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'Anyone can be successful if everything goes our way'

Q&A: Michelle Greeves

Published 08/11/2016

Beautiful setting: Menaggio,Lake Como,Italy
Beautiful setting: Menaggio,Lake Como,Italy

Q: What's the best piece of business (or life) advice you've ever been given?

A: 'If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got' and 'Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result', both quotes are credited to Albert Einstein.

Q: What piece of advice would you pass on to someone starting out in business?

A: Never be too proud to ask for help or support, or admit when you are wrong. We learn from our mistakes. Often the strength in our character comes from searching deep to find solutions. Anyone can be successful if everything goes our way. We must not be afraid of failure.

Q: What was your best business decision?

A: Moving back to Belfast to launch House of Fraser's largest new store at the time - which led me to the opportunity to manage the most fabulous shopping centre, of which I am very proud.

Q: If you weren't doing this job, what would be your other career?

A: I had always wanted to be school teacher but then realised working with children might not be for me. I do enjoy coaching and developing my team, understanding what motivates them and how they all have differing strengths, so that's a kind of teaching in itself.

Q: What was your last holiday? Where are you going next?

A: Lake Como, which is utterly fabulous. Absolutely glorious scenery, sun, great food and wine so it is the perfect destination. I hope to have a few breaks next year, but I have already booked a family holiday to northern Spain. It's a villa for 15 of us. Family time is very important.

Q: What are your hobbies/interests?

A: I enjoy travelling, cooking good food, socialising with family and friends, and yoga to try to stay fit.  

Q: What's your favourite genre of film?

A: I love both a murder mystery and a good rom-com, which are polar opposites. Classic movies are great too as you can watch them again and again. Four Weddings and a Funeral, It's a Wonderful Life and Love Actually are some of my favourites.

Q: Have you any economic predictions?

A: I only have short-term predictions in a time of so much uncertainty. The exchange rate is favourable for cross border shopping at present and will deliver a strong Christmas for retailers. However, 2017 is uncertain and potentially challenging depending on when Article 50 is served, and what that does to influence retail prices, imports and potential price increases.

Q: How would you assess your time in business with Victoria Square?

A: Pacey. Three years have genuinely gone in a blink. It has helped me expand my retail knowledge, while also influencing and shaping me.  

Q: How do you sum up working in retail?

A: Working in retail is all about the customer experience. It's also incredibly fast paced and fickle, a number of things may influence daily trends and performance - weather, exchange rates, the movement of Easter.

Belfast Telegraph

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