027: Leadership in Retail

with Alison Crabb

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Not many industries are as people-intensive as the retail industry. Even with the pandemic giving birth to contact-less transactions, there is still constant interaction between the store manager, store employees, and the customers. 

Leaders in the retail space were already being seriously challenged before the pandemic hit. The sector experienced a period of unprecedented change and transformation that required a shift from the traditional brick and mortar environment.

With that, managers need to develop leadership skills that will be tested as they navigate a new reality of cleaning, lower foot traffic, and employees needing more rules of what they can and can't do. 


As with any leadership role, retail management is a highly challenging and complex role. It gets even trickier when a manager is in charge of several stores. The good news is that a leader can manage different teams over a more expansive geographical space through influential leadership. And that's what our guest for today, Alison Crabb, will try to dissect.

Alison is a retail leadership expert with more than 25 years in the industry. We talk about influential leadership, the power of delegating responsibilities and how strategies and work environment affect results.  


  • Getting to know Alison Crab (03:10)

  • How Alison switched from teaching to retail (05:55)

  • Alison's journey into leadership and entrepreneurship (08:30)

  • Alison's first encounter with leadership and how she matured her leadership traits (11:09)

  • The power of delegating responsibilities (15:08)

  • Alison's transition from a store manager into an area leader

  • How to lead and influence multiple teams (20:40)

  • How strategies and the environments affect results (24:20)

  • Analyzing Alison's book: The Essential Guide For Area Leaders in Retail (26:32)

  • The top 5 tips for leaders (28:31)





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Through building a culture of excellence, Alison lead the largest division within Flight Centre Travel Group, which delivered the companies most profit globally for eight consecutive years.


Alison's focus on continuing improvement saw her division recognised as the groups' most improved division for six of those eight years. 

Alison is an expert in retail operations and leadership, leading teams and teaching others to create an environment of trust, purpose and inspired culture, where people work cohesively towards shared goals. 

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