Group Commercial Director

What was your first job in retailing?

DIY assistant at Sainsbury’s Homebase.

Which retail company do you admire most and why?

John Lewis Partnership. It manages to have a perfect balance of a superior quality brand and service so customers feel there’s real ‘value’ at every stage when shopping there.

I also like the partnership methodology where every member of the team has a stake in the business.

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

I say yes to too many things.

Who have you learnt most from in your retail career?

Watch and listen to your customers very carefully every day if possible. Always have stock to sell, always have a price on that stock and have a clean store. This is just as important online as it is offline.

What advice would you give someone starting out in retail?

Work on a shopfloor for at least six months; you’ll learn more there than anywhere. Always look at the store as a customer.

What keeps you awake at night?

Under-delivering on a promise I’ve made.

What’s your proudest achievement?

Renovating our 30s Art Deco house with my wife Kerry. We love that design and have put in hundreds of hours to create a wonderful home for us.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

Seeing our turnover, profit, new customer acquisition and retention results increase year on year.

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

A musician.

What’s your favourite shop and why?

Bloomingdale’s in New York. It’s an amazing department store that has exceptional brands, customer service and an overall environment that makes you want to spend.

What was your last purchase?

The ‘Bespoke BBQ Branding Tool’. It allows you to brand your steaks or burgers with a message of your choice.