Retail Thinking - Specialist Retail Consultants to historic houses and gardens, cathedrals, museums and visitor attractions
Practice ProfileHow does Retail Thinking work?Clients

Peter Holloway: Principal Consultant

A highly experienced retail professional, Peter Holloway trained in one of the UK's best respected retail companies, the John Lewis Partnership, where he held management positions in several stores and worked in a variety of product fields.

He then held posts as Buyer and Assistant to the General Manager in an independent department store before joining National Trust Enterprises in the mid-1980s. Peter was responsible for the management and profitability of all the National Trust's shops in Wales before launching Retail Thinking in 2002.

Peter compiled the National Retailing Manual used in all the National Trust's shops in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and was actively involved in devising and delivering training to shop managers across the Trust.

Peter has been a Group Director at the renowned British Shops and Stores Association's Oxford Summer School and a member of the Associated Independent Stores Young Executives Committee, where he was involved in inter-store meetings and retail store studies across England and Wales. He has a keen interest in museum retailing overseas and participated in a European exchange with the Flemish Heritage Foundation, producing retail development reports on Horst Castle and the Napoleonic Fort at Ostende.

He has spoken on heritage and museum retailing at many conferences and seminars including the Heritage Retail Conference at the National Gallery in December 2004. Peter has also addressed museum seminars in the Baltic States and the Middle East.


Although our core business is retail consultancy we work with associate consultants which broadens our field of expertise.


Ian Herdman: Associate Consultant

Ian Herdman is a "hands on" visual merchandising and display professional based in London.

Born in Scotland, Ian moved to Manchester, then Brighton, where he completed a BA Hons Degree in Fine Art. Following this he worked in London for three years as a Display and Promotions artist for a Swiss Company in Leicester Square.

In 1981 Ian moved to Milan spending the next four years there working on a freelance basis in display, props and exhibition stand design, where he built up a retail client portfolio, part owned a shop himself and worked on projects for the Fiera di Milano.

Eventually returning to the UK, he worked for the Design Council (Haymarket) as one of the main exhibition designers for both permanent and touring projects for the next eight years.

Since then Ian has worked on a broad spectrum of projects for various companies in both the business and retail markets and his recent cultural clients have included the National Portrait Gallery, Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust, St Paul's Cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral, Southwark Cathedral, Leeds Castle and the Fitzwilliam Museum.


Julie Cullen AIH: Associate Consultant

Julie Cullen is a highly experienced catering consultant and trainer based in Sussex. Following initial training and "hands on" catering work in Ireland she managed the National Trust's prestigious restaurant at Cliveden, Buckinghamshire, afterwards being appointed Regional Catering Manager for the Thames and Solent region of the Trust. In this role she was responsible for the management, business development and profitability of over 20 catering sites in the south of England, including developing major new catering outlets at Hughenden Manor and Osterley Park.

Julie now works with a variety of clients, mainly in the heritage field, including Rothschild Waddesdon and West Dean Gardens. She has devised and delivered menu development and food presentation workshops, as well as catering manager development programmes for the National Trust, and has recently revised the Trust's National Catering Operations Manual. She is an associate lecturer and NVQ verifier and assessor at Chichester College, has worked on several development programmes with the West Sussex Tourism Initiative, and is a member of both the Hotel and Catering International Management Association and Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

Julie also provides one to one training and mentoring to hotel managers and heads of department regarding standards, business development and staffing issues.

Julie works as a consultant to an English cookery school in Japan, where last year she delivered a series of lectures and demonstrations. She has also compiled a book on traditional English cookery for the Japanese market, which was published in 2006.


Carys Howell: Associate Consultant

Carys Howell is a communications and marketing consultant specialising in the environment, cultural heritage and tourism.

After studying law Carys joined the BBC and worked in television and radio as a researcher, reporter and producer.

For 13 years she worked for the National Trust in Wales, most recently in Cardiff, where she was responsible for marketing, PR, visitor management, interpretation and education for all the properties owned by the Trust in Wales.

Her role included the management of the successful centenary celebrations of the National Trust in Wales and she spearheaded the high profile public relations campaign which raised £5m for the acquisition of part of Snowdon. She has continued to undertake work as a consultant for the National Trust

Carys also offers training programmes on marketing and communications, specialising in media management and advocacy skills.

Retail Thinking also has close links with other specialists with expertise in the museum, heritage and visitor attractions sectors.

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