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Philippe Chainieux, CEO, Made

  1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business?

The market in furniture and homewares is seeing the same transition from high street to online that the fashion industry has gone through. As the digitally-native, leading design brand, MADE is best positioned to benefit from the opportunity the transition presents.

  1. What is the biggest challenge to your business?

Our biggest challenge is to stay focused on the core DNA of our proposition and our brand values, as we expand rapidly our range and internationally.

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

There are so many things that we might have done differently but that is the true strength of MADE. We are not afraid to test things, we take opportunities and sometimes they don’t work out. It is an important part of being an agile and innovative business and I’m proud of the culture we’ve built in all areas of the business that means it is okay to fail sometimes and you can’t know if you never tried!

  1. What is the future of the physical store and the high street?

We come at this slightly differently – many brands are trying to build sites that are a reflection of their stores. For MADE, we want to build showrooms that are an extension of our online site – it’s the same customer who visits online or in the physical after all! We have lots of exciting plans utilising technology to genuinely enhance the customer experience – we’re not interested in technology for technology’s sake or gimmicks!

  1. What technology-related plans have you got for the next 12 months?

We are working on services to make our customers more confident in their style and design choices. Our ever-growing tech team focus on two things: improving the customer experience and streamlining the model so we can eliminate inefficiencies and pass on the saving to our customers.

  1. With the issue of digital wildfire how do you understand and control your growing digital landscape?

I think we see the opportunity rather than issues with digital wildfire. At MADE, we rely on people spreading the news about their purchases on social and online media and on review sites.

  1. What other retail business do you admire?

Amazon.

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

I have been extremely lucky to work in the online dating space. What could be better than helping people find love?

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

We focus only on the now and what we can do better as we move forward.

  1. Who would you place in the Top 25 Movers & Shakers in Retail?

The ASOS team. They are producing fantastic results and have stayed clear and consistent in what they stand for.

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.