Tony Sheridan, managing director of Craft Retail Group speaks to Retail Week about the retailer launching in the US and his proudest achievement.
What was your first job in retailing?
After leaving school I got my dream job at Old Trafford. Starting as the first commercial football management trainee I experienced most parts of the commercial side of football. My final role was retail brand manager.
Which retail company do you admire most and why?
John Lewis and its ability to build on a multichannel strategy while maintaining a premium proposition.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
Sometimes I wish I wasn’t as driven or ambitious as I am, my problem is that I am always looking for new opportunities in which Craft Retail can grow.
Who have you learnt most from in your retail career?
No one person in particular, I am constantly learning.
What advice would you give someone starting out in retail?
Understand why the proposition is different and is it defensible. Understand the customer and their expectations upfront. Embrace digital from the outset, omnichannel is here to stay.
What keeps you awake at night?
Recently I haven’t been able to sleep because of a top secret project we have been working on. Craft Retail Group will launch in the US this year.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
The opportunity for every day to be different.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Starting and building my own business has got to be my proudest achievement.
What job would you have done if you hadn’t become a retailer?
I would have loved to be an air traffic controller, but I struggle with my left and rights.
What’s your favourite shop and why?
I am not sure if this counts, but I like to go to Costco.
What was your last purchase?
On a trip to the US I couldn’t help but find a home for a Mulberry bag that was staring at me through the window.