Category Archives: Uncategorized

How the world sees us

My essay in The New European, 23 November 2017, also previously appearing on the website of  These Islands. The full essay may be seen here.

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Stores are far from a waste of space

Space is big, as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy accurately noted. And with 22 per cent of non-food sales having moved online and the typical store experiencing negative like-for-likes of two to three per cent each year, the retail … Continue reading

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The productivity conundrum

Christmas saw a continued acceleration of online migration: not perhaps an inflection point, as the trends have progressed now for several years, but certainly a quickening of pace. Each year, the fourth quarter is the one which sees the big … Continue reading

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Don’t let Big Data cloud the Big Picture

It sometimes feels as if there should be a variant of “Moore’s Law” suggesting that the hype attached to Big Data doubles every two years. This is not to downplay the huge benefits already being realised  in personalisation, prediction and … Continue reading

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Seize the journey, not the moment

Much thinking about customer service has focused on “moments of truth”, the particular interactions with high emotional content which provide the opportunity to “delight” the customer and intensify loyalty. This idea is a useful reminder that an investment to make … Continue reading

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Ethical marks enter the mainstream

Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s recent dispute on whether Fairtrade products can be price-compared to non-Fairtrade comes down to what degree ethics play a role in consumers’ purchasing decisions. There is a strong body of evidence suggesting that the Fairtrade mark enhances … Continue reading

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The Fairtrade Foundation

Thrilled to be appointed as chair of the board of trustees of The Fairtrade Foundation!  

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Department stores ring the changes

Quoted in today’s “The Times” re the future of department stores (paywall)

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What’s in store for 2013

As the new year approaches, here are my predictions for 2013. Overall retail spending will only recover very slowly, at best. Consumer confidence will remain fragile, worries about unemployment will cause many households to save rather than spend, and the … Continue reading

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Lessons from News International

Among the many converging forces which precipitated the News International crisis are two which should prompt reflection in any corporation:  the dramatic speed with which popular opinion can burst into unstoppable opprobrium, and the runaway perversion of norms of organisational … Continue reading

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