A Focus on Culture Clarifies the View for One Retail Eyewear Giant


Our client, an international retailer of prescription eyewear, had reached a change point. A downturn in their industry, the impact of an economic recession, and an eight-year slide drove them to action. The survival response kicked in: the company put their energies and time into improving engagement, turnover, and sales. All of these efforts failed, pointing to a phenomenon we call the “action trap.” 

If you have ever tried to correct a teenager’s behavior by giving them a chore, you know exactly how insisting on an action fails to really connect with or address the underlying behavior and belief they have that led to the behavior. When actions and strategies fail within a collaborative system it is a sign: time to go deeper and dislodge the negative beliefs and experiences underlying those failed actions. Positive beliefs — and a culture of accountability that upholds them — need to be formed.

Culture Test

Our client realized they needed help. The leadership team opened to the process of digging deeper below the action level, involving 50 stores in a six-month pilot program to activate company culture and align in achieving the bottom-line results they needed.

Leadership decided that nothing less than a two-point improvement in same-store sales during the six-month program would make the focused work on culture impactful to them. They also determined that an improvement of five points or more would mean an automatic green flag to launch a full-scale partnership with us. 

Rolling Up Their Sleeves, Rolling Out Culture

50 stores started their Culture Journey with daily huddles guided by managers — a radical change in the store environments. Managers embraced with their people the clear results needed and the experiences, beliefs, and focused communication tools that would help them get there. At the core of this work was accountability: taking individual ownership of all the steps it would take to drive financial results.

  • Within five weeks, same-store sales and customer count jumped 8 points.
  • And it wasn’t just one store or even a few: 85% of the stores involved produced these results.
  • As a result, the client rolled out with us a 1,000-store launch, ending the six-month pilot in just seven weeks.
  • By the end of year one of their Culture Journey, our client saw a positive, $50 million impact.

A Mindset Shift

“The principles of accountability have transformed our culture and way of thinking. Culture management created a fundamental shift in our mindset, enabling us to achieve regardless of the business climate.”

Our client kept soaring by focusing on culture work across its store locations. By the end of the first month of the official launch, they turned their best month in the previous twelve. By the end of the first 60 days, it was their best month in 24 months. 65% of stores delivered on their results, where only 9% did the year before. 

Additionally, high turnover at their stores turned around, dropping markedly as all involved became more energized by the improved clarity and vitality of their shared culture.

The playbook to their success is here. Download our Accountability eBook today.

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