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Hash Ladha, group multi-channel director at Aurora Fashions
1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business?
Being a truly multi channel/ Omni channel retailer – and ensuring we create great channel experiences which customers interact with and between seamlessly.
2. What is the biggest challenge to your business?
There isn’t enough time – and customers’ expectations are continually shifting – and we hate letting them down in anyway, and time is of the essence and patience isn’t a quality of mine
3. With the benefit of hindsight what would you have done differently so far?
Gone faster and hired faster and more. And stopped to thank all the people in our brands and in group to thank them for being so great more frequently!
4. What is the future of the physical store?
The future is bright – the future is multi channel – so you need them – but to work in a different way. To be a shop, to be a place to hold stock, to be a brand showcase and to give a great experience – it’s now more than just a store.
5. What will the high street look like in a decade?
In my view the cities will be dominated by big brands, new brands, on line brands who were brave and went off line too, international brands, and the High Street will be an exciting experiential based social experience. It will be technology enabled with amazing consumer experiences. The smaller towns will be authentic local propositions with a sense of community and modern tradition.
6. Will mobile devices be the primary sales channel in the future?
No. There will be no primary sales channel as customers use many channels with one brand before they transact in the one they choose. So it will be important, as the population is mobile, but you will need to win the hearts and minds of consumers in every channel – just to close the sale!
7. What other retail business do you admire?
The obvious one is Apple, but I love John Lewis and Starbucks
8. If you hadn't been a retailer what would you have liked to do?
My career destination was to be a lawyer – I studied Law – however thankfully a lucky break brought me into retail. When I look back and wonder what else I would have liked to have done – I would love to have invented something.
9. What marks out of 10 do you give yourself so far for achievement?
I'm my worst critic. I look at the non-conversion rates of websites not conversation, I look at how many hours we are late on things not days. So I have huge moments of feeling I haven’t achieved anything. Thankfully I have an amazing boss who points out my achievements to me regularly, which I often dismiss as day job. Besides even those things, my team and all the people who work on multi channel achieve them not me. So my score is 1 out of 10 of all I want to achieve.
10. Who would you place in the Top 30 Multi-channel/e-commerce Movers & Shakers?
It is an esteemed list and I was flattered to be included – the 29 people on there are all people I admire – so no new entry from me, that’s up to the judges.