Roger Parry, Managing director of Build-A-Bear Workshop UK, tells Retail Week about his life working in retail.

What was your first job in retailing?

Sales assistant for Our Price Music. At the time, I was at college and really into music so it was a perfect fit.

Which retail company do you admire most and why?

I admire Lush. It is a great example of a simple proposition with good product and brilliant service.

It provides an experience for female shoppers but knows how to be efficient for the guys.

What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?

I can be rather impatient, in all walks of life, not just at work.

Who have you learnt most from in your retail career?

Simon Burke has been a great mentor. In working with him at Virgin and Hamleys, I saw the importance of being truly engaged with your colleagues and your customers.

What advice would you give someone starting out in retail?

I would advise someone starting in retail to try to remember that everything you do should ultimately result in improving the customer experience.

What keeps you awake at night?

Wolverhampton Wanderers.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

I enjoy seeing customers having a great time, especially when it’s because of a Build-A-Bear Workshop associate, rather than a product.

What’s your proudest achievement?

I am most proud of my work as a regional managing director for Build-A-Bear Workshop. It’s a wonderful company to work for and I’m proud to represent it in the UK.

What job would you have done if you hadn’t become a retailer?


What’s your favourite shop and why?

My favourite shop is Dean & Deluca in New York City. It provides quality products, great service, good coffee and a real New York experience.

What was your last purchase?

A Ryan Adams vinyl box set.