Graham Soult is a widely respected retail consultant, researcher and blogger. He appears regularly on television and radio in his native North East, where he is often invited to comment on retail stories, and his blog Soult's Retail View is considered essential reading by many executives and shopkeepers.
He has more than fifteen years' academic and retail-related experience, gained across multiple sectors. His aptly named consultancy business, CannyInsights.com, is renowned among both multiples and indies for its 'usable intelligence' ethos, with a focus on helping them better understand and communicate with their customers. Meanwhile, CannySites.com is a web directory business that assists retailers in reaching new customers, and helps shoppers to find the products and services that they're looking for.
Graham's recent consultancy projects have included customer satisfaction research for a major retailer, drawing on his experience with a leading market research agency. He was also invited to give a national retail chain's management an independent view of the key improvement areas for their stores and proposition.
Following the collapse of Woolworths he has made it his mission to visit and track as many of the locations as possible, recording details of the new occupiers and using the material gathered as a 'window' on the changing High Street. He has visited all 33 of the North East stores that closed in 2008-09, as well as more than 150 ex-Woolies sites elsewhere.
Graham is in a unique position to give external perspective on the collapse of Woolies in 2008. His presentation will explore what today's High Street can learn from the Woolworths experience, and give a flavour of 'life after Woolies' in the premises across the North East.