Page 6 - March #170
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who’s who in retail

                                                              RLI MEETS

                                                              Chuan Chen

                                                              CEO OF LILY

          Q. Given the changing market conditions throughout the   Q. What do you make of social media’s prominent rise in
        Covid-19 pandemic, have you had to alter or re-evaluate your   importance over the last few years, and how important do
        key objectives moving forward?                        you feel e-commerce and online activities will continue to be?
          Setting reasonable goals based on the actual needs and changes of   The apparel retail industry is an industry that constantly accepts new
        the market is the most basic skill and responsibility as a CEO. The   cultures, new things, and new challenges. We always maintain a positive
        continuous changes around the Covid-19 pandemic remind us that we   attitude, seeking innovation and change. Therefore, we are always willing
        need more patience and also need to think about flexibility when setting   to integrate into new social media such as Facebook and TikTok, and
        goals. In terms of performance target data alone, we did make some   use these new social media to display brand characteristics and enhance
        adjustments. However, our core goal is not simply the achievement of   the emotional connection with target consumers. Our core consumers
        performance data, but the optimisation and improvement of various   are intellectual urban women aged 25 to 35 who have deep insight and
        factors such as channel strategy, product strategy, business philosophy,   are a driving force for the emergence and development of new things.
        benefit distribution mechanism and management method in the long-  Therefore, we believe that new social media is of great significance to
        term development of our brand. Covid-19 pandemic is a minor episode,   our development. The ultimate goal of the social media era is to realise
        which improves our ability to deal with emergencies.  the seamless connection between online and o ine  all-round social
                                                              retail. The core logic of the retail industry has virtually changed, and the
          Q. How would you say the Covid-19 outbreak a ected your   key to success in the future lies in the mining of user value.
        business, and will it have any long-term e ects on your plans
        moving forward?                                        Q. What would you consider to be your career highlights?
          In the early stage of the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, especially   As one of the founders of the LILY brand, I work with the team to
        from the end of 2019 to the first and second quarters of 2020, to be   maintain the vitality of the LILY brand in an environment of fierce apparel
        honest, it had a great impact on our business, especially our o ine   brand competition, and make it loved and recognised by more domestic
        business. Because the Covid-19 pandemic is recurring in some areas,   and international consumers.
        many stores cannot operate normally for a long period of time.
        However, due to our core business layout in mainland China, coupled   Q. How are you feeling about the 12 months ahead?
        with the previous multi-channel layout and the active development of   To believe that the best always comes tomorrow. In addition to
        our online business, these bad e ects have gradually  disappeared as   continuing to explore new opportunities in the Chinese mainland
        control of the epidemic has improved.                 market, I hope that the business scale of the LILY brand in overseas
                                                              markets can be further expanded. At present, I mainly hope to focus
          Q. What key leadership skills do you feel are the most   on the Asian market that already has a business foundation because we
        important in the current retail climate?              are more familiar with these markets and it is easier to meet partners’
          I think the voice of a brand in the market is like the performance of an   needs in terms of resources. Of course, for European, American and
        orchestra, and my job is to help all the musicians work together to play   other markets, we also welcome more partners to join us and discuss
        harmoniously and beautifully for the audience. I have always emphasised   development plans together.
        to my sta  that my work does not require individual heroism, and the
        results of the team are the most important. Therefore, reasonable   Q. Do you have any words of warning for the industry as we
        authorisation has always been my insistence. This is the recognition   continue to move through unchartered territory?
        based on the full understanding and trust of the team members, and it   While meeting new challenges with a positive and optimistic spirit,
        is also the basis that can be quickly reached in business decision-making.   we also need to always maintain a rational and rigorous attitude, which
                                                              will enable us to go further. Just as the tide always has its core area,
          Q. As a leader, when making key strategic decisions, what   the core is the driving force to drive the peripheral movement to a
        proportion of the decision do you feel is fact-based and what   larger area.
        proportion is instinctual?
          Based on data goals, individual development of team members and   Q. Any final thoughts or anything else you would like to add?
        other aspects of decision-making, I will pay more attention to the   The LILY brand has been witnessed by the Chinese mainland market
        basis of facts. Regarding the direction of enterprise development and   for nearly 20 years, and has been in operation by overseas franchisees for
        organisational capacity building, I prefer instinct.  more than 10 years, building emotional connections with international
                                                              consumers. We have made preparations for further development in
          Q. Do you feel that CEOs and company leaders can continue   the international market, where we will carefully build the brand and
        to be transformational in the new retail landscape and will   produce products with the spirit of craftsmanship. We firmly believe
        this actually be more important than ever now?        that lasting brand power output and deep level content co-creation are
          I feel the CEO of a company is like the captain of a ship. In addition   the keys to impress consumers, and let more partners and customers
        to experience and wisdom, it is necessary to demonstrate responsibility   know they can choose and benefit from LILY. I also hope that more
        and courage at critical moments, especially in the process of change.  professional partners can join the cause of our brand development.

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