The Retail Week Rising Stars Awards, that took place on the evening of Tuesday 27th September were, once again, sponsored by the Theo Paphitis Retail Group, celebrating the talent and opportunities in the retail industry today. Theo Paphitis attended, and made a speech to the retail nominees and guests before the dinner and awards kicked off.
Theo appealed to the Rising Stars to question why they do what they do: “Ask why! And, if you get fired, come and see me! Because you’re exactly the sort of person I want in my business.”
He warned of the implications of not keeping up: “BHS and Austin Reed. These businesses disappeared because of a lack of vision of the management and their inability to see what was happening in what I consider to be one of the best, most passionate industries in the world.”
“There is no industry like ours; retail, shopkeeping, where you learn every absolute facet of business, whether accounting, stock management, logistics, design…you name it! We are in the middle of it all and it’s so exciting. The change is happening so fast and we’ve got to be on it all the time.”
Having commentated on Brexit throughout the EU Referendum campaign and beyond, Theo added: “We will make it what we want to make it. The EU is just 40% of our export, and we will still trade with them. The future is incredibly bright for us all.”
Being a 1st generation immigrant, Theo was also passionate about the use of immigration in the EU Referendum arguments: “Without immigration we can’t be a great country. It doesn’t work. If we’re going to grow we need immigration. It’s about sovereignty and rowing our own canoe, and not allowing bureaucrats to decide what we do.
It’s what we make of it. Look at it as a bright future. I certainly am not worried about going forward. Yes, it’s going to be hard work, but we’ve got the talent…I see talent all around me here in the room tonight, and in retail.”
Nominees on the night included Robert Dyas’s Jenny Child and Lee Bishop, and Ryman’s Matt Orton from Theo Paphitis Retail Group, and Theo presented the final Theo Paphitis Retail Group Rising Stars Award to Carpetright’s Apprentice Hannah Moakes.
Other categories included Customer Service Team of the year, Buyer of the Year, Graduate of the Year, Employer Initiative of the Year and Area Manager of the Year to name a few.
Fun touches to the night included a cartoon standee with face spaces of the Theo Paphitis Retail Group brands; Ryman, Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue, which was even used by the man himself, causing many to do a double take, prosecco lollies, a selfie competition and a DJ.
A good night was had by all!
For all winners on the night click here