Sir; Your feature {Bridging the talent gap (The Grocer, December 9) highlights the dangerous situation for UK retailers who have lost their key executives. There is no doubt this talent gap is the most serious challenge facing UK retailers. One factor that has influenced the rapid turnaround of UK senior executives is the rigidity of the bureaucratic cultures in many major retailers. Our research suggests this is the most important underlying source of frustration among aspiring future chief executives. This is not the case in the European retailing environment. Talented potential recruits from outside the retail sector in the UK and Europe will be looking for a more open culture and less bureaucracy if they are to be attracted into the current retail business. Julian Howell-Jones Chief executive Star Executive Search & Selection {{LETTERS }}