Chris is a Retail Consultant who had a distinguished, thirty-five year career with F.W.W. He joined in 1957, starting at the bottom as a floor-sweeper and a Stockroom Manager, before rising rapidly through the firm's training scheme, building a reputation for excellence as a Store Manager in six stores from North Cheam to the flagship in The Strand, London, WC2. Jarvis was appointed District Manager in 1977, and soon took control of the capital's most challenging stores, including the huge branches in Victoria SW1, Oxford Street W1, High Holborn WC1 and Cheapside EC3.
He played a pivotal role in The Woolworth Group's vigourous defence against a hostile takeover bid by Dixons Stores Group in 1986. He was appointed Project Manager by Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy, and oversaw the rapid development of a new-look under 'Operation Focus'. Edgware Road, London W2 became the role model for larger comparison shops and Camden Town the prototype for local community stores across the UK. The ideas found favour with the City. With the bid battle won, Chris carried the ideas into action in London South, delivering a new look in stores as diverse as Brixton, Croydon, Peckham and Addiscombe.
In 1992 he chose to take early retirement, becoming a successful Consultant and earning recognition as a Freeman of the City of London for pioneering the creation of a range of business materials for the launch of the Award Into Business for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme. He led the Corporation of London's Duke of Edinburgh's Award for City businesses, and also chaired the same award for the London Borough of Croydon, over a period of sixteen years.
In a joint presentation with Roger Stafford, Chris will share an insight into the layout and service changes that helped to revive Woolworths' store offer in the 1980s. These restored pride in the brand and went on to sustain Woolies over two decades.