Shaper: Kim Winser

Show aired on 3rd September 2016


Kim Winser OBE was appointed as Marks & Spencer’s first female and youngest Divisional Board Director. This followed her successful development of the women’s division. Kim introduced new buying structure and systems, particularly introducing fast response to the company. New global sources of supply were introduced and new areas of business including the Designer collection, Autograph.

Kim went on to successfully deliver turnarounds in the iconic British heritage brands Pringle of Scotland 2000-6 and Aquascutum in 2006-9. During this time Kim was appointed non-executive Director of The Edrington Group, a large Scottish whisky business that owns brands such as The Macallan, with global positioning and with a business model with social responsibility at its core. It was formed as the Robertson Trust, remaining independent and committed to philanthropy.

Appointed by 3i in 2009, Kim advised their retail and consumer investments and became Chairman of one of their portfolio’s brands, Agent Provocateur. She also joined Natalie Massenet as special adviser to Net-a-Porter.

In 2013 she was appointed as Board Trustee of the Natural History Museum, a PrimeMinisterial appointment. Kim also sits on the audit committee for the Museum.

In 2013 Kim Winser launched her own business, Winser London, using a new business model: direct supply via e-commerce, with limited pop-up shops, resulting in luxury quality, with a styling service, at affordable prices. The business allows many of the team to work remotely, some internationally based, employing experienced talent and newly appointed graduates.

Listen live at 9am Saturday.

Follow Kim on Twitter @winserlondon.

“I can remember going to my headmaster and explaining I didn’t want to go on to University, I wanted to join the Marks and Spencer management team. He was a bit shocked”

“I thought I am going to have to do this myself because I couldn’t find a brand to buy that had the right structure behind it.”

“You’ve really got to put your heart into what a brand is and what it means to the customer.”

“I think it is all about whether you know what you want to do.”

“It is not about doing a good job for myself or even my team. It is all about our customers. If you listen to your customers properly then the solutions are clear.”

“One of the biggest gifts you can ever give anyone is confidence.”

“Most of the board meetings I am in, I am either the only female or maybe there is a couple of us… there is never a queue for the loo for the women’s loo.”

“I am really passionate about giving people a really good opportunity…we like to break a few rules.”

“I’ve had a really terrific career and a lot of support and good teams, but this is the special bit.”