Managing director, The Entertainer
What was your first job in retailing?
I have always worked in retail, having jobs in a sweet shop, a newsagent and a bicycle shop before I left school.
Which retail company do you admire most and why?
Apple. It is cutting edge in its field, its product is completely specialised and its customer service is excellent. It protects its brand and the ambience of the stores is exactly right for its market.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
My reluctance to do mundane jobs makes life more difficult.
Who have you learnt most from in your retail career?
In the early days, the older guys who took an interest in my progress – a guy called Vic Butcher in the toy trade, then later David Fogel, the founder of Toy Stack, who worked closely with me during the first years of The Entertainer. More recently, Jimmy Conchie from Jersey’s 101 Toys.
What advice would you give someone starting out in retail?
Specialise and be different. Concentrate on detail, offer outstanding value and focus especially on customer service.
What keeps you awake at night?
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
Picking up the day’s figures on my BlackBerry – that is, when we’re beating our targets.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Having two of my four children working alongside me in the business.
What job would you have done if you hadn’t become a retailer?
A buyer of some sort. I just love doing deals.
What’s your favourite shop and why?
La Fromagerie just off Marylebone High Street. Experts in their field, good customer service and always a buzz.
What was your last purchase?
A Bang & Olufsen music system for my wife for Christmas, which my 16-year-old advised me to buy.