About

Meet Antony Welfare – Retailer, Retail Expert, Speaker, TV Commentator and Author


With Retail in his blood, Antony developed an understanding of ecommerce at an early age, and worked within a multinational retailer to help grow and develop their ecommerce business from 2004.

Antony has since launched a number of ecommerce businesses, and now provides strategic advice, business planning, training and practical support to develop and grow retailers online.

Antony Welfare has been a Retail, Ecommerce, Social Media and Digital Transformation expert for over 20 years, with experience from international multi-channel retailers; Marks & Spencer, Sainsburys, Dixons Retail and Homebase.

Antony was born into a family of Retailers – in the 1920’s his Great Grandfather, at the age of 26, set up a very successful provisions shop in Kent

The last few years have been working with smaller entrepreneurs, online stores and fashion brands.

Retail - Omnichannel, Multichannel and Ecommerce expert

• Retail – Omnichannel, Multichannel and Ecommerce expert
• Author – The Retail Handbook
Expert speaker and TV News commentator
• Creator and Expert for the National Digital High Street Skills training programme
• Retail Management BSc Hons
• 20 Years in Retail
• Large Retailer experience for 15 years
• International experience

The History

Antony welfare was born into a family of Retailers – in the 1920’s his Great Grandfather (Jack), at the age of 26,  set up a very successful provisions shop in Kent.

Retail - Omnichannel, Multichannel and Ecommerce expert

The shop trading successfully for many years with Jack diversifying into Nursery’s and Garden Centre’s until they were bombed during the war.

Jack did not let this stop him and he continued the shop and it is still trading in Kent to this very day.

Antony’s own career started 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 SmartWeave. SmartWeave had been set up 8 years previously to invent the world’s only fabric which eliminates sweat patches. The “SmartWeave” technology, is patented in the US, China and pending in the UK and Europe.  Antony remains a shareholder and Board advisor.

Over the last few years Antony has worked with many Retailers, Entrepreneurs and Fashion Brands – developing their Retail business and growing their online presence and success.

Ecommerce websites launched:
* New fabric technology business – SmartWeaveStore.com
* Leading edge fashion brand – BolongaroTrevor.com
* Exclusive mens luxury fashion brand – Nigelhallmenswear.com
* Latest gadgets and innovations – innovationgiftshop.com
* TV Shopping channel – TVDiscountstore.com

In 2014, Antony created and rolled out the National training programme to get High Street Retailers online and working in the digital world – Digital High Street Skills in association with People 1st and the ATCM

In 2015, Antony joined the worldwide Ecommerce and Multichannel consultancy Practicology as the Head of Digital Transformation, progressing to Head of Commercial looking after the growth and development of the digital consultancy.

In 2017, Antony joined ORACLE as Retail Sales Development Director.  Working with a truly world class technology company, leading the cloud revolution and working with the new innovations of Blockchain and Machine learning. I am proud to be part of a global team of technology leaders, and look forward to helping grow our Retail clients with our extensive and comprehensive technology offering.

Retail - Omnichannel, Multichannel and Ecommerce expert