Reinvent your retail at the GCA annual conference

Retail expert Bill Grimsey will be show?attendees?to this year?s GCA annual conference (January 25-28, 2015) how to ?reinvent their retail?.

Bill, who has bought many companies back from the brink, will be speaking at the conference during the afternoon on Tuesday, January 27.

Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: ?Bill began his retail career at the age of 15. He has since worked in a number of high profile roles including as Customer Services Director of Tesco and Chief Executive of store groups in the UK, South Africa and Hong Kong. He has earned a reputation as a turnaround specialist.?

After working as the Managing Director of Park ?n? Shop Hong Kong, he gained attention for masterminding the recovery of the DIY group Wickes as its?CEO.

Bill went on to the Iceland Group where he took over as the new CEO, amid the discovery of a profits shortfall, the resignation of the auditors and the Chairman.

Most recently Bill has worked with private equity backers heading the Focus DIY chain for three years and a further year as its Chairman.

Iain added: ?In his twenties, Bill recognised that complimenting practical knowledge and knowhow with academic learning was the only way to full fill his ambitions of becoming a CEO of a large corporation. He therefore undertook studies and obtained an HNC in Business Studies from High Wycombe College and completed the intensive residential Advanced Management Programme (AMP) at Templeton College Oxford.

?Bill has also just been awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from USWE Bristol and is an experienced public speaker. We are very much looking forward to hearing his story and his advice and tips for our members on the running of their retail outlets.?

Other guest speakers during the conference include David Thomas, who broke the world record for reciting the maths formula Pi (3.14..) to 22,500 digit and Professor Greg Whyte OBE, who has helped celebrities complete various physical challenges on the Monday (January 26).

Guest speakers on the Tuesday alongside Bill (January 27) include renowned economist turned strategist, Roger Matin-Fagg, former army commander, Nicky Moffat and Kevin Gaskell, the businessman and entrepreneur who ran Porsche GB Limited in the early 1990s.

To book a place, please visit the members? section of the website via

The conference kicks off on Sunday, January 25 with an afternoon of fundraising activities for the charity Greenfingers. Two teams will go head-to-head to battle it out for the Greenfingers Challenge Cup.

Iain continued: ?Monday?s (January 26) part of the conference will focus on the operational side of our industry and will include talks from a range of inspiring and engaging business speakers to help motivate us for the year ahead.

?During the day on Tuesday (January 27) there will be more of a focus on the strategic element of business, with opportunities to listen to some inspirational speakers and a chance to experience the associate?s exhibition.?


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