Blog: Is Mary Portas spreading herself too thin?
Petah Marian | 18 August 2011
Mary Portas has further complicated her position as self-professed saviour of the British high street today with the launch of a shop in House of Fraser targeting "grown-up women".
Indeed, Portas has been a busy lady, opening the concession just a few short months after being asked by the UK government in May to look at the problem of empty shops and how to prevent the growth of "clone towns" dominated by chain stores.
Would it not, perhaps, be fair to say that the House of Fraser, with its 61 department stores across the UK and a presence in out-of-town shopping parks, be described as one of those dreaded chain stores ruining our high streets?
The Mary Portas store may well fill a gap in the market - a well-curated high street offer for fashion-conscious women "of a certain age". It also includes collaborations between Portas & Clarks, Portas & Radley, Portas & Charnos, Portas & Playtex, as well as a range of jewellery and a product she calls "armery" - a rather strange item that looks like stockings for the arms, which she says will disguise those unflattering bingo-wings.
With Westfield and Matalan being just two of Portas' clients at her retail consultancy Yellow Door, she may bring a "life-time's experience in retail" to the government's task, but it would also be hard to argue that she will bring any kind of objectivity to the table.
I can only echo concerns outlined by other industry watchers earlier this year when I wonder if indeed she is the right woman to be guiding government strategy.
With her proposals set to be received in autumn by the government, we can only wonder what she might suggest, and who might be influencing her suggestions.
Fresh from their disappointment at seeing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal abandoned last month with an executive order by President Donald Trump, the US apparel and footwear sector...
With the ultimate aim of ensuring all the cotton in its products is sourced sustainably, value clothing retailer Primark is adamant that having a business model focused on offering the lowest prices o...
Last week we marked the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States by taking a closer look at what's at stake for the textile and apparel trade – especially his promises t...
Continuing our look at what lies ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain in 2017, the panel of industry experts consulted by just-style last week tackled likely shifts in the sourcing land...
- "Power of the many" drives change at Otto Group
- Hard hit Turkish industry is not knocked out
- China leads US apparel sources with falling prices
- Wage abuses can’t be eliminated by software and PR
- US apparel sector braces for potential cost hikes
- US Q4 in brief – Foot Locker, Nordstrom, Carter's
- JC Penney to close 140 stores amid lower sales
- Inditex and H&M boycott Dhaka Apparel Summit
- Bangladesh government steps in on labour crackdown
- Bangladesh calls for duty-free access to US
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Technical textile markets: product developments and innovations, December 2016
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022