Finish Line’s Glenn Lyon has five questions for retailers who want to shake up their businesses.
In a service-oriented speech at the summit, the chairman and CEO encouraged all retailers to embrace change and strive to be better. That, in turn, will help them grow, he said. “We have a five-year plan to double the business,” he said. “As soon as we [do that], we will then work to double the business [again].”


1. How big can digital commerce be?
Lyon recommends having a true cross-channel strategy that revolves around the customer. “There are new options every day for customers to find and buy products.” And mobile-commerce is changing the game, Lyon said. “For our core customer, we have to step on the gas.”


2. How do you find great talent?
Finish Line relies on social media sites, such as Linked In, for recruitment. Now employing about 13,000 people around the country, the retailer is focused on customer service when hiring.


3. Is your brand really relevant?
“We have to make sure the customer knows they will get something special from us,” said Lyon. For example, Finish Line has enhanced almost half its stores with the Nike Track Club concept, which highlights Nike performance running and NSW products.


4. Can obstacles be opportunities?
Though shifting demographics are impossible to control, Lyon said smart companies could make it work for them. At Finish Line, there was a need to target its growing Latino market. “We use different assortments to appeal to this customer,” said Lyon. “Now it’s 25 percent of our chain.”

5. What’s next?
Rather than becoming routine, every business today should look toward the future and try to improve from every position, said Lyon. “As retailers, if we aren’t continuing to look forward in virtually everything that touches us, we will quickly be left behind,” he said. “Speed and urgency is everything.”

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