Welcome to the team
Meet Antony Welfare – Retail Expert and Author
The Founder – Antony Welfare
Antony Welfare has been a retail expert for over 20 years, with experience from Marks & Spencer, Sainsburys, Dixons Retail and Homebase.
- Author – The Retail Handbook
- Retail Management BSc Hons
- 20 Years in Retail
- Large Retailer experience
- Online Retail & Social Media expert
- International experience
Starting in a newsagent at the age of 15, Antony was soon running the shop on a Saturday and Sunday morning from 6am until 10am – no mean feat for a 15 year old.
Managing the morning newspaper delivery team, ensuring all the stock was correct and dealing with the early morning customers before the weekend business started in earnest later in the day. The excitement of dealing with stock and customers led him to give up the usual “sports Wednesday” at school in preference for some more time in the shop. This is where he dealt with the stock orders and delivery, ensuring the shop was able to function efficiently.
This was when he fell in love with retail and this progressed throughout his life and still to this day.
Once at college he started work at Sainsbury’s as a checkout assistant and soon progressed to helping the customer service team and coordinating the checkout queues.
With retail now firmly in his blood he went to Loughborough to study Retail Management for 4 years. Whilst there, he continued to work in Sainsbury’s and would often work 30 hours a week, alongside study and a hectic social life.
In 1996 Antony went to Marks and Spencer for his year in industry. This is where he started to learn the real detail of running a successful retail business. Based in the Chester region, Antony experienced the excitement and complication of running an extremely large and successful M&S store. During the year he was responsible for the Christmas gift shop, learnt the ways of HR and finance, and managed the store in Wrexham for 2 weeks.
On graduation, he moved to London, to start on the Sainsbury’s Graduate programme, spending one year at HQ in the property area and one year in the trading area for Homebase.
He then moved on to Marks and Spencer where he spent 5 years at HQ, learning the trade in areas such as Store Development (where he developed the Store of The Future programme), Design, Buying and Merchandising and the Financial Services business. During his time at Marks and Spencer Antony qualified as a Management accountant (ACMA)
The following 5 years were spent at Dixons Retail, where he looked after the UK E-commerce sites, the Dixons chain (Now Currys.digital), a newly acquired £80m turnover B2B company and finally spending 2 years in the Czech Republic creating a new European Shared Service (SSC). The SSC was developed and built from scratch, and after 2 years employed 250 people, serviced 11 countries and was finalist in the European Shared Service of the year awards. On return from the Czech Republic Antony was the Finance Director for the Commercial team in the UK.
In 2009, he left Dixons Retail to set up the retail arm of FreshMax. FreshMax had been set up 8 years previously to invent the world’s only fabric which eliminates sweat patches. The “SmartWeave” FreshMax technology, is patented in the US, China and pending in the UK and Europe.
Please click on the image below to see the amazing fabric, and buy a FreshMax SmartWeave shirt: