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Paolo Woods-Wyatt, CCO, Tails.com

1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business?

At tails.com, the team have spent the last few years investing heavily in our infrastructure – people, technology, supply chain. We’re now in a place to leverage that to continue to scale the business rapidly. We have plans to continue to launch in new markets (we’ve launched in 7 new markets this year) and into new categories.

2. What is the biggest challenge to your business?

We’re scaling really fast and that always comes with challenges. We need to hire lots of people, the average tenure at the company drops, we need new processes/procedure to manage with the more complex business we now have. Ensuring that we can do all of this while maintaining the tails.com culture is a big challenge but one I’m confident we will be able to overcome.

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

For the majority of time that I’ve been at tails.com we’ve been working remotely due to Covid. We’ve done a great job of continuing to push ahead with our plans and to drive the business forward under these unexpected circumstances. However, if I could do something differently it would be to have worked out more ways to create a sense of team earlier in lockdown by finding further ways to keep connected with each other outside of regular business video meetings. 

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

The shift to online has been accelerated by Covid and physical retail will need to adapt quicker than perhaps they thought they would before the crisis hit. The likelihood is that there will be fewer shops on the high street and the space will need to be used for other purposes (like housing). For the shops that are still there, I believe creating a sense of community and associated experiences will be important – it will not be enough to just sell products anymore.

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

At tails.com we are constantly adapting our technology and that will continue in the next 12 months. A couple of bigger projects we have coming up are setting up a new factory to keep up with our European demand and installing a new CRM platform so we can talk in an even more personalised way to our customers.

6. What other retailers/brands do you admire?

I really like what Peleton are doing at the moment. The sense of community that they build through the instructors they have, their marketing and the user interaction they encourage is brilliant.

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

I really admire Tessa Clarke at Olio. She is so passionate about solving the problem of food waste. With everything going on in the world at the moment, it is a great reminder that we can make positive change.

This is one in an ongoing series of profiles with individuals that are featured in the annual Movers & Shakers report. Here’s the link to the 2020 edition. (sponsored by K3 BTG).