Evidence Case Study: Dorothy Perkins 

The following case study was provided as part of the evidence for the effectiveness of employee engagement strategies in improving performance, productivity and, in the private sector profitability.  It has been used cumulatively with other submissions compiled by many leading companies and organisations to leave little room for doubt about the statistical importance of engaging employees.

This particular case study is an additional support to The Evidence Paper


Established over 90 years ago, Dorothy Perkins is now one of the biggest fashion retailers in the country, with nearly 600 UK stores and over 50 international outlets. The brand is now owned by the Arcadia group.


In 2009/2010 Dorothy Perkins conducted the Hay leadership style and climate assessments with 52 area and store managers across its Midlands region.   Managers were selected by those who managed stores which were comparable on size, location, time in business and store manager experience.

The results showed that 67 per cent of the managers were creating energising and high performance cultures, more than twice the proportion of Hay’s sector-wide review.

The partnership took this research with Dorothy Perkins further, submitting key financial performance data allowing analysis of the difference in value between a high performing and a de-motivating climate.

The research showed that the high performing climates demonstrated correlations with the business’s financial metrics, turnover and absence. In high performing climates there was 17% lower staff turnover and 40% lower absence rates than those in de-motivating climates.

Furthermore they found that high performing climates demonstrated 12% higher growth in sales, delivered operating savings up by 10% and 35% lower stock loss.  For a store with an average monthly turnover of £2.3m the 12% higher growth could be estimated to equate to an annual financial gain of £445,000.

The findings have persuaded Dorothy Perkins to develop their employee engagement strategy by sharpening their approach to leadership at all levels and types of stores, as well as focussing on brand briefing and communication – working to improve clarity across all their stores.

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