Managing director, Oddbins
What was your first job in retailing?
Compensation and benefit analyst at Harvey Nichols.
Which retail company do you admire most and why?
Trader Joe’s – a grocery chain in the US. It is so slick and original with what it does.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
Looking at the worst-case scenario. It creates the impression in others that one is always negative.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
Seeing an idea come into fruition and work.
Who have you learnt most from in your retail career?
I have learnt a huge amount from so many different people that I can’t single anyone out.
I have worked with inspiring colleagues and less inspiring colleagues and learnt valuable lessons from both types.
What advice would you give someone starting out in retail?
Be prepared to constantly abandon and replace 20% of everything you think works every two years. If you don’t have the ability to do this, don’t go into retail.
What job would you have done if you hadn’t become a retailer?
A researcher or an academic.
What keeps you awake at night?
The economic commentators who make the consumer afraid to go out spending. Why do they always reference everything to the Great Depression?
What’s your proudest achievement?
Navigating Oddbins through its recent difficult phase to the current position where the team walk with a spring in their steps and believe that the company is going to be great again.
What’s your favourite shop and why?
The Library on Brompton Road, London – a boutique that proves men can do fashion. It has unique pieces from established and up-and-coming designers.
What was your last purchase?
Black, whole-cut, single sole, three eyelet shoes from Tim Little on the King’s Road.