Mary Portas – Keynote Speaker

"Queen of Shops", UK’s foremost authority on retail and brand communication

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Mary Portas Profile Picture

Specialist Subjects

  • Business in the Kindness Economy
  • Fashion
  • Marketing
  • Women in Business
  • Retail


  • English


Widely recognised as the UK’s foremost authority on retail and brand communication, Mary Portas has a multitude of expertise; business woman, advertising executive, retail expert, Government adviser, broadcaster and consumer champion. The British media has crowned her “Queen of Shops”.

Beginning her retail career in John Lewis, Harrods and Topshop, she joined Harvey Nichols, progressing to the Board as Creative Director in 1989. She was credited with leading its transformation into a world renowned fashion store.

In 1997 she launched her own agency, Yellowdoor which has made its mark in the creative advertising landscape, producing category challenging campaigns and championing brand development for clients including Clarks, Louis Vuitton, Oasis, Swarovski, Dunhill, Boden, Thomas Pink, Patek Philippe and Westfield.

In 2013 she re-launched her agency as Portas with a new offer reflecting today’s retail landscape, and how consumers behave today.

Alongside her work with the agency, Mary has embarked on a number of personal projects. She has published three books, Windows: The Art of Retail Display, and How to Shop. In February 2015 she released Shopgirl, a memoir of her early years.

Mary became Global Retail Ambassador for Save the Children when she transformed the Charity’s worst performing shop – Orpington – into its best. Mary created a new charity shop format with her Living and Giving stores. The concept is now being rolled out across the country providing a human, ethical and community shopping experience. To date they have generated in excess of £million for Save the Children. Again, her journey was documented by the BBC for Mary Queen of Charity Shops.

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