Room at the top for retail writers

Tomorrow's Business

A big week for retail hacks and flaks, all engaged in a tussle for space and scoops and clever commentary. It’s in the last area where I think there’s room in the market for new players.

A few of the companies reporting this week: Morrisons, M&S, Mulberry, Sainsbury, Burberry, Halford’s, Macy’s, Superdry.

All of these companies punch above their weight in terms of City coverage, for two main reasons:

1) A lot of senior business hacks have a strong retail background.

2) In main news conference, editors that normally use the City list as an excuse for a good snooze perk up at the mention of a company they’ve actually heard of. What is going on at M&S?, asks the dozy fashion editor, suddenly awakened from pondering whether red is the new black, or whatever.

Retail commentary seems to be dominated by a few expert voices. Veteran Nick Bubb always does well. Clive Black and Greg Lawless at Shore Capital are good at talking to journalists. Richard Hyman is always quotable.

New voices with something interesting to say could flourish. They’d need to be willing to stick their neck out a bit; prepared to say a bit more than note that the high street is under pressure from the internet (we’ve got that, thanks).


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