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Putting employees first


The key to success is customer satisfaction.

By arming itself with a fleet of “great personnel,” The Container Store is always ready to deliver top-notch store-level service.

This message was delivered during “Doing Well by Doing Good — How to Build Trust and Win the Modern Customer,” a topic discussed yesterday at “Retail’s Digital Summit 2016.” The event, sponsored by, a division of the National Retail Federation, was held in Dallas.

While retailers industry-wide are eager to provide a superior customer experience, it is up to front-line associates to execute this service. While some retailers feel it’s important to bolster their store-level teams with as many associates as possible, especially during the holidays, The Container Store uses a different strategy.

“We take an employee-first approach versus customer-first,” Audrey Robertson, executive VP, culture and strategic assistant to the CEO, The Container Store, said during the session.

“The lens for our hiring philosophy is to find one great person that has the traits of three good candidates,” she explained. “When we can find that one special candidate that can fulfill the business productivity of three,” the chain compensates them accordingly.”

Besides paying these associates between 50% and 100% higher than they would pay three individuals, The Container Store also provides an average of 263 hours of training during their first year. Meanwhile, the lines of communication across the company remain very open, enabling The Container Store to share with associates its core values, such as internal cultural programs, and how it engages with non-profit companies and the communities it operates in. As a result, associates take pride in their company and work, making them brand ambassadors versus uninvested hourly workers.

“We are as transparent as we can be, and as a result, we can attract better talent,” Robertson said.

“By taking care of our employees, they will take better care of our customers,” she added. “By creating an employee-first environment, we are producing more committed employees, more loyal shoppers and a strong company.”

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