Miyuki Kaneko was drawn to a career in retail by her love for fashion, taking her first role in the profession as a part-time sales associate at Diana Ferrari in Sydney, Australia. Very quickly, Miyuki discovered her joy in engaging with customers, drawing out their needs and wants, and guiding them through an enjoyable shopping experience in-store. She also realized the deeper she connected with customers, the more effectively she contributed to the store’s sales objectives. “My very first experiences in retail formed my belief that one of the most mission-critical functions is to create trusting, successful relationships between shoppers and sales associates,” recalls Miyuki.
Upon returning to her native Japan, Miyuki set out to further her career in retail, this time with UNIQLO, serving as a store manager in Tokyo. In her role, Miyuki was responsible for training and developing employees, creating attractive visual merchandising displays and plans, and analyzing store and shopper data to identify opportunities to achieve high degrees of customer satisfaction and driving profits.
Through her experience at UNIQLO, Miyuki realized increasing net sales did not always raise profits, emphasizing her point by saying, “All managers really need to receive and analyze the data from their stores, and determine what is working and not working for their stores. They also need to watch their employees carefully, and focus on how they interact with shoppers. Data is the key to changing and adjusting to satisfy customers’ needs, and better satisfying customers’ needs is one of the primary keys to operating a successful store.”
“I very much enjoyed my five years with UNIQLO,” adds Miyuki, “and my experience in opening a new flagship store and earning the ‘best store award’ helped develop my career greatly.”
After her time at UNIQLO, Miyuki kept her keen focus on customers, joining Amazon Web Services as a customer service agent. Then, from Amazon, it was on to RetailNext.
Miyuki was excited to join RetailNext as her experience in retail and customer service had proven to her the importance of what RetailNext delivers with respect to store shopping data and analyses. Although she knew it was critical to running a successful store and generating profits, when she looks back on the time she was working as a store manager, Miyuki realizes she couldn’t always make data-driven decisions, and she desperately needed proper data and time enough to analyze it. Miyuki says, “My goal at RetailNext is to help retailers be able to make data-driven decisions for their companies.”
Through her years in the industry, Miyuki has seen the shopping experience and behavior of customers change over her time. “Today’s customers have many more options on where to buy or how they purchase than customers from 20 years ago, when e-commerce was not as prevalent and mobile technologies weren’t nearly as robust,” recalls Miyuki. “The retail industry has discovered it needs to evolve to continue to satisfy shoppers’ needs, but many brands still struggle to determine the best, most effective ways to do so.”
Outside of RetailNext, Miyuki loves to take care of her young son. She says she can focus on work because she knows her precious treasure waits for her at home, believing his mother is doing something valuable to this world. “I want to be a mother who my son can be proud of. This is my newest dream.”