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.
Over the past month, Donald Trump and his team failed to offer any clear plan to ensure Americans would "Buy American, Hire American" - while the British government's attempts to clarify the specifics...
The Bangladesh government was forced to respond late last week to pressure over its crackdown on labour activists after a number of global brands and retailers, including H&M and Inditex announced pla...
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...
- Digitalisation and data to disrupt supply chains
- 3D CAD comes of age
- EU eyes mandatory due diligence for apparel supply
- Unlocks for the future fashion sourcing landscape
- What TTIP might mean for US, EU textiles & apparel
- Li & Fung forms supply chain partnership with PVH
- Big data to help US firms improve clothing fit
- Levi Strauss and ILO probe Cambodia factory death
- US Q4 in brief – G-III Apparel, Finish Line
- Labour rights risk Bangladesh EU trade benefits?
- Central and East Europe Report Package
- Central America strategic sourcing review - a focus on Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- REPORT BUNDLE: Africa-Med, Southeast Asia and Central America strategic sourcing pack