Retail Trust: Looking after all people in retail by @NJLR CEO of @RetailTrust #IndieRetail

Retail Trust: The background…

During our 179 year history, independent retailers have always been important to Retail Trust. Our original name; The Drapers’, Silk Mercers’, Lacemens’, Haberdashers’ and Hosiers’ Institution (snappy title heh?) gives you some idea of who our original founding fathers were.

For the first 55 years from the charity’s formation the Institution received a total of £197,247 and 18 shillings. The large part of that money going to the assistance of “Members, Widows and Orphans”.

As the 19th century drew to a close, the Institution was supported by the greatest merchants who served the new consumer class with the fine emporia that became our modern department stores. This was the beginning of the charity’s very close links with the department store and independent sector. In many cases the original names have disappeared through mergers; some live on still.

Our first retirement estate in Mill Hill in North West London opened in 1897 and we were renamed Cottage Homes soon after. I am delighted to say that many retirees from the independent store sector live on one of fabulous retirement estates that now number five. They are in Glasgow, Salford, Liverpool, Derby and Mill Hill. The cottages on our estates are decorated with plaques celebrating the generous donations from many independent retailers.

There have been huge changes both on the High Street and within our charity since our foundation all those years ago.

The two biggest changes Retail Trust has made over the past few years are:

  1. Our shift from providing just housing for retirees from our industry to working in partnership with retailers to provide an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).
  2.  Expanding our remit from what was primarily the “drapery” trade to covering all aspect of retail including grocery, DIY and jewellery etc.

Our fundraising has grown a bit too! And as a result we are able to provide help and assistance, through our free, confidential and independent Helpline 0808 801 0808 that is open 24/7.

We are a listening ear for our industry’s staff on any issue, either work related of personal. Our Helpline advisors listen and we signpost people to get the best help. We are the retail’s staff safety net when they don’t know where to turn.

We provide free counselling, free legal advice, course funding as well as a ReWork programme for individuals who are under the threat of redundancy. In addition, in certain situations retail employees may qualify for a hardship grant.

Retail Trust’s slogan of “looking after all people in retail” embraces every sector of our industry from the mightiest multiple to the most local independent.

As we evolve and improve our services it is essential people in our industry understand that we are not only here for the big corporates. In fact, it is the independent retailers, who don’t have access to corporate HR departments, who can get great benefit from our services.

After all it was the independent retailers who had the foresight, passion and commitment to set Retail Trust up in the first place. The least we can do is support our independent retailers and their teams.

Please get in touch – We are here for you. you can also find Retail Trust on social media: Twitterfacebook and YouTube

This blog was written by Nigel J L Rothband, CEO of Retail Trust.


About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email
This entry was posted in Blog-a-day for Indie Retail, Independent Retailer Month 2011 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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