Retail Insider held its latest event to celebrate the launch of the ‘Movers & Shakers in Retail Top 100 Report 2018’ with guest speaker Gareth Jones, formerly of Shop Direct and Missguided, alongside a tutored wine tasting.

Attendees of the event at Vinoteca in Bloomberg Arcade in the City of London included senior executives from John Lewis, Amazon, Ted Baker, Moss Bros, BrandAlley and Cook.

They were the first people to get their hands on a copy of the 2018 report, which is in is ninth year and is again sponsored by K3. It seeks to highlight the more digitally progressive people working in the retail sector.

Jones has certainly been in the thick of digital activity in the industry and he told the assembled audience about his earlier years spent at Phones 4U and then his joining of Shop Direct that was transitioning from a catalogue retailer to an online business.

He was in charge of its new younger-focused Very.co.uk business that was at the forefront of the group’s transition and very much led the way for the rest of the business as it made the move online.

Jones acknowledged that there were inevitably many failures along the way but that a fail-fast mindset was one that the company adopted with gusto. Without trying things it was recognised that the business would not move forward.

He recalled some of the tough IT infrastructure changes that took place as well the successes the company enjoyed – particularly with its focus on using data to help it make decisions much more intelligently. It also made the move onto mobile at an early stage predicting the move by its customers from desktops onto this rapidly growing platform.

Jones ultimately held the role of deputy CEO and COO at Shop Direct before making the move to Missguided where he was briefly its CEO of online and sought to bring some of his valuable digital experience to bear.

The evening concluded with a tutored wine tasting that compared wines from France with the ‘new world’.

Retail Insider would like to thank Gareth Jones and also K3 for its much appreciated sponsorship of the Movers & Shakers report as well as for making the launch event possible. Also, it is a thank-you to Sitemorse for its sponsorship of the drinks on the night.

To access the report click on the link below:

Retail-Insider-Movers&Shakers-2018

Glynn Davis, editor of Retail Insider