Retail Insider celebrated the launch of the Movers & Shakers in Retail Top 100 report with an evening event involving the CEO of a leading online retailer and a tutored craft beer tasting.
The event at Sourced Market Marylebone attracted senior executives from a variety of retailers including John Lewis, House of Fraser and Reiss as well as other major players in the industry.
As well as being the first people to read the report they heard Simon Belsham, CEO of Notonthehighstreet.com (NOTHS), describe the opportunities and challenges of running the UK’s leading curated online marketplace that sells unique products from 5,000 sellers (partners).
Having moved from a director role at Tesco 18 months ago Belsham says: “It’s an opportunity to support the rise of entrepreneurialism. The curated marketplace is like a modern day high street. The [physical] high street has become dominated by mass chains and we’re using technology to connect those original values of small retailers to customers.”
Over the 10 years of its life he says the business had been very much technology-focused and a key objective has been to introduce some of the traditional retailing skills including merchandising and ranging.
There has also been a move for the senior team at NOTHS to spend time with the sellers through a ‘back to the floor’ programme in order to better understand the challenges these small independent operators face.
Belsham says there are typically 200,000 products on the site, with 50% of sales coming from new products over a rolling 12-month period, which helps drive repeat business and will no doubt help the company move from being seen as a ‘gifting’ company to one that has a broader perception from customers.
One of its unique aspects is the level of personalisation and customisation of products – with 60% of sales being personalised items. He says this is being helped by the emergence of new technologies such as 3D printing. It is the variety of the partners – and their interesting product ranges – that Belsham says is the big inspiration from working at NOTHS.
A tutored craft beer tasting then followed with Andrew Morgan, founder of The Bottle Shop, running through six different beers including brews from The Kernel, Burning Sky and Mikkeller.
Retail Insider would very much like to thank Simon and Andrew as well as the Sourced Market team, including founder Ben O’Brien, for an enjoyable and informative event.
Glynn Davis, editor, Retail Insider