There are two branches of the Weston family - one headed by the Canadian billionaire Galen and the other, the UK arm, run by George Weston. While Galen, who controls Loblaw's and George Weston - Canada's largest supermarket chain and food processor respectively - has entered the retail world from the high end, the UK Weston family is making waves in the discount sector.
Galen bought Selfridges last year in a£628 million deal; he already owned Holt Renfrew in Canada and Brown Thomas in Ireland. George Weston, on the other hand, in his capacity as head of Associated British Foods, which owns Primark, is causing a stir with the chain's rumoured bid for Littlewoods.
Add to this Guy Weston, who owns Fortnum & Mason and homewares department store Heals, one has a retailing dynasty to be reckoned with.
42 John Hoerner
Clothing chief executive, Tesco
One of the biggest names in fashion retail, with a distinguished track record at Arcadia and Burton, John Hoerner is taking on a very different role, running Tesco's burgeoning fashion business.
Persuading customers to add clothing to their shopping trolleys along with their groceries has traditionally been no easy task, but since joining the supermarket chain in 2001 Hoerner has helped accelerate the growth of Tesco's clothing range and ensure Tesco clothing is on the on the fashionistas wish lists - such as with the green 'Kylie' dress last summer.
Hoerner was responsible for introducing the Cherokee brand to the UK and for developing the Florence + Fred brand. He recently boasted that he can 'operate on a much lower margin than Philip Green'. Future plans include a focus on plus sizes and expanding Finest menswear, although Hoerner's role is developing into a more strategic role focused on international sourcing.
43 Patience Wheatcroft
Business editor, The Times
Probably the most respected business journalist in the land, Patience Wheatcroft keeps a close eye on events in the retail sector, from her lofty position as business editor of The Times.
Wheatcroft's retail pedigree is second to none - she founded Retail Week in 1988 and rapidly established the magazine as the leading news source for the retail industry.
It is a rare day when her business editor's column fails to feature at least one retailer and her opinion on whether or not a company is doing the right thing can move markets.
44 Tony Shiret
Managing director, equity research, Credit Suisse First Boston
Sponsoring a running club, the Newham & Essex Beagles no less, means Shiret certainly knows a thing about keeping people on their toes, especially retailers.
His outspoken and some would say aggressive, views on the way businesses are being run are listened to by investors. Calling Marks & Spencer's Limited Collection a mess in January is not the way to win friends at the legacy retailer, but it will certainly influence a number of people's opinions on how well the store chain's fashion offer is going to fare on the high street this summer.
Shiret and his team have the ear of those that own the high street and, as Shiret will happily admit, this makes him a scary figure for some senior retail managers.
45 Peter Cummings
Managing director, corporate banking, Bank of Scotland
Peter Cummings, is one of the UK's foremost retail deal financiers and he has made millions from the sector. A long-standing associate of Philip Green, Cummings helped fund the tycoon's attempted takeover of M&S.
He had already bankrolled Green's Arcadia acquisition, when HBoS took an 8 per cent stake in the fashion group. By last October, it was worth£232 million. This and a£40 million dividend meant the bank made more than 45 times its money on the deal.
Most recently, Cummings and team have reportedly been working with Baugur on its Somerfield bid.
46 Ellen MacArthur
If anyone wants to see how well the cult of celebrity can be used in the retail game, then Kingfisher's sponsorship of yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur is a fine example.
MacArthur's record-breaking round-the-world voyage delivered an estimated£150 million of publicity for the DIY group. It has also put the brand in front of people around the world, who may never otherwise have seen a bright orange background with the words B&Q stamped across it.
Kingfisher could never have predicted her round-the-world achievement, but thanks to its decision to sponsor MacArthur in 1998, independent experts have shown that Kingfisher, B&Q and Castorama have recouped their investment many times over.
47 Richard Hyman
Managing director, research house Verdict
Anyone who wants evidence of Verdict founder Richard Hyman's standing in the industry need only have been a fly on the wall at the consultancy's 20th anniversary last November. Retail's big beasts of the past two decades, from Philip Green and Stuart Rose to Richard Greenbury and Roger Holmes, were all there.
Hyman has established Verdict as an unrivalled authority on market trends, sector performance and a source of consultancy expertise on everything from trading and marketing strategies to in-store auditing.
48 Nick Bubb
Senior retail analyst, Evolution
'Did you read what Nick said this morning?' is a common conversational gambit among anyone interested in the fortunes of quoted store groups. Bubb's early morning note, The Daily Retailer, is the first place many look for a take on the day's developments in the industry.
The softly spoken Bubb, who made an impact originally more than 15 years ago at Citicorp Scrimgeour Vickers, has taken on a new lease of life since joining Evolution and is one of the first ports of call for comment and insight among retailers and financial hacks alike.
Like rival Richard Ratner (number 38) he is sometimes accused of being as eager to give press comment as investment advice, but his media presence means his views have weight.
49 Fran Minogue
Managing partner, Heidrick & Struggles
It has been a good year for Fran Minogue, managing partner of Heidrick & Struggles' global retail practice.
There are probably few other headhunters who could have helped Vendex to woo former Asda boss Tony DeNunzio away from the Wal-Mart-owned business to become chairman of the Dutch retailer, now controlled by venture capitalists.
Minogue's reputation and network of contacts make her one of the best-connected and most effective search specialists in the sector.
She joined Heidrick & Struggles in 2001 after a high-flying business career, including stints as general manager of Body Shop International and managing director of Neutrogena, Northern Europe.
50 Father Christmas
Bringer of gifts
The BRC estimates that an extra£10 billion is spent in December on Christmas products. With the festive period accounting for 40 to 60 per cent of a large retailer's turnover, no one can afford to underestimate the importance of a jolly old man.
The Father Christmas we know today was invented by Coca Cola in the 1930s, but he comes from a pagan midwinter festival, used to be dressed in green as a sign of the returning spring.
But this January there was little ho ho ho for retailers, when figures released by the BRC showed that festive sales declined by 0.4 per cent on a like-for-like basis compared with the previous year.