Craig Smith, digital commerce director, Ted Baker
1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business?
Contrary to popular belief it’s not opportunity based upon other businesses not being around anymore as busy shopping destinations works for everyone. The big opportunities for us are around evolving our product offer in the right direction and wrapping it up with the most inspiring and engaging brand we can craft. Customers love narrative and storytelling and we do both very well. Ted Baker is the ultimate brand hero and he’s only just getting started!
2. What is the biggest challenge to your business?
3. With the benefit of hindsight what would you have done differently so far?
I would never have badgered my dad for a pair of light grey lace ups when I was about sixteen as the colour ran the first time I wore them in the rain. Not a great look.
4. What is the future of the physical store and the high street?
The physical store must evolve to reflect the best version of the brand it can, by offering the most compelling products at the right time, be managed by the most knowledgeable teams with the best level of product information and be an environment that is somewhere people want to spend some time and not just shopping. Too many people wish for experiential over a quality experience.
5. What technology-related plans have you got for the next 12 months?
Watch this space as there are some really exciting ideas bussing about in our business.
6. With the issue of digital wildfire how do you understand and control your growing digital landscape?
Get the right people in the right roles looking at the right things in the right way and playing back to the wider business fact and not fairytales about what is working and what is not.
7. If you hadn’t been a retailer what would you have liked to do?
I’m not a retailer – just saying. Policeman or fireman.
8. What marks out of 10 do you give yourself so far for achievement?
I’d go so far as to say a six but learning each and every day that’s for sure.
9. Who would you place in the Top 25 Movers & Shakers in Retail?
Sadly Ted’s mum Trudie passed away a while ago but she would be in the top spot all day long and I know she’s looking down on the business all the time with a huge grin on her face and a wickedly naughty joke about to leave her lips.
This is one in an ongoing series of Q&A’s with individuals that are featured in the annual ‘Retail Insider Movers & Shakers in Retail Top 100’ report.