11 Feb Chairman’s Notes – Feb 2015
The start to our new year at HGA has typified the reasons why, as I enter my 35th year in the retail and fashion world, I have never ever lost my passion for the sector, it’s change, newness and its challenges.
At our recent Chairman’s Dinner, a fascinating insight in to the world of Private Equity was provided by Andrew Deakin of Partners Group who joined us for the evening with his team.
Andrew has an outstanding track record of investing in and growing brands with in particular an international flavour.
As is the norm at these dinners, the open discussion that then followed proved once again that the retail industry is populated by some of he most creative and determined people you could wish to meet. In fact the more challenging the discussion subject became the more revved up the discussion became.
In that context international growth and relishing a real challenge is typical of our recent appointment in the rapidly developing retail market in Nigeria. So HGA!
As for the newness and change I am becoming increasingly interested in the next phase of fashion retail meets technology.
Wearables are beginning to transition from geeky gimmicks to fashion essentials. When you consider the pace of on line growth and the speed with which mobile has grown, then wearables are a reality and very soon.
This fact was further endorsed by leading executives from Microsoft and Google at a recent SME investors conference that I attended where both predicted wearables and the next “tech” boom.
The fashion sector is rapidly adapting to the omni channel world that our customers are now driving us towards. In fact if your company is not adapting, even relishing this world then it is at risk.
Wearables will be the next edition to that mix of channels, transactions and communications with our customers where ever they may be in the world, whether awake or asleep, at work or at play.
As retailers the speed of change is increasing, the scale of the challenges we face is increasing. We love it………..bring it on!!!!