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Retail hero Mary Portas to talk on the sector’s need to change at Autumn Fair 2019

The broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas is to speak at Autumn Fair 2019, where she will take part in a live Q&A to talk on subjects spanning the biggest issues affecting the retail sector at the moment.

Portas will talk about how retailers should be creating communities out of their loyal customers, and discussing the sector’s fundamental need to change its attitude to talent, with too few young people viewing retail as a viable and rewarding career path.

The high street hero will explain to visitors why the sector needs to embrace and value soft skills and more traditional attributes such as empathy, instinct, kindness and trust. She will argue that these can be the key to engaging staff and, by implication, consumers.

Explaining how these values underpin her latest book and podcast, Work Like a Woman, Portas will offer a vision for how Autumn Fair visitors can drive change in the retail sector. 200 visitors to Autumn Fair will also receive a free signed copy of the book

Mary Portas said: “Now’s a time for visionaries. The old dinosaurs and faceless corporations are on the out and retailers who place people and community at the heart of their business are on the up. I truly believe there’s never been a more exciting time to be in retail and I’m excited to see what’s on offer at Autumn Fair this year.”

Julie Driscoll, regional director at Spring and Autumn Fair, added: “We’re incredibly excited to be able to announce Mary as a show headliner – she’s been a true champion of the UK retail sector for much of the past two decades.

“She’ll bring a renewed sense of optimism in the Great British High Street to the show, as well as her characteristically unique and creative ideas as to how the sector can improve and grow into its future. We’re thrilled to be able to welcome her.”

Mary Portas will be speaking at Autumn Fair’s Inspiring Retail Stage on Monday, September 2 at 14:00.

Autumn Fair runs from September 1 to 4 2019 at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre. Register to attend for free here:https://bit.ly/2Gfs65y

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