I don’t like fashion much. Or shopping for that matter.
So I just ignored the story today about Mary Portas becoming the government’s high street tsar.
Until Paul Lucas pointed out that there might be more to this than meets the eye.
Mary’s role, according to Number Ten, is to:
Advise on how Government, businesses and shoppers can address the problems of vacant shops, adopt new business models, prevent the proliferation of clone towns and increase the number of small and independent retailers.
Sounds good. Media lap it up. Government get positive PR and brownie points.
But hang on. Isn’t this the same Mary Portas who, on her Telegraph blog wrote:
As a woman who spends the majority of her working life in shops, I found myself involved on many levels with the development of Westfield, London.
Oh yes, so it is.
And is this the same Mary Portas who runs retail marketing agency Yellow Door (who are doing very nicely due to all her TV and media work thankyou very much)?
So let’s have a look at her client list (I thought a screen grab might be best, in case they change the website):
This includes the likes of Oasis, Clarks and Louis Vitton. Those champions of a diverse and multi-ownership high street.
And what else is this? Westfield?
So not only is Portas promoting the very clone stores she’s supposed to be preventing, she’s a champion of the shopping centres which are destroying the high streets.
And she plugs her own clients on her Telegraph blog without declaring her company’s involvement.
Just a few conflicts of interest?