Retail Therapy: Why the Retail Industry is Broken – and What Can Be Done to Fix It (Hardcover)

Retail Therapy: Why the Retail Industry is Broken – and What Can Be Done to Fix It By Mark Pilkington Cover Image

Retail Therapy: Why the Retail Industry is Broken – and What Can Be Done to Fix It (Hardcover)


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An insightful review of the collapse of the traditional retail sector in the West, and a roadmap for its potential recovery.

Almost weekly, the news is full of stories about disappearing retail chains--some of which have been around for decades. From Toys'R'Us, Aeropostale and A&P, recognized names are vanishing overnight--with the loss of hundreds of stores and thousands of jobs. As such large organizations disappear, so the malls, shopping centers, high streets and main streets become emptier and less appealing to visit.

Mark Pilkington argues that, while the decline in manufacturing receives more news attention, the retail sector is more important in terms of job numbers: in the US, it employs around 30 million people; in the UK, around 10 million (not just in selling, but in property, manufacturing, logistics and distribution as well). And as such, anything that jeopardises the retail sector will have a deep and lasting impact on millions of lives, as well as on public policy.

While many people will point a finger at the "Amazon effect," this is an oversimplification. Deeper forces are at work that are changing people's relationships with brands, the balance of power between producers and consumers, and the whole nature of the supply chain that has existed since the industrial revolution.

Retail Therapy offers a comprehensive analysis of these forces and their impact on the world of retailing. More importantly, it presents a cogent analysis of the longer term trends that are shaping retailing, and outlines a clear road map for sustainable success in the future.

Mark Pilkington is an experienced retailer and consultant, now based in the UK. After graduating from INSEAD, he joined Courtaulds, eventually becoming CEO of Gossard. While there, he coordinated the initial launch of the Wonderbra, with the associated media storm across Europe and North America. He has worked subsequently on joint ventures with M&S (, and has consulted extensively in the Middle East in the lingerie and cosmetics areas. His current role is in consultancy for major retail groups on strategic developments in a rapidly-changing sector, with clients in Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia.
Product Details ISBN: 9781472965103
ISBN-10: 1472965108
Publisher: Bloomsbury Business
Publication Date: January 22nd, 2019
Pages: 336
Language: English

“This is the book that many people will have been waiting for – an explanation of what is happening to retailing, and what can be done about it. For entrepreneurs, policy makers and everyone who has a strong interest in where and how they buy things, it will be fascinating reading.” —Former UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

“If you want to understand just how serious the crisis facing retail really is, look no further than Retail Therapy. For those who really care about the future of retail, this book is compulsory reading. Mark tells it how it is and doesn't pull any punches; a must-read.” —Founder & CEO of Retail Reflections; Forbes Contributor; Founder of the Retail Advisory Board

“The most current, most thorough review of retailing I have read in a long time . . . a must-read for every retailer or wannabe retailer out there, whether a millennial or baby boomer. Read it now – you won't regret even a minute of this juicy story.” —President & CEO, Platinum Coast Retail Consulting; Former Vice President of Merchandising, Macy's/Federated

Retail Therapy is crammed with telling insights, and Mark Pilkington provides a to-do list that every investor, retailer, employee, supplier and customer should read, learn and inwardly digest.” —Emeritus Professor of International Political Economy, Insead

“An experienced retail operator and a very clear thinker, Mark Pilkington has described where retail is today and why and how it should adapt to rapid change.” —Executive Chairman Amery Capital; Chairman Brightpearl; Former Director of Marks & Spencer PLC

“A well-written book, which offers a factual and insightful account of the retail landscape as it stands today, and importantly brings to life realistic and actionable solutions for tomorrow. A great read . . . I am convinced it is a winner!” —Principal, White Space Marketing; Former President of Vanity Fair Brands and Playtex Apparel

“This book is a fascinating and timely approach. It is clear that the traditional high street is suffering, and some aspects of government policy are making things worse.” —Leader of the UK's Liberal Democrat Party