25th October 2018
Mike Flanagan – CEO
Mike Flanagan’s first retail job was behind the counter, in Merseybeat-era Liverpool, at the NEMS record store – where Brian Epstein had discovered the Beatles a couple of years earlier. Mike still claims Epstein’s technical innovations there in optimising inventory for short-life fashion products have influenced him more than any of the Epstein acts he watched in his spare time.
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 at Chicago’s Leo Burnett advertising agency and at J Walter Thompson.
He then moved back into retail as, successively:
- Marketing Director at Fine Fare, Associated British Foods’ UK supermarket business
- 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
In 1995, Mike 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 is also one of the directors at the Charlbury Deli & Café. Which has revitalised the almost-dead high street in our Cotswold microtown by doubling the number of customers and increasing gross margin fourfold overnight without increasing spelling space. All on a budget of £15,000