Previous Business Leaders Lecture: Bill Grimsey, Retail Expert and Author

Business Leaders Lecture: Bill Grimsey, Retail Expert and Author

Preparing Town Centres and High Streets for the 21st Century

Date: Thursday 16 January 2014


Bill Grimsey began his retail career at the age of just 15-years old when he became a butcher's boy. His first managerial job was at Bishop's Food Stores, where he rose to become a director, before joining Tesco in 1986 in the new role of Customer Services Director.

In a varied and full retail career, Bill Grimsey went on to be chief executive of store groups both in the UK and abroad in South Africa and Hong Kong and has earned a reputation as a turnaround specialist. He gained particular attention for masterminding the recovery of DIY group Wickes, which had been at the centre of an accounting scandal that resulted in the suspension of its share price and the banks foreclosing.

Another of these recovery roles where the banks stepped in to take control and support Bill amidst the discovery of a profits shortfall, the resignation of the auditors and the Chairman. Bill was four years at the helm of Iceland, which was renamed the Big Food Group, and was later successfully sold to the Icelandic investors Baugur Group. Most recently he worked with private equity backers heading the Focus DIY chain for four years.

In 2012 Bill published a book called Sold Out - Who killed the High Street? Working with eight other associates Bill also published The Grimsey Review An Alternative Review of the High Street to all political parties in September 2013 and continues his consultation work with the UK government.

Bill Grimsey is an experienced public speaker.

Ann P Francke