By: Lindsey Rupp writing for Bloomberg
Scathing memo to employees calls for ‘massive’ culture shift
‘DELIGHT OUR CUSTOMERS’ or lose your job, CEO tells his staff
Gary Friedman, head of Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc., painted a dire picture of the furniture chain in an internal memo to employees, comparing its operations to a burning building with people on fire.
Upset about customer service and late orders, Friedman fired off the message to the entire organization in late January. The Corte Madera, California-based company, which suffered declining profit and slowing sales growth last quarter, had just held a meeting with executives and vendors. During a discussion about problems with its RH Modern business, Friedman made the burning-building analogy.
“We were sitting there discussing how the building caught on fire, why the building caught on fire, how long we expected the building to continue burning,” he said in the memo, which was confirmed by Friedman in an interview. “NO ONE WAS FOCUSED ON THE PEOPLE IN THE BUILDING WHO WERE ON FIRE. THEIR CLOTHES BURNING, AND MANY OF THEM DYING. WE HAVE LET CUSTOMERS DIE.”
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