The Mary Portas Guide to Successful Retailing

Mary Portas

Mary PortasThe Mary Portas guide to successful retailing was officially launched by the Queen of Shops herself in two cities last week.

Hundreds of retailers, learning providers and members of the press gathered in London and Sheffield on Thursday (1st July), to hear Mary Portas unveil the new series of master classes, inspired by Mary and her extensive retail knowledge.

Created by Skillsmart Retail, the Sector Skills Council for Retail, the Mary Portas guide to successful retailing is aimed at giving small and independent retailers the knowledge, skills and tools necessary to compete in today’s tough retail landscape.

Speaking at the London event in Studio East Pavilion, Westfield Stratford City in the morning, Mary Portas said:

“We’re losing independents from our high street, we have huge multiples that are driving in with sophisticated operations and we need to bring that sophistication and knowledge in a different way to the independent sector.”

In the afternoon at The Source retail skills shop at Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre, Mary added:

“I’ve been working with Skillsmart Retail because they have the infrastructure and the ability to really make this happen. I’ve worked with them on the vision and they have developed an incredible training course that I’m proud to put my name to.”

Delivered exclusively though the National Skills Academy for Retail’s network of 31 retail skills shops on high streets and in shopping centres throughout the country, the master classes comprise easy to understand step-by-step guides, interactive workshops, video case studies and Mary’s own unique wealth of retail knowledge. Each gives the hints and tips needed to turn a store into a productive, high-performing business.

The master classes cover seven key areas:

  • My shop, my future: Building, mobilising and maintaining a vision for your business
  • Retail finance and business planning: Understanding the key financial factors driving your business
  • Buying for your customer: Buying products to attract and keep customers and deliver profit
  • Selling and service skills: Standing out from the crowd with customer service that brings success
  • Creating desire: Visual merchandising and the ‘wow’ factor to set your shop apart from the rest
  • Marketing for more customers: Spreading the word about your business without spending the earth
  • You and your team: Developing both you and your team to create a forward-looking, successful business

Retail is worth £321bn to the UK economy and the existence of a strong and diverse independent sector on our high streets is essential to ensuring its continuing success. The National Skills Academy for Retail’s network of retail skills shops will deliver the master classes as part of its commitment to driving up skills levels across the retail sector.

Anne Seaman, Chief Executive of Skillsmart Retail said:

“We all know that small towns and villages and high streets up and down the country are suffering in the current economic climate, but it is really important that we have a range of retail on the high streets and this programme will really help independent retailers make their offer more attractive to their local customers.”

Mary added:

“It’s actually a real look at how to compete against the massive high street today and train up independents in every facet of retailing that’s relevant to modern retailing. If anyone wants to join, go to”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>