Mary Portas to headline Autumn Fair speaker line-up

Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas will speak at Autumn Fair 2019, which runs from September 1 to September 4 at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre.

Show organiser ITE Group said: ‘As part of a live Q&A session, Mary will talk about how retailers should be creating communities out of their loyal customers. She will also discuss the retail sector’s fundamental need to change its attitude to talent, with too few young people viewing retail as a viable and rewarding career path.

‘The high street hero will explain to visitors why the sector needs to embrace and value soft skills and more traditional attributes such as empathy, instinct, kindness and trust. She will argue that these can be the key to engaging staff and, by implication, consumers.

‘Explaining how these values underpin her latest book entitled ‘Work Like a Woman’, Mary will offer a vision for visitors can drive change in the retail sector.’

ITE Group added that 200 visitors will receive a free signed copy of the book.

Speaking about her headline slot at Autumn Fair, Mary said: “Now’s a time for visionaries. The old dinosaurs and faceless corporations are on the out and retailers who place people and community at the heart of their business are on the up. I truly believe there’s never been a more exciting time to be in retail and I’m excited to see what’s on offer at Autumn Fair this year.”

Julie Driscoll, regional director at Spring & Autumn Fair, commented: “We’re incredibly excited to be able to announce Mary as a show headliner; she’s been a true champion of the UK retail sector for much of the past two decades. She’ll bring a renewed sense of optimism in the Great British High Street to the show, as well as her characteristically unique and creative ideas as to how the sector can improve and grow into its future. We’re thrilled to be able to welcome her.”

Mary will speak on the Autumn Fair’s Inspiring Retail Stage on Monday September 2 at 2pm. Register to attend Autumn Fair for free here:

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