High Street Heroes (Paperback)
The Story of British Retail in 50 People
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WHEN BUSINESSMAN John Timpson started his retailing career in 1960, there were no supermarkets, no out-of-town shopping centres and not even a hint of internet shopping. The British high street was full of made-to-measure tailors and traditional grocers. Among the household names were Mac Fisheries, Dewhurst, John Collier and Timothy Whites & Taylors.
In this enjoyable new book, Timpson shows how successive generations of forward-thinking shopkeepers and inspirational entrepreneurs have led the major retailers through a period of rapid change – people such as Ken Morrison, Ralph Halpern, Terence Conran and Anita Roddick, without whom our high streets would have looked very different.
This unique survey – from a man who knows a few things about success in retail – paints a compelling, personal and vivid picture of how shops have changed over the last 100 years and reveals who Timpson thinks has had the biggest influence on the shape of shopping in the ‘retail revolution’ that we have witnessed since the 1970s.
John Timpson CBE is Chairman of Timpson Ltd which has a UK turnover of £180m per year. His previous book was Ask John (Icon, 2014), based on his Daily Telegraph column of the same name. Timpson and his wife Alex have been foster carers for 32 years, during which time they have fostered 90 children. He lives in Cheshire.