Mary Queen of Shops - Queen of shopping Mary Portas comes to BBC Two

Queen of shopping comes to BBC Two
Factual & Arts TV; BBC Two

BBC Two has commissioned a new primetime series in which retail guru Mary Portas helps independent fashion shop owners – the fleet-footed Davids of the retail world – fight back against the all-consuming high street Goliaths.

What Mary Portas doesn’t know about shops isn’t worth knowing. She’s the woman who turned Harvey Nichols from the place you went to get your Barbour repaired and your tiara polished into a modern powerhouse of fashion and style.

Today she’s one of the most respected people in the fashion industry.

In Mary Queen Of Shops, Mary will share the tricks and tips she’s learned from her years at the leading edge of fashion retailing, giving us the ultimate insider’s guide as to how to get the most out of shops and shopping.

Each week in Mary Queen Of Shops – a new four-part series to be broadcast on BBC Two in Spring 2007 – Mary will troubleshoot her way around the UK on a mission to help turn around struggling fashion boutiques: saving the high street, one shop at a time.

Mary’s mission is about much more than just fixing the balance sheet, her no-nonsense approach will see her take radical steps to turn the business around and put the glamour and sex appeal back into shopping.

To experience first-hand what the businesses are really like, Mary will visit the boutique while the owners are away.

Then she will begin a revamp that sees her throw out the old – whether it’s surly staff or dodgy clothes – and bring in the new, and get the shop owners bang up-to-date on what’s hot and what’s so last season.

With front row seats at London Fashion Week and tough sessions with the key people at some of the country’s leading fashion magazines, Mary will use all the tricks of the trade to whip these shops into fashionable shape.

Building on other successful BBC Two factual entertainment programmes such as The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den, the series is commissioned by BBC Commissioning Editor Elaine Bedell, and comes from independent production company Optomen TV – the makers of hit series including Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, The F Word and The Naked Chef.

Elaine Bedell, said: “We’re very excited about the series and with the prospect of establishing Mary Portas as fresh BBC Two talent.

“The series promises an insight into the inner workings of the world’s leading fashion retailers combined with a presenter who brings us expert knowledge but in an approachable, hands-on, fun, and practical way.

“Mary’s a real breath of fresh air who will provide audiences with the ultimate 21st century guide to shopping and retailing.”

Becky Clarke, Executive Producer, Optomen TV, said: Mary’s clients include big names such as Oasis, Miss Selfridge and Louis Vuitton, but what she teaches independent boutique owners from around the country is that the golden rule of retailing applies to everyone from international high street brands to the independent shopkeeper: ‘Know your customer’, or as Mary would say ‘know your tribe’.

“So in this series, Mary literally takes her boutique owners out on the streets to track down the tribe they should be selling to.

“From the ‘Disciples of Beckham’ (who dress according to the cover of that week’s Heat magazine) to the ‘Forever Forties’, who may be 50 but have money and time to burn and want a pair of skinny jeans just like their daughters.”

Notes to Editors

Mary Queen Of Shops is a series of four 60-minute programmes to be broadcast on BBC Two in Spring 2007.

How To Shop by Mary Portas will be published by BBC Books to coincide with the TV series.

Biography of Mary Portas
Retail marketing guru Mary Portas is one of the UK’s foremost authorities on retail and brand communication. As founder and Creative Director at respected London retail branding and communications agency, Yellowdoor, Mary is recognised throughout the trade as the Queen of shops.

Previously Creative Director of Harvey Nichols, Mary repositioned the Harvey Nichols brand into the world renowned store and restaurant group it is today.

Mary’s foresight and unique knowledge of brands, retail trends and consumer insights prompted her to launch Yellowdoor in 1997 when she saw a need for integrated and creative brand communication in the retail, fashion, luxury and beauty sectors.

Under Mary’s guidance, Yellowdoor has created category challenging campaigns for a wide range of brands on the high street including Clarks, Louis Vuitton, Oasis, Swarovski, Dunhill, Boden, Thomas Pink, Miss Selfridge, and Patek Philippe.

Mary travels regularly and frequently lectures on the theme of branding and retail.

Her first book Windows – The Art Of Retail Display (published by Thames and Hudson) was translated into five languages, and quickly became the worldwide authority on the subject.

In 2005 Mary was commissioned to write a weekly feature in the Saturday Telegraph Magazine reviewing the state of the nation’s shops. Mary now sits on the panel judging the annual national Telegraph Best and Worst shops in Britain awards.

About the author

  • Mary Portas is obviously very popular and well respected as a fashion guru, as the affect her latest programme had on our on-line shop, – selling Tummy Tuck Jeans which she recommended recently – was astronomical to say the least – sales went through the roof. Thanks Mary.

  • kath

    love the programe i am sixty soon but still like to look good without looking like mutton dressed like lamb id like to see more styles for the over fifties not frumpy styles. i like to shop in all the trendy shops regardless of my age. sixty is the new forty as far as im concerned.

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