Celebrating the Culture of Retail
With Ron Thurston
Ron Thurston is on a mission to celebrate the culture, people, and legacy of the retail industry.
Born into a family of retailers, Ron always knew he wanted to be involved in the industry. Now, he is literally traveling America with the purpose of celebrating the real people of retail and the beautiful stories behind their often “accidental careers.”
Ron Thurston is a highly accomplished retail leadership Executive, Board Advisor, and Amazon Bestselling Author with extensive experience leading retail operations for America’s most prominent brands–including The Gap, West Elm, Tory Burch, Yves Saint Laurent, and Intermix.
One of Ron’s greatest strengths is turning around underperforming businesses, developing and implementing innovative growth strategies, improving training programs, building high-performing and dedicated teams, launching new brands, expanding brands into new markets, and ensuring customer growth and satisfaction.
In 2021 and 2022, Ron was named one of the top 100 Retail Influencers globally, is a board member of GOODWILL NY/NJ, and currently sits on the advisory boards of several emerging retail technology brands, including Reflex Careers, Job Pixel, and IMMERSS.
As of Spring 2022, Ron is traveling across America in an airstream trailer for a year-long tour called “Retail in America”. He is launching his audio and video platforms for a yearlong exploration of the stories behind retail businesses in America, from family-owned brick-and-mortars to large companies. Ron wants to share their inception stories and provide a platform for them to celebrate their incredible careers.
Is your retail career a happy accident?
Sitting across from retail workers, Ron hears it all the time: Many people did not intend to pursue a career in retail.
This “happy accident” is exciting, compelling, and wonderful. But it is not always understood or honored. As someone who understands what it’s like when friends and family questioned his decision to work in a field that requires long hours, nights, and holidays, Ron wants to discover hidden opportunities for rich storytelling in retail.
Show up with pride.
Ron is not here to tell you how to run your retail business – his mission is to teach you and your team how to show up as your best selves, with pride.
His mantra is: “I choose to show up with pride today, in what I do.”
Ron sees retail as a great equalizer-providing opportunities for people of all gender identities, orientations, and backgrounds to connect and inspire others. He is excited by the future of retail businesses, which he believes is rich for expansion and community.
Tell your story.
As Ron travels across America, he is asking retail business owners and workers to share their stories. He wants to help share messages of hope, hilarity, and creative inspiration from the industry that fuels America!
By reframing attitudes towards retail, Ron helps us create a better work culture. What are we proud of? How do we show up every day to serve others and engage with them on a human level? And how can we spread more kindness by bettering the experience of shopping? By asking these simple questions, Ron is having a major impact on thousands of retail workers across the globe.
“Retail is not just sales. It’s storytelling. It’s history. It’s community, it’s people. And it’s so much bigger than the average perception of this industry.”
“Every part of this business is so exciting and interesting to me. The careers that people have are under-celebrated! It’s an industry full of proud, hardworking people!”
“1 out of 4 people in this country work in retail. But it’s almost invisible in some ways.”
“The more kind that we can be to each other about the work we do, the more positive impact that has on why this is an important career choice.”
“I want to accomplish the momentum behind…new generations of people joining the retail industry. That this can be an industry where no matter how you present yourself, all are welcome here.”
Links mentioned in this episode:
Visit Ron Thurston’s website for his tour, “Retail Pride” https://www.retailpride.com/
Get Ron’s Amazon bestselling book, Retail Pride: The Guide to Celebrating your Accidental Career https://www.amazon.com/Retail-Pride-Celebrating-Accidental-Career/dp/1544515936/?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_w=gOyvd&pf_rd_p=205b21f0-8557-4ea8-a863-e58f77379cf8&pf_rd_r=C8CY7CQEGDC4ZRK05B8Y&pd_rd_r=fdbf7c7d-92a5-48fe-bea9-4d7cbcda688f&pd_rd_wg=ggLtS&ref_=pd_gw_
Follow along with his journey across America on his Instagram, @RetailPride https://www.instagram.com/retailpride/
Subscribe to receive email updates from Ron’s “Retail in America” tour https://www.retailpride.com/contact
For links to Ron’s Retail Pride sponsors, visit Ron’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/ronthurston
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