Card Factory and WHSmith chief execs in Retail Week Power List

Karen Hubbard (ceo Card Factory) and Steve Clarke (ceo of WHSmith) both make Retail Week’s Power List of the 100 most influential people in retail.

Since the Brexit vote, costs have risen, consumer confidence has dipped and retailers have had to fight harder than ever to tempt shoppers to spend. This year’s Retail Week’s Power List celebrates those who through hard work and innovation are keeping ahead of customer trends and shifting challenges.

The top three is made up of Jeff Bezos, ceo of Amazon, Seb James, ceo of Dixons Carphone Warehouse and Dave Lewis, ceo of Tesco.

Karen Hubbard (left) with PG's Jakki Brown
Karen Hubbard (left) with PG’s Jakki Brown

A new entry this year is Karen Hubbard, ceo of Card Factory (and one of only 15 women on the list), coming in at no. 76. Says Retail Week: “Profits may have dipped at the low-price card specialist after a drop in footfall, but Hubbard is still powering on with expansion. She is eyeing 1,200 stores for Card Factory, which currently trades from 865 locations. The retailer is also pushing further into retail parks after an enthusiastic customer response to its first out-of-town stores. Hubbard is something of an expert in low-price retail. She arrived at Card Factory from B&M, where she was chief operating officer, and has spent five years at Asda.”

Steve Clarke
Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke, ceo of WHSmith comes in at no. 57 this year, up one place from his ranking last year. Retail Week has this to say about his tenure at WHS: “WHSmith’s high street sales had been in decline for many years – propped up by its travel division – and the retailer achieved profit growth through ruthless cost-cutting. The WHSmith boss is trying to breathe new life into the business. It has installed more than 160 Post Offices and brought Game and M&S Food concessions into stores.”

Other notable entries include:

Mike Coupe, ceo, Sainsbury’s (4)

Sir Charlie Mayfield, ceo, John Lewis Partnership (8)

David Potts, ceo, Morrison’s (11)

Steve Rowe, ceo, Marks & Spencer (15)

Sean Clarke, ceo, Asda (18)

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