Retail and Consumer Goods

Retail and Consumer Goods

We have been active in the Retail and Consumer Goods sector since the earliest days of our firm. Although our work originally focused just on the UK, it is now highly international and diverse, much like the sector itself. We have handled appointments from Tokyo to Istanbul. Some of our clients are publically-listed FTSE 100 business. Others are privately owned, which includes both family-run and private equity-backed companies. These clients range in size from huge iconic global brands to small high street boutiques. We pride ourselves on being as comfortable with ‘big box’ clients selling screws and MDF as we are with luxury clients selling handbags and diamonds.

Being effective search partners in this sector requires high levels of speed, flexibility and directness, as well as a really in-depth knowledge of all functions within the modern retail ecosystem. Due to commercial sensitivities, we frequently find ourselves handling confidential assignments which require all potential candidates to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement before we can even discuss the role with them. This is something we happily take in our stride. We are particularly at home within the commercial, operations, branding, creative, sales, supply chain, OmniChannel and eCommerce areas.    

Recent Case Study

Robin Winfield

Society handled the appointment of Robin Winfield as Operations Director of John Bell and Croyden, the Queen’s pharmacist and a signature part of the German healthcare and pharmaceutical giant Celesio AG.

Operating from a large property on the corner of Wigmore Street and Bond Street in London’s West End, John Bell and Croyden has been a Royal Warrant holder for several decades. The store is the supplier of choice for nearby Harley Street clinics, and on their shelves you can find everything from high-end cosmetics through to surgical equipment. They also provide a number of luxury treatment rooms, and even maintain a team of in-house clinicians.

Society was tasked with recruiting the store’s new Operations Director (their equivillent to a General Manager). It was a complex and demanding search, since retails brands with this sort of heritage and reputation are few and far between, yet at the same time Celesio recognised the need to sharpen the store's brand standards and service delivery and to find ways of unlocking fresh growth potential. We were tasked with finding an operator who had an understanding of the luxury retail world, but would also be able to cope with high volume turnover and a very busy sales floor. After an intensive search, the appointed candidates was Robin Winfield. He was previously a Regional Manager with Space NK and before that with Molton Brown. He brought with him high standards and a passion for team that has seen John Bell and Croyden begin to flourish again under his stewardship.

Robin commented:

“Taking over the operational and emotional ownership for a brand with such heritage was always one of my key drivers in making the decision to join the business. I have not been disappointed by the reality of that responsibility. The brand, I am proud to say, is stronger today and we have yet further to travel. My team are engaged and motivated towards delivering a best in class service and I am confident that our customers and shareholders are feeling the benefit from that. Our trading team have refreshed our product range and, with our suppliers’ support, we now offer what I believe to be the very best options for our discerning customers. As we look to 2015, an ambitious refurbishment programme is on the cards and the brand is set for expansion. The future is exciting for us and I am delighted to have been introduced to this business by Society. My new role is certainly challenging, but extremely rewarding and I am excited for our future.”

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Contact Our Team

Our work in the Retail and Consumer Goods sector is led by Paul Bullock.  He can be contacted on


Society is a limited company registered in England and Wales (No. 6917936)

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