Movers & Shakers Q&A with Duncan Grant

Brought to you by Retail Insider and K3 Retail
Duncan Grant, director of multi-channel, The Entertainer 

1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business?

We have three key parts to our growth strategy; cross-border e-commerce, UK store expansion, and the opening of international stores through franchising. Each area offers a great opportunity for us so it’s difficulto pick out just one.

2. What is the biggest challenge to your business?

Ensuring that we don’t get complacent – there are many different places to buy toys and we will only maintain our success if we keep innovating and giving the customer lots of reasons to shop with us.

3. With the benefit of hindsight what would you have done differently so far?

Hundreds of small things but nothing major, I’m a firm believer that you learn from your mistakes so every experience, good or bad, helps to shape your thoughts and your future decisions for the business.

4. What is the future of the physical store?

Shopping habits are changing so quickly that it’s difficult to say for sure but I am certain that they will always be at the centre of a retailer’s business. I don’t believe that customers will ever want to lose the experience of visiting physical stores – how that store will look and how customers will use it in the buying process is of course up for debate.

5. What will the high street look like in a decade?

No idea, but I’m convinced that innovative retailers who constantly adapt to fit their customer’s changing needs will still be there and trading successfully.

6. Will mobile devices be the primary sales channel in the future?

It probably depends on what category of retail you’re in but I doubt it for toys – in a way it doesn’t really matter what the primary sales channel will be, customers will expect you to offer a great experience across all channels and the one they use will vary from one purchase to the next. We don’t debate whether customers prefer using cash or credit card, you just offer all the options and let customers decide what is best for them – I’m sure the choice of sales channels will become the same as the technology and market matures.

7. What other retail business do you admire?

Any retailer that is passionate about exciting their customers and surpassing their expectations.

8. If you hadn’t been a retailer what would you have liked to do?

When I was at University I thought I wanted to work in the City but I tried that and it was incredibly dull. I Can’t imagine working in an industry that’s as exciting or dynamic as retail, it’s a great mix of business and theatre – you’ve got to entertain your customer but still have the processes and controls to turn a profit.

9. What marks out of 10 do you give yourself so far for achievement?

Too early to say, let’s see how the decisions I’ve made have panned out in 10 years’ time.

10. Who would you place in the Top 20 Multi-channel/e-commerce Movers & Shakers?

No idea.