Group managing director, New Look

What was your first job in retailing?

Branch merchandising/stock control at Burton Menswear

Which retail company do you admire most and why?

Apple - it doesn’t just talk obsessive customer focus, it lives it in all it sets about doing and rarely compromises. Apple has created almost exclusive club status among its customers, constantly setting new benchmarks.

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

Being intolerant, I can’t stand intolerance.

Who have you learnt most from in your retail career?

I have been very lucky to have spent time with some of the good and the great from UK retail - John Horner, Paul Loft, Kevin Stanford and Phil Wrigley to name just a few, and tried to pick the gems from each of them.

What advice would you give someone starting out in retail?

Only start if you love the industry. To get on it needs to be a lifestyle rather than a job.

What keeps you awake at night?

My kids mainly.

What is the most satisfying part of your job?

The constant learning - every day is different - and the people.

What is your proudest achievement?

Fashion Peddlers’ cycle to Paris. A great team effort.

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

An astronaut maybe. I am not sure.

What is your favourite shop and why?

Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. It makes me feel like I am six again.

What was your last purchase?

A salad for lunch.