Rebecca Waterbury is on her way to work when we talk to her about the Sennheiser San Francisco store she opened with her team last year. The last few months have been very exciting and all the hard work has paid off.
“I actually have a background in fashion,” she says. “Back then I thought it would be exciting to see where I could transfer my knowledge from the fashion world. Consumer electronics are being increasingly influenced by fashion. They are often seen as an accessory. So I decided to try my luck there.” She started at Sennheiser three months before the opening of the first pop-up store, a short-lived experiment in the heart of San Francisco. “It went so well that we decided to move the team when there was a chance for permanent shop space across the street.”
The move was a challenge. “The new shop was significantly smaller than the old one. That meant we had to plan really well. Sometimes it felt like we were trying to squeeze a family home into an apartment,” explains Rebecca describing the change in premises. It was also clear that not all of the team members could be involved in the move. “I discovered very early on that Sennheiser cares about people. And that was the case here too. We called on our network to help with two colleagues.”
Rebecca’s team reflects the diversity of their customers. “We are different ages, we come from different backgrounds, that’s what I love about it. There is something going on every single day.” While some customers love to just browse the store and “immerse themselves in the sounds,” there are others who come in with a whole set of technical questions. At Rebecca’s store, no one leaves the store without being 100% satisfied with their purchase. After all, there are so many different headphones, so it is their goal to find the right product for everyone.
In fast-moving retail, where one trend quickly replaces another, Rebecca’s advice to her team is: “Always remain flexible. Change is a good thing. It helps immensely if you can adapt to new situations, do things differently.” And, of course, that is another skill from the fashion world that can be transferred perfectly to the electronics business.