Geoff Brady, chairman of Harvey Jones Kitchens, speaks about inspirational retail entrepreneurs and his recent drone purchase.
What was your first job in retailing?
Trainee manager at Woolworths, in Woolwich.
Which retail company do you admire most and why?
Primark, because it has a fast fashion offering that has already proved successful in several European countries and I suspect will also succeed in the US.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
Thinking I don’t have any flawed traits, which is clearly untrue and deluded.
Who have you learnt most from in your retail career?
Peter and Ronnie Goldstein who founded the Superdrug chain and were inspirational retail entrepreneurs.
What advice would you give someone starting out in retail?
Make sure that every week includes the opportunity to talk to real customers.
What keeps you awake at night?
Nothing. If I have an issue in my head at night I simply email the subject to myself and know it will be the first thing in my inbox in the morning.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
Helping to grow Harvey Jones Kitchens from 10 to 30 stores.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Being parachuted into Allied carpets as chief executive in 1999 at a time when its share price was 31p and subsequently selling it to a French conglomerate for 93p, tripling shareholder value in only 30 weeks.
What job would you have done if you hadn’t become a retailer?
On leaving full-time education I was accepted into the Kent Police but chose a job in retailing instead.
What’s your favourite shop and why?
Steamer Trading, which has a great range of kitchenware products and friendly service.
What was your last purchase?
A quadcopter drone that I am learning to fly. Judging on that experience I am not sure Amazon will be delivering by drone any time soon.