Enthusiasm drives success
The DOUGLAS Group is synonymous with supreme customer and service orientation and therefore considers the professionalism and enthusiasm of its over 24,000 employees paramount. The human resources work centers on carefully planned training and personnel development programs which once again proved a key component of the 2009/10 financial year. But the DOUGLAS Group also focused heavily on preparing for impending challenges – ensuring its capacity to operate successfully in the future.
Highly qualified training
When it comes to training employees, the DOUGLAS Group is one of the most active retailers in Germany. With a share of apprentices that has comfortably exceeded 10 percent for years, it offers numerous graduates the chance of professional training. The start of the 2010 training year brought a new record, with some 670 young women and men launching their careers with the Group – the highest figure ever and a good 200 more than 12 months earlier. All of the subsidiaries intensified their training activities; most notably, the Douglas perfumeries which – with 337 new apprentices (previous year: 205) – again supplied the majority. But Christ jewelers and the fashion store AppelrathCüpper also invested more vigorously in training. A total of 25 trainees began apprenticeships at Hussel (previous year: 15), 38 at AppelrathCüpper (previous year: 18), and 119 at Christ (previous year: 65). At September 30, 2010, the DOUGLAS Group had 1,526 apprentices on its books in Germany, the majority of them pursuing a qualification in retailing. At just under 13 percent, the proportion of trainees was still well above the German retail industry average of 8 percent.
Training is a top priority in the DOUGLAS Group: Dr. Henning Kreke, CEO (2nd row, 5th from left), and Anke Giesen, Chief Human Resources Officer (2nd row, 6th from left) together with apprentices who launched their careers in August 2010.
In addition to the prescribed training, apprentices in the holding company and subsidiaries had access to attractive optional courses designed to broaden their horizons. Apprentices at AppelrathCüpper, for example, hold get-togethers with their counterparts at other retail companies to discuss their experiences and training. And third-year apprentices learning wholesaling and foreign trade in the holding company can apply to spend four weeks at a foreign subsidiary.
The instructors in the DOUGLAS Group are also rewarded for their dedication. Their charges are regularly awarded outstanding grades in examinations, with many of them being honored by local chambers of commerce and industry. On average, 70 percent of successful apprentices enter permanent employment with the DOUGLAS Group and go on to develop their careers at programs in the various subsidiaries.