11th November 2020
Mike Flanagan – CEO
Mike Flanagan grew up in Liverpool’s dockland and first became fascinated by retail logistics working at the city’s NEMS record store. He’s still convinced its manager Brian Epstein, who’d recently discovered the Beatles, was even more creative in optimising inventory management for short-life fashion products than in transforming the world’s music industry
He remained a NEMS Saturday boy through his schooldays, and then during vacations from Oxford, where he did Classics.
After graduating, he worked in London and Milan as a market researcher and account manager at advertising agencies Leo Burnett and J Walter Thompson.
He then moved back into retail as, successively:
- Marketing Director at Fine Fare, Associated British Foods’ UK supermarket business, and the Gateway chain it was sold to.
- Non-oil retail manager worldwide for BP’s 23,000 petrol stations
- UK Managing Director for LensCrafters (then part of US Shoe, now Luxottica)
- Marketing/Buying Director for the Wickes home improvement chain in the UK
- Network Director at Post Office Counters, responsible for retail operations at its then 16.000 post offices
Mike then joined Liz in managing Eastern European offshore production for major clothing retailers and brands.
At Clothesource his Tradetrak database, which tracks every garment crossing a border into Europe or the US since 1997, feeds Mike’s wide range of consultancy and published articles.
Mike was also one of the directors at the Charlbury Deli & Café till April 2021. Which revitalised the almost-dead high street in our Cotswold microtown by doubling its customer count and quadrupling gross margin overnight without increasing selling space – all on a budget of £15,000. And since Covid came, saw its overall sales grow to record levels even after Lockdown meant its cafe had to close.