By Scott Thompson
Retail Systems can exclusively reveal the results of a multi-channel movers and shakers survey, recently carried out by Retailinsider.com on behalf of sponsor, retail solutions provider K3.
Online, multi-channel and cross channel retail are the buzz words in the sector and rightly so as this is where the bulk of growth in the industry is being generated. But creating a business that generates sales online and across multiple channels requires very different skills to store-based retailing.
Some of the best practitioners of the art of multi-channel and e-commerce are well-known names in the sector, whereas others are not so well known and are at the early stages of their careers. To help identify the movers and shakers in this increasingly influential part of the industry the Multi-channel/e-commerce Top 70 has been created by Retailinsider.com for sponsors K3.
Consultants, City analysts, software vendors, head hunters, and leading figures in the industry have been canvassed for their opinion on who is making a difference in the industry and shaping the future of retail. Their suggestions have helped mould a list of the Top 70 people, which will be revealed in full at the Retail Systems Multi-channel Retail Summit in London on Wednesday, 15 September (further info on this at: http://www.retail-systems.com/conferences/multichannel2010/)
But for now the biggest-hitters have been selected from this all-encompassing list to create a Top 20 (in alphabetical order), which presents the most influential people in multi-channel and
1. Jeff Bezos, founder + Brian McBride, managing director - Amazon.co.uk
Bezos is the pioneer of online retailing and continues to push Amazon into new categories. McBride has run the UK operation since 2006 having joined from
2. John Bovill, group IT director + Hash Ladha, group multi-channel director - Aurora
The bit is between the teeth at Aurora (owner of Karen Millen, Oasis etc) to develop the business into a multi-channel operation with Bovill and ex-Asos director Ladha heavily involved.
3. Andrew Curran, co-founder + Sarah Curran, co-founder - My-wardrobe.com
The complementary skills of the Curran pair have helped build My-wardrobe.com into a dynamic growing fashion business that recently secured £6 million of funding from Balderton Capital.
4. Andy Ferguson, head of multi-channel - New Look
New Look is one of the rising stars of multi-channel retailing, with traffic numbers rivalling Asos, and Ferguson is integral to its progress to date and in the future.
5. John Gallemore, chief operating officer + Matthew Moulding, CEO - The Hut
The Hut has quietly been built up as an online platform for Tesco, Dixons and WHSmith but under the guidance of its co-founders, Gallemore and Moulding, it is now also operating its own sites including Mybag.com and Zavvi.
6. Clare Gilmartin, managing director - eBay UK
As eBay attracts growing numbers of retailers to sell their goods on its Marketplace the role of Gilmartin in UK retail will become increasingly important.
7. Ben Gordon, CEO + Leighanne Miles, head of group e-commerce - Mothercare
Mothercare has been transformed into a multi-channel business under the leadership of Gordon with in-store internet ordering a key feature. Miles helps him deliver on his objectives.
8. James Hart, e-commerce director + Nick Robertson, co-founder - Asos
As e-commerce director and 10-year Asos veteran Hart is vitally important to the business. He compliments Robertson whose mix of entrepreneurial drive and trading nous has helped change the landscape of online fashion retailing.
9. John Hinchcliffe, marketing director + Alan White, CEO - N. Brown
With a strong focus on the customer relationship, N. Brown is being transformed from a catalogue company into an online (and recently shops) powerhouse with Hinchcliffe and White the key drivers.
10. Guy Hipwell, managing director of online - Liberty
Experienced operator Hipwell has been involved in dotcom-land since his time at zoom.co.uk in 1998. Via Arcadia and Harrods he has now landed at Liberty
with responsibility for online and the supply chain.
11. Mark Hodgkinson, digital and financial services director + Doug Gurr, executive development director - Asda
Gurr is regarded by some as brilliant and will probably pop up one day as
CEO of a FTSE 100 business. He set up online wholesaler Blueheath and is now developing multi-channel at Asda, ably assisted by ex-EMI man Hodgkinson.
12. Natalie Massenet, founder and executive chairman - Net-A-Porter.com
Overcame the naysayers who said luxury and fashion would never sell
online to build Net-A-Porter into a business that sold for £350 million to Richemont.
13. Simon Pritchard, group e-commerce director - Arcadia Group
Joined Arcadia in late 2009 and is in the process of developing its internet business through the experience he gained at DSGi.
14. Steve Robinson, CEO - M and M Direct
Robinson has helped to change the business model of M and M Direct from a catalogue business to online and in the very competitive market of discount clothing. He previously set up Tesco Direct.
15. Michael Ross, founder - eCommera
Another of those rare beasts that has worked across multiple online platforms, Ross helped set up Figleaves.com before consulting for Baugur Group. As director of eCommera, he works with and advises many retailers.
16. Simon Russell, head of multi-channel - John Lewis Partnership
JLP is making inroads into creating a true cross channel business and Russell is integral to the decisions, such as attributing online sales to stores and Click & Collect.
17. Robin Terrell, executive director of multi-channel and international - House of Fraser
One of the most experienced players in the industry, having worked across numerous platforms. At House of Fraser he has set the objective of generating 15 per cent of revenues from online within three years.
18. Mark Newton-Jones, CEO + Jonathan Wall, director of online - Shop Direct Group
Newton-Jones has turned around what was the troubled Littlewoods catalogue business into a multi-fascia online operation. Wall brings vast experience from his time building up Dabs.com before its sale to BT.
19. Laura Wade-Gery, CEO + Nick Lansley, head of R&D - Tesco.com
Wade-Gery sits atop the biggest business in its field and has been at the helm of Tesco.com through massive growth in both grocery and non-food. Many of the cutting edge ideas come from Lansley who blogs at Techfortesco.
20. David Walmsley, director of e-commerce - Dixons Retail
Having taken John Lewis to another level online, Walmsley was brought in to Dixons in 2009 to use his strong technical abilities to overhaul its online operation that is crucial to overall group success.