Iain Martin, managing director at Moonpig.com, speaks to Retail Week about his life working in retail.

What was your first job in retailing?

At school I had a part-time job cutting carpets for customers in B&Q. Later I spent five years in the buying departments at Marks & Spencer, which was a brilliant introduction to the retail world.

Which retail company do you admire most and why?

Pret for its front-of-house team, Fortnum & Mason for product, Waitrose for brand positioning and Bodychef.com for shrinking my waistline.

What is the trait you least like in yourself?

It’s really easy to read me. I’d be a terrible poker player.

Who have you learnt most from in your retail career?

Customers. Hearing their views is a great sense check and their feedback really helps me focus.

What advice would you give someone starting out in retail?

Join a large retailer, which will allow you to learn about all the various aspects of retailing.

What keeps you awake at night?

I don’t sleep much so once my head hits the pillow I’m out.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

When one of the team discovers something new. It might be a customer insight, some data analysis or a product idea.

What’s your proudest achievement?

Helping to build the team and shape the culture at Moonpig over the past eight years.

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

Cabaret artist. I used to be a juggler/unicyclist/fire-eater for a circus company called More Balls Than Most.

What’s your favourite shop and why?

Woodward Menswear in Oxted, Surrey. I gave up wearing suits years ago but now spend a fortune on quirky shirts from this place.

What was your last purchase?

A book by Tony Hsieh, chief executive of Zappos, called Delivering Happiness. It’s about putting culture at the heart of your business and resonates with a lot of the things that we aspire to at Moonpig.

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