals because the physical music market is rapidly deteriorating.

DeNunzio said focus is key, and added: “If you think you are in control, you are not driving fast enough.”