Executive director, multichannel and international House of Fraser

Robin Terrell

One-time journalist Robin Terrell has established himself as one of the most consistent performers in online retail in a succession of high-profile roles.

Terrell’s CV includes stints at Figleaves and Amazon, where he originally carved out his reputation as an ecommerce star, before he moved into department stores – first John Lewis and then House of Fraser.

Terrell got off to a strong start at House of Fraser and, at the time of last year’s list, online sales had jumped 150% in the first half.

In September, the retailer said that in the first half of this financial year there had been a 107.1% increase in online sales and chief executive John King pointed to investment in multichannel operations as likely to underpin future performance.

Multichannel is at the fore of Terrell’s work at present. House of Fraser became the first big department store group – and one of the first retailers of any sort – to open a new model store designed to cater for changing shopping habits.

The click-and-collect store in Aberdeen is primarily for customers to pick up orders made online and, at 1,500 sq ft, is just a fraction of the size of the retailer’s typical stores, which average 100,000 sq ft. More such stores are likely, including in locations such as railway stations.

Other initiatives spearheaded by Terrell have included overseas delivery, introduced last year. International delivery of online orders has emerged as an increasingly important sales channel for multichannel retailers with brands that have wide consumer resonance.

Terrell has trailblazed throughout his ecommerce career and looks likely to continue in the same direction. As one of the industry’s most experienced multichannel operators, he can be expected to deliver further innovation.