Linda Ward

Our vision is a thriving, diverse and sustainable independent retail sector and we’re passionate about helping retailers to deliver that vision. We offer a listening ear, a fresh look at your business and a hands on approach. Our retail consulting company offers practical solutions for the ever-evolving challenges of running a retail business today.

The principal of the company is Linda Ward who brings many years of practical experience in the business of retail at a senior level, through working in the day-to-day operational and strategic management of many diverse retail businesses, such as Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, The Body Shop, ExxonMobil (Esso) and The Simon Communities of Ireland.

Retail experience and expertise

At Debenhams Linda was part of the project team who set up the first store in Ireland and was General Manager for 5 years. As the first store in the group to operate outside the UK, she helped to shape the strategic management of the Irish business on commercial and HR policy.

With Marks & Spencer for 17 years in the UK, Europe and Ireland, she was responsible for many store developments and a new store. Her last appointment was overall responsibility for the two stores in Dublin city centre. Other retail experience was with The Body Shop as General Manager for the 17 stores on the island of Ireland; Esso as Operations Specialist for the setup of the new “On the Run” brand and The Simon Community as Shops Development Manager, defining a new model and standard for charity shops.

She has been responsible for the operation and profitability of multi-million euro businesses, managing up to 400 employees and 25 managers. Alongside her reputation for delivering on new start-ups and development projects, Linda has developed a wide range of people skills through the operation of the businesses that she has been responsible for, and is particularly adept at devising lean and highly cost effective development plans and retail management processes.

Linda is also an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), having completed, with merit, the Certificate of Employment Law Relations and Practice. This complements her working knowledge and extensive management experience of employment processes.

Linda has also helped several retailers as an accredited mentor to Longford and Westmeath LEO’s.

She has also delivered many training, coaching and mentoring sessions throughout her career. One such project was to devise and deliver a bespoke retail training programme for the Society of St Vincent de Paul shops in the North East Region.

Whilst Linda is a savvy retail expert there are projects which require a specialised skill set, or the scale of the project needs more resource. That’s where the team of experts come in with their particular expertise of:

  • visual merchandising
  • financial control
  • social media marketing
  • e-commerce and web design