Case Study: Western Warehouse
Western Warehouse is a leading retailer in the western wear industry. This 50 year old company, with a reputation as a leader in their niche, was facing a period of transition. Although a category leader, the western wear industry was insular, and had not kept pace with retail innovations of major mainline retail brands. The challenge presented to Kensington Stone was to find, entice and recruit an exceptional candidate from a cutting-edge retailer to provide the leadership, vision, and character to drive the organization and the industry to innovate and drive contemporary branding methods into the western wear niche.
Most competing recruiters stated it would be impossible to find a “star” candidate due to the location and the niche; and that Western Warehouse would have to compromise their expectations in order to find anyone to take on this challenge.
The Kensington Stone team began the assignment by identifying tremendously innovative and driven executives at cutting-edge retailers who by their very nature would be enticed by the size and complexity of the challenge, and who would be willing to risk a move from mainstream retailing to a niche market.
In this case, the individuals best suited to the role were rising stars that possessed many of the same traits necessary to take on the risk, such as leadership skills, confidence, drive, passion and a desire to truly impact and drive a business.
Subtle recruiting was necessary to slowly bring star candidates to the company. It was not something that most would be instantly drawn too. However, unique aspects of the company and job did draw candidates to the opportunity.
Kensington Stone successfully recruited a rising star who was considered a bona fide “high-potential” at Old Navy, part of the Gap family of companies. This individual led a fundamental transformation of the business. Her vision helped invigorate Western Warehouse, and generated remarks from the board that Kensington Stone had found a “perfect hire” for the organization. The transformation she managed led to Western Warehouse becoming a sought-after “take-over” target, and leading to the company being acquired. The CEO was pivotal in maximizing the value of the company.