After twenty years managing large retail stores in Jersey, Lorie Rault joined the Jersey Retail Association (JRA) as its Chief Operating Officer in 2018. Established to champion and promote the retail industry, the JRA was absorbed into Jersey Business in 2019, where Lorie is now Head of Retail.
What are you watching/reading/listening to?
I love silence – perhaps a product of having two children in the house. I work from home when I have big projects as total silence really focuses me.
Right now, I’m reading Democracy and Education by John Dewey and Space Team: The Wrath of Vejazzle by Barry J Hutchison. I’m a big reader and always seem to be reading something to get me thinking and something to totally switch off and escape into.
Who do you most admire and why?
Lots of people – I’ve been very privileged to work with some very inspirational senior business leaders over the years. To be really honest, though, I most admire the many frontline retail workers I’ve trained over the years. Retail is hard physical work, normally on your feet all day, and dealing with some very challenging customers at times. It takes a fortitude of character to be genuinely friendly and helpful day after day. This also comes from the top down and I greatly admire a business where this is evident in consistent excellent service.
When are you happiest?
Anywhere outside with my kids and my husband; preferably on a long trek across cliff paths with a big picnic in my bag.
Humans and pets aside, what would you save if your house was on fire?
Honestly, if kids and hubby are okay, then let it burn. I’m very unsentimental about objects… and it would give me an excuse to buy an entire new wardrobe in one season.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
I don’t think that’s really a thing. I think wellbeing is really important so if it makes you feel good to eat cake then eat cake. if you like naff TV, then watch it. I think we should bin terms like that and be comfortable with who we are.
What traits do you most like in yourself?
I’m not embarrassed to put my hand up in a room and say I don’t understand something. Time and time again, I’ve then noticed others in the room begin to open up and real dialogue and understanding begins. I would always take risking looking daft over nodding to something that’s totally gone over my head.
What traits do you dislike in yourself?
I’m always putting my hand up to ask questions, I love to fully understand issues and connect people. I’m a very confident person but I’m only human; it is terrifying at times when the whole room turns to face you. I used to think I would get used to it, but the rooms got bigger and the people more influential. I now like to think the nerves come from caring about the topic, and I don’t wish them away anymore.
What’s your favourite smell?
The classics like coffee, cut grass and my husband. I also love the smell of Parma violets
What song is guaranteed to cheer you up?
The kids love it when my husband uses the Sonos to narrate our lives – if our teenager moans about washing up, It’s a Hard Knock Life suddenly comes on. If I’m grumpy, Mardy Bum by the Artic Monkeys starts up. It’s impossible to be in a mood in my house, it’s too much fun.
How do you measure success?
I’m a retailer, so that makes me super focused on measurable results. I’m always saying to business, don’t talk to me about sales, tell me about profit. Don’t talk about followers on social, tell me you’re building a community that shares your brand values, and that it is driving conversation. The key is to start out with a really clear end goal.
For myself, it is continuing to push the boundaries for flexible working. Even when I was a CEO, I insisted on a flexible working contract. When you’re in a senior role, to say that your family is just as important as work is sadly still stigmatized as having a lack of commitment. Real flexible working means a proper balance is struck; only then do you get the best out of people.