Heritage retailers fail to influence in the RetailTech 30

The Tyto Tech 500 Power List has been published for 2018, and for the first time, we can reveal the 30 most influential people in UK RetailTech.  

In a year where many high street retailers have faced serious financial troubles and with a number of high-profile companies going bust, you’d be forgiven to think that these businesses should be promoting innovation and embracing new technology. Retailers are being forced to respond to changing customer shopping habits to help save their business.  

However, no heritage retailers feature in the top 30 ranking of the most influential people in RetailTech. This doesn’t mean they’re not focused on innovation, but individuals at these brands are failing to impact the RetailTech discussion, nor influence the sector. This has a wider reputational impact for companies looking to pivot and shrug off outdated perceptions.  

Individuals from digital-first retailers such as ASOS, Farfetch and Thread do feature in the rankings, however they aren’t dominating, with these people in position 19 or lower. In comparison, Elizabeth Clark, founder and CEO of RetailTech businesses, Dream Agility, features 4th in the list, ahead of individuals at Drapers and the British Retail Consortium. This mirrors what we’ve seen in our full Tech 500 ranking, where only 13 representatives from FTSE100 companies featured, highlighting that resource isn’t a proxy for influence.  

The RetailTech ranking also illustrates gender imbalance in the sector, with women making up 40% of the top 30.  Although we’re yet to reach gender parity, we should celebrate the fact that all the top 12 influencers listed are female. The retail sector has historically been berated for the lack of opportunities for females in senior positions. Although this ranking doesn’t reflect seniority, it’s refreshing to see females leading the charge in the UK RetailTech sector.  

The RetailTech 30

1  Mary Portas – Retail Consultant 
2  Ashley Armstrong – The Daily Telegraph 
3  Fiona Briggs – Retail Times 
4  Elizabeth Clark – Dream Agility 
5  Natalie Berg – NBK Retail 
6  Maureen Hinton – GlobalData Retail 
7  Rebecca Thomson – Drapers 
8  Helen Dickinson – British Retail Consortium 
9  Caroline Baldwin – Essential Retail 
10  Cathy Parker – Institute of Place Management 
11  Diane Wehrle – Springboard Research 
12  Natalie Massenet – Imaginary Ventures 
13  Cally Russell – Mallzee 
14  Andrew Busby – Retail Reflections 
15  Graham Soult – CannyInsights.com 
16  Roger Wade – Boxpark 
17  George MacDonald – Retail Week 
18  Steve Dresser – Grocery Insight 
19  Nick Beighton – ASOS 
20  Bryan Roberts – TCC Global 
21  Chris Brook-Carter – Retail Week 
22  Ian Middleton – Argenteus Jewellery Ltd 
23  Kieran O’Neill – Thread 
24  Jose Neves – Farfetch.com 
25  Matthew Bradley – RBTE 
26  Ben Sillitoe – Sillitoe Media 
27  Nick Bubb – Retail Consultant 
28  Alan Hawkins – BIRA 
29  Ian Jindal – InternetRetailing 
30  Andrea Trocino – ASOS 

Download the Tyto Tech 500 Power List to read the full report