Retail director, BrightHouse

What was your first job in retailing?

A management trainee with Kingfisher, which was a great apprenticeship in retail.

Which retail company do you admire most and why?

John Lewis, for its commitment to both customers and colleagues alike. A great example of employee engagement.

What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?

An inability to switch off, which often leads to me ‘just popping in’ to our stores while off duty.

Who have you learnt most from in your retail career?

The many colleagues and customers who provide fantastic feedback, which helps to shape the direction of our business.

What advice would you give someone starting out in retail?

Always look through the eyes of your customer and you will rarely go wrong.

What keeps you awake at night?

Only the planning of our annual conference, where we say thank you to our store managers and support team leaders. Thankfully I have a great team who take away most of the stress.

What job would you have done if you hadn’t become a retailer?

An investigative journalist. As my team would tell you, I ask a lot of questions.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

Without doubt, visiting our stores and meeting colleagues who consistently go the extra mile. They continue to inspire me in my role.

What’s your proudest achievement?

The opening of our landmark 200th store in Bedford last month. Since then we have opened five more, with lots more to come.

What’s your favourite shop and why?

Selfridges, for the quality and the in-store experience.

What was your last purchase?

A pair of Duchamp socks from Selfridges… in the Sale of course.