Old Navy President and CEO Nancy Green took the virtual stage at the 2022 National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Big Show Conference on Tuesday, January 18, alongside other influential leaders who continue to lead their organizations with agility and a growth mindset. In this panel discussion moderated by Lauren Thomas, retail and real estate reporter at CNBC, the thousands of NRF attendees got the opportunity to hear from Nancy how Old Navy is redefining what inclusive shopping looks like and why it is central to Old Navy's growth strategy. Check out our top five takeaways from her session:
Inclusivity Starts Within
At its core, Old Navy believes in democracy of style and service, which continues to drive how we show up for our customers every day. In 2020, the brand unveiled the Imagine Mission because, as Nancy said, “customers want to connect with brands that mirror their values”. Increasingly, customers connect to brands that stand up for what matters to them – from offering an inclusive shopping experience, to products that do good for the planet, and that offer opportunity to their community.
The Start of a Fashion Revolution
A few years ago, Old Navy asked “what does true inclusivity look like?” when it comes to size. What started with deep customer research turned into a multi-year journey to launch BODEQUALITY in 2021. Today, Old Navy is the only top 20 mass retailer to offer a fully inclusive shopping experience for all women’s sizes across every channel. And the work of inclusivity is never done – the team is still learning, evolving and building!
Power of the Portfolio
Nancy shared insight into how the Gap Inc. family of brands are continuously sharing learnings with one another and identifying opportunities that work best for each brand. Old Navy shares BODEQUALITY insights with Athleta, while that brand provides deep knowledge of the Active space. Meanwhile, Gap’s recent launch of NFTs is an opportunity for other brands to watch and learn. The power of the portfolio means that while the brands work independently, they all can scale learnings.
Creating a Culture of Belonging
An inclusive environment isn’t just for customers, it’s for Old Navy teams as well. This has become even more important in a hybrid work environment. “Inclusivity by design means that not everyone is the same,” said Nancy. “We want to embrace and foster the different perspectives that a diverse team brings.” For example, a new employee in their first job may be looking for a more social experience whereas a working parent may value flexible work schedules. It is about “creating experiences and environments where teams can bring their whole selves to work.”
Challenges are Really Opportunities
The last two years have brought a lot of challenges and disruption, but that can also mean opportunity. Nancy encouraged the audience to “use disruptive challenges to think about them as an opportunity to learn and grow and try new things”. Digital product creation is one example where teams have moved quickly to be more agile, and that work has opened opportunities to work differently and even reduce waste, driving forward the Imagine Mission sustainability commitments. Staying constantly agile will ensure you are ready for the next challenge.