Welcome to Portas Talks Shop.

Portas is on a mission and this time we’re talking shop.
 Portas Talks Shop is our go-to platform for industry-leading insights, debate & chatter on all things retail and relative. We bring together business and brand leaders, newbies and experts, movers and shakers, and founders and innovators to inspire and unpick past, present & future retail trends. Oh, and to shed some light on the shopping habits of tomorrow. From event details to thought-pieces, it all lives here.


A tale of two high streets

11 January 2018

Is Brexit uncertainty affecting the high street? Channel 4 asks Mary to weigh in on whether the current ups and downs faced by retailers today is down to Brexit or if there a more fundamental shift in shopping habits at play? We think so.

Watch here >


Portas Talks Shop: Newsletter Launch

03 January 2018


Hello and Happy New Year!

We hope peak trading went well and that you managed to get some rest over the holidays.

At the end of December, we launched the first in our new monthly series of round-ups and thought pieces on the key issues affecting retail. Mary shared her opinion on how the high street was going to fare over Christmas; Richard looked at why a third of the UK’s fastest growing businesses are retailers; and we shared a snapshot of the work we launched over the festive period.

In the coming months, we’ll be announcing a line-up of Portas Talks Shop speakers and events taking place at the London office so be sure to watch this space for your invitation.

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The high street is not dead, it just needs to be reimagined

22 December 2017

Christmas is the most important time of year for retailers. It just wouldn’t be the season if they didn’t get into the full, unrelenting swing of things, filling their shops with a profusion of festive paraphernalia and blaring carols on repeat.

At Portas, we’re closely watching how retailers fare over the festive season. We’re predicting there will be some deaths. Shopping is as much a part of the Christmas tradition as turkey and sprouts, but shoppers' needs are changing, and some retailers have been slow in stepping up to the challenge.

So, what’s the way forward? What will get the High Streets’ tills singing over Christmas – and keep them that way in 2018 and beyond?

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The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker

10 December 2017


Google “retail is dead” and you’re faced with sifting through 26,800,000 search results.

As a strategist working with retailers day-in day-out this is either a very bad thing or a very good thing, depending on which way you look at it.

It’s difficult to deny the headlines. The past twelve months have seen the controversial demise of BHS; poor profit results from John Lewis, Dixons Carphone, and Mothercare; Toys R Us axing a quarter of its UK stores; and The Economist predicting that Britain, in the wake of Brexit, is set to become the world’s third slowest growing retail market next year.

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Has the downfall of physical retail been greatly exaggerated?

10 September 2017

Mary talks to a new daily BBC radio bulletin of global business news in partnership with Marketplace - one of the most popular business broadcats in the U.S.- about industry trends including the drawdown in U.S. mall traffic and whether the downfall of physical retail has been greatly exaggerated. She sheds light on the best strategies for retailers to successfully reach and build loyalty with consumers who tend now to gravitate toward online platforms.

Listen here >