07 May 2016
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Retail in the Blood

CEO tests the offline waters, oversees £156 million in sales at innovative e-tailer

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Photo by Teri Pengilley for the Observer

As a boy, Simon Belsham (MBA 2007) hung out on the shop floor of Scally Wags Fun Factory, the toy shop his parents ran in the English town of Ashford. The shop closed with the arrival of Toys R Us, but “it gave me an insight into the highs and lows of running a small business,” said Belsham, who last year was named CEO of notonthehighstreet.com, a 10-year-old website that hosts some 5,000 sellers of unique products and experiences in what some view as an increasingly commoditized retail environment.

Amidst rumors of a potential IPO, Belsham remains focused on the here and now: “We are well funded today and have got great support from our existing investor,” he told the Guardian recently. “We’ve got no immediate plans to IPO but we’d never rule out any source of fundraising.”

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Class of MBA 2007, Section J

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