Thursday 25 April 2019


Mark Pilkington

Why the retail industry is broken and what can be done to fix it

The news is full of stories about disappearing retail chains, from BHS and Maplin in the UK to Toys’R’Us, Aeropostale and A&P in the US. Recognised names are vanishing overnight with the loss of hundreds of stores and thousands of jobs. As such large organisations disappear, so the malls, shopping centres, high streets and main streets become less appealing to visit.

Mark Pilkington argues that, while the decline in manufacturing receives more news attention, the retail sector is more important in terms of job numbers. Anything that jeopardises this sector will therefore have a deep and lasting impact on millions of lives, as well as on public policy.

While many people point a finger at the ‘Amazon effect’, this is an oversimplification. Deeper forces are at work that are changing people’s relationships with brands, the balance of power between producers and consumers, and the whole nature of the supply chain that has existed since the industrial revolution.

Mark Pilkington

Mark advises retailers and brands on how to survive the global retail crisis. He is a regular speaker at retailing conferences internationally, and brings together over 30 years’ experience running retail, brand and ecommerce businesses.

After graduating from INSEAD, he joined Courtaulds, eventually becoming CEO of Gossard and CEO of KOJ Group a retailer with 850 stores. He coordinated the initial launch of the Wonderbra, with the associated media storm, and has worked subsequently on joint ventures with M&S.

"This is the book that many people will have been waiting for - an explanation of what is happening to retailing, and what can be done about it. "

Lord Hague of Richmond