Michael Poynor: Retailers must sing from customers’ new hymn sheet

Poynor, Michael

I’ve been retained as a regular columnist by Retail Week for 25 years, half my career. Following my 50th work anniversary this week, my columns will become more ad hoc. This is not my swan song; my golden milestone is but a staging post on a retail journey that’s far from the finish line.

On October 6, 1969, I began my retail career as a graduate trainee in the European empire of the Brenninkmeijer family. The next nine years with C&A in England, Scotland and the Netherlands gave me a meticulous grounding in the rudiments of keeping shops pertinent to their customers, across numerous European markets.

I’ve much to thank this mercantile, rigorous but caring family for; not only for the immensely thorough training it afforded me but for instilling a deep passion for the rich cultural diversity of my continent.


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