Mary Portas is probably the UK’s foremost authority on retail and brand communication.
Beginning her retail career as a Saturday girl in John Lewis, she is now hailed as the Queen of Shops, founding Portas: one of London’s most respected retail and brand communication agencies.
Her TV career includes the seminal ‘Mary Queen of Shops’, the show that saw Mary go behind the scenes of the fashion retail world, challenging her to rescue a series of failing independent boutiques and supermarkets; ‘Mary Queen of Charity Shops’, ‘Mary Portas: Secret Shopper’; and, more recently, ‘What Britain Buys’: a study that looks at what the British public are consuming then analysing what this says about our collective psyche.
The Prime Minister David Cameron commissioned Mary to lead an independent review of the High Street in 2011. She delivered the report in December 2011, outlining 28 recommendations for rescuing the nation’s failing High Streets.
Mary’s first book Windows: The Art of Retail Display, published by Thames and Hudson in five languages, quickly became the worldwide authority on window displays, with her second –How to Shop – offering the ultimate 21st Century guide to retail therapy. She published her memoir with Transworld - Shopgirl – in 2015 to critical acclaim and it became a bestseller.
Mary’s Sunday Telegraph colum “Shop!” ran for seven years, wrapping up in April 2013 with a review of her own line of charity shops: Living & Giving – of which there are now over 20 in London alone, having raised millions on behalf the associated charity: Save the Children.