Modern Retail

Editorial Board

The Modern Retail Editorial Board is a panel of retail industry experts, who are specialists in their chosen fields. They provide high-quality, impartial and informative content to help retailers grow. You can read more about the Editorial Board members below, connect with them on social media, or click through to read their posts.

Join the Modern Retail Editorial Board

If you are interested in becoming a member of our Editorial Board, please email our Managing Editor, Rob Gamage –

David Anthony

David is a London-based Visual Merchandiser and a member of Modern Retail's Editorial Board. With over 30 years' experience and a background in fashion & homewares where he learnt the art of Visual Merchandising and Styling, through department stores and boutiques, David has a varied background and now freelances in the cafe, food and retail lifestyle sector and the world of fashion and homeware brands.

Visit David's blog at for more retail stories, as well as inspiring content on art, design and more...

Andrew Tavener

Andrew is Head of Marketing at Descartes Systems UK Ltd and has over twenty years’ business-to-business senior marketing management experience with high technology solutions (hardware, software and services) in complex business-to-business markets that includes logistics and transport with organisations such as Intel, Securicor, Unipart Technology Logistics and Orange.

Komal Helyer

With over 14 years of email and digital experience, Komal brings to Pure360 a deep understanding of marketing strategy, marketers' needs and how that translates into use of marketing technology. She leads the Pure360 marketing team focussing on market positioning, market growth strategies and customer lifecycle marketing for brands in the retail and ecommerce space.

Komal has worked with some of the world’s leading brands including Screwfix, Carphone Warehouse, Black & Decker, helping them get the best results from their email and digital marketing.

Louise Pasterfield

Louise Pasterfield is the founder and managing director of Europe’s largest custom digital learning provider, Sponge. The company, established in 2004, harnesses the very latest technologies to deliver seriously creative learning for employees at global brands including Tesco, Specsavers, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer. The bespoke training addresses key retail challenges such as customer experience, product knowledge, onboarding, compliance and talent development. Sponge’s solutions are based on understanding the needs of both the learner and the business to change behaviours, improve performance and deliver results.

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Naeem Arif

Naeem Arif is the founder of NA Consulting Ltd, a Retail Business Consultancy, and the Chair of the Midlands Retail & Hospitality Forum.
Naeem is the author of ‘Customer First’ an Amazon #1 Best Seller.

To find out more, visit:

Catherine Erdly

Catherine Erdly has over 20 years experience working with product businesses of all sizes from high street names (such as Paperchase, Laura Ashley, and Coast), to some of the most exciting new independent businesses. She helps product businesses grow their sales, manage their stock, and build lasting businesses through 1-2-1 mentoring and her membership The Resilient Retail Club.

Francesca Nicasio

Francesca Nicasio is Vend's Content Marketing Manager. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool things that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and run more profitable stores. She's also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores.

Andy Kaye

Andy, CEO of Bis Henderson Group, is a graduate in Business Studies and Marketing and has a strong background in operational and supply chain strategy management. Prior to transitioning into recruitment, Andy had an established career in the logistics industry, most noticeably leading and implementing the strategy to integrate the supply chains of BHS and Mothercare. In 2000, Andy founded Bis Henderson Group and continues to lead the strategic development and growth of the business which now incorporates recruitment, consulting, space brokerage and training; all within the supply and logistics industry.

In recent years as Chief Executive of Bis Henderson Group, Andy has a particular focus on the recruitment and development of young talent within the logistics industry across the UK which has led him to innovate and launch, in conjunction with numerous universities, a suite of specialist degrees in Supply Chain Management.

Debra Wilkins

Debra Wilkins is Regional Director MarCom for Northern Europe at Kardex Remstar, a global developer of automated storage and retrieval solutions. Kardex currently services more than 20,000 installations across the nation, and is helping retailers to optimise their storage and picking through automation. With more than 30 years’ experience and an early member of the UK Women in IT Steering Committee, Debra is a seasoned veteran in understanding and relaying the benefits of technology, with articles in many computing magazines, such as Network Computing. She is also a fully qualified counsellor and as such has spoken at conferences on how automation is not only inevitable, but also is changing the way businesses and society interact with each other.

Laura Palmer

Laura is Head of Business Development at PHL Group. She became a member of the PHL Group team almost ten years ago and came from a customer service and retail background. Since joining PHL Group, she has worked her way up from an Account Manager to join our Executive Team as a key decision-maker and influencer at Board level. Laura has vast experience across both marketing and ecommerce, managing major client accounts such as Whirlpool UK, Del Monte and Urban Eat. Laura’s background gives her considerable insight into the ecommerce industry from both a sales and a logistics perspective, which she is excited to bring to the Modern Retail Editorial Board.

Paul McHugh

Paul brings 15 years’ experience working with Telecommunications focused IT Software Organisations, covering a range of applications including Fraud Management and Revenue Assurance, Mobile Device and Expense Management, and Wide Area Network Solutions. Much of this time has been spent working with Retail IT teams to enable Business change and meet the needs of their organisations.

Rory O'Connor

Rory O' Connor is the founder and CEO of Scurri, a cloud-based software provider connecting and optimising the eCommerce ordering, shipping, and delivery process. In developing a technology that connects delivery companies with retailers sending the deliveries, Scurri found a gap in the market.

Since its launch in 2010, Rory has strongly focused on building and leading an impressive team of highly experienced technologists and advisors.
Rory has won significant investment for the software business, raising €15.3 million investment to date from private individuals, business angel investors as well as Enterprise Ireland. He is a regular speaker at international tech conferences and media commentator on the eCommerce sector.

Prior to founding Scurri, he worked in Waterford Wedgwood, accumulating a broad range of skills while working in sales & marketing and strategic roles.
Rory has a number of business qualifications including an MBA from Henley Management College.

John Abbate

With over 25 years of global experience in retail design and visual merchandising for global giants such as Ralph Lauren, Levi’s and Alfred Dunhill, John joined Northbanks in 2017 following a hugely successful 5year stint in Shanghai where he was Visual Merchandising professor at Mod’Art and then Creative Director at Design Overlay, a similar agency to Northbanks.

John is passionate about using his experience to help brands develop and implement or improve their retail brand identity.

John is also on the board of advisors at Save the High Street and a council member at the British Display Society.

Ben Kaye

Ben Kaye is an ecommerce and OMS expert at Mintsoft, an Order Management system helping online retailers and fulfilment houses stay ahead of increasing demands. Find out more at

Stuart Conroy

Stuart Conroy has run Activ8 for 20 years and has operated across multiple channels in Asia, Europe and North America. With an understanding of the latest technology, logistics and outsourcing opportunities, Activ8 provides strategy consulting and hands-on solutions to brands looking to manage risk and scale opportunity in online commerce.

Activ8 utilise their experience of being on the Fast Track 100 on two occasions to help brands navigate the scaling process and operate a risk-averse multichannel strategy.

Having worked in investment banking before starting an ecommerce business as well as creating and working with a number of start-ups, Stuart has a great understanding of the challenges facing businesses of all sizes in the modern, digitally-influenced arenas.

Alex Mills

Alex Mills is marketing director for warehouse stock management solution ProSKU. With a logistics background and long career at WMS software vendors (and ProSKU parent company) Chess Logistics Technology, Alex has seen momentous changes and developments in both areas. He has worked extensively with companies in the retail, wholesale and logistics sectors, as well as more recently within ecommerce and fulfilment.

Alex is keen to help ecommerce sector companies benefit from some of the experience and practice of stock and warehouse management in other fields. Over the years he has contributed articles, views and opinions to industry trade journals and media on a variety of themes and topics.

Chris Turton

Chris is the MD of Ecommerce Intelligence, a full service amazon agency and consultancy. He has 15 years experience in ecommerce and marketplace selling. The Ecommerce Intelligence team look after the needs of brands including Myprotein, Organix and Crosshatch, selling on both Amazon's vendor and seller platforms which generate over £5million per month in sales.

Martin Bysh

Martin, CEO & Co-founder at Huboo, has decades of experience in development, tech and entrepreneurship. He began as a computer games programmer, publishing his first game (a chart hit) at age 16. After a career in games development, in 2001, he launched one of the UK's first online dating sites which he later sold. Eight years on, Martin targeted advertising and co-registration revenues to form a Freemium dating site with B2B revenues. It reached Hitwise's top five sites before the company sold in 2012 to Europe’s then-largest independent dating company.

Transitioning into B2B led Martin to eclipse Google Consumer Surveys in the founding of the fastest market research platform in the world, before selling the company to a PE-backed market research group, and then co-founded, a payment and fundraising company currently servicing over 4500 charities. He is also a regular speaker at events including Internet World, White Label Expo and The Institute of Fundraising among others.

Richard Hammond

Richard Hammond is CEO of Uncrowd, the customer analytics platform that shows why customers make the choices they make, and what retailers can do to influence that choice. He is the leading global authority on friction and reward in retail, and the author of best-seller Smart Retail: Winning Ideas and Strategies from the Most Successful Retailers in the World, and Friction / Reward: Be Your Customer’s First Choice.

Melanie McGuirk

Melanie is a partner at law firm, Pannone Corporate, and works as part of the Intellectual Property Dispute Resolution team. She specialises in the resolution of disputes relating to intellectual property, reputation management, advertising, data protection, social media and trade libel.

Her focus is on the enforcement and protection of clients’ intellectual property and reputation, as well as brand strategy and management. She has particular experience in retail, fashion, manufacturing, technology, media and the creative industries.

Melanie is a member of the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorney and the Licensing Executives Society.

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