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OS Meets: UK businessman Sir Stuart Rose

Sir Stuart Rose

Former Executive Chairman of British
retailer Marks & Spencer,
Sir Stuart Rose, popped into our new
look Oliver Sweeney Conduit Street
store yesterday. He chose a pair of
Abrahams Grey from the Spring Summer 12
collection and answered a few questions
while he was browsing!

You’ve had a varied career – how
would you describe your rise to the top

I never had any ambition to do what I’ve
ended up doing. I always say to
young people when they come into
business today, do the job that you’ve
got today as well as you can and
something will happen to you.
Never plan too far ahead because
you know what they say:
‘when Man plans, God laughs’.

Oliver Sweeney’s trademark phrase
is ‘Walk your own path’ – how do you
walk your own path

How do I walk my own path Hmm you
might have to stop recording
while I have a think about this one!
(After some thought!) You’ve only
got one life and I believe you should be
true to yourself and do what you
want to do because it’s a short journey.

Whose shoes would you like to be in

I obviously want to be in Oliver Sweeney’s
shoes! I’m a bit fussy about shoes so until
I came and got these (Oliver Sweeney)
shoes I’m always in Salvatore Ferragamo.
I’m a Salvatore Ferragamo man but you might
have turned my head!

Talking of whose shoes you’d like to be in, <br stone island jumper 2 badges />
do you think you’ve got what it
takes to fill the shoes of F1 Supremo
Bernie Ecclestone

(Laughing) There’s no truth whatsoever in
that rumour. No truth.

No, no truth at all.

Is it just a case of different sized shoes

Well you know what Mae West said
Better to be looked over than to be
overlooked! You’ve got to be in it to win it.
Let’s move away from F1 and talk about
retail – 2012 will be an interesting year
for retailers with the Jubilee and the Olympics.

How do you predict the industry will do

I believe that those retailers that give
customers the right product, the right price,
the right styling and the right service will do
well. You know, consumers aren’t stupid
they will follow something that they believe
has quality and value to them.

What do you think of our new look
Oliver Sweeney Conduit Street store

The store’s fabulous! I’ve not been in here
before. It really looks good. It’s got quite an
awkward frontage but it still invites you in.
The main reason I like it is that it’s very bright;
it’s got good lighting and when you walk past
it says to you that you’ve got to come in here.

How are you finding our shoes

They’re fabulous. I’m a great colour man –
men don’t wear enough colour and need to
be led slightly so what you’ve got here is not
cutting edge fashion but it’s edgy. It’s good.

Would you say shoes maketh the man

Yes. They’re very important. I always advise
people to buy the best quality (shoes) they
can afford. Cheap shoes make you look a
cheapskate – there’s a line for you! And the
other thing is keep them clean. First thing I
do when I look at a person for interview is
I say is their hair clean, are their fingernails
clean and are their shoes clean And if they
fail any one of those three things they don’t
get the job.

Shop Abrahams here

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