‘Charles Wilson, retail legend – the industry will be poorer without him’

Luke Tugby

“Tesco might be buying Booker, but the biggest thing they are getting in this deal is Charles Wilson.”

The words of one retail executive, spoken shortly after Tesco’s merger with Booker was unveiled in January 2017, have stuck in my memory ever since.

It was just about the highest praise that could have been bestowed upon Booker’s boss Wilson – Britain’s biggest retailer was paying £3.7bn not primarily for a business, but to gain access to the brilliant retail mind of a man affectionately known in the industry as Two Brains.

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