An academic at the University of Chester has been recognised as one of the top 100 global influencers in retail.
Phil Smith, who is a visiting lecturer in the university’s Business School, has been named by Vend in their worldwide list which highlights “people the industry turns to for advice and opinions. These are analysts, consultants and journalists who are constantly sharing insightful content and commentary about retail, and they’re actively helping merchants build and run thriving retail businesses”.
Phil uses his 40 years of business experiences in his role as a freelance retail consultant and shares his expertise with students at the university.
In 2013, he embarked on the university’s part-time Doctor of Business Administration programme to crystallise his wealth of experience as a business practitioner further – and he is due to submit his thesis on social media in a retail context next month.
Phil has spent his entire career in retail and associated businesses, including Asda, B&Q, Makro and Saint-Gobain, where he developed a new retail format in the UK for the French conglomerate.
He moved to Chester in 2009 to settle down after a globetrotting corporate career, to establish his role in business and academia. Since then, he has worked with many independent retail business owners, managers and suppliers to the industry.
He has collaborated with the university on a retail project, given guest lectures and over the last few years has taught both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
He freely gave his time to support the then vice dean, Canon Peter Howell-Jones, and his team at Chester Cathedral to develop the retail strategy that led to the redevelopment of the gift shop.
He was also proud to lead a team of retail mentors on the Welsh Government’s Thriving High Street Campaign – helping 100 independent business owners develop a plan to manage their business development. He has also mentored business owners and managers in Liverpool city and Ellesmere Port.
Phil said he is looking forward to sharing his experience with a wide business and academic audience on completing his studies. His doctoral research has entailed working with a well-established independent retailer, trading from bricks and mortar stores across the UK and online.
By staying close to a real-world retail setting, the research findings will help retail practitioners and scholars understand how content posted on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook influences consumer interaction.
He said: “I am both surprised and honoured to be included in Vend’s top 100 list for 2018 as a freelance consultant, I’ve clearly underestimated my industry reach.”