The future of the High Street is a current hot topic with Coronavirus proving yet another stumbling block in its struggle for survival. I’m super chuffed today to have fellow Northerner Savvy Catherine as my breakfast guest! Catherine Shuttleworth is CEO and founder of Savvy Marketing and is a Media Commentator on all things retail and shopping.
Having studied retail marketing at Manchester polytechnic many years ago Catherine has always been fascinated in retail, shopper behaviour and the way shoppers think. Her career has allowed her the opportunity to work with many of the worlds leading retailer and brands and she says that her ‘Passion for the subject has not dimmed.’ Catherine set up Savvy Marketing in 2006 with the desire to ‘Deliver creative solutions to help businesses sell more.’
Catherine’s media commentating happened ‘By accident not design.’ In 2015 she was asked by the BBC to sit on the breakfast sofa and talk about a retail story. A bit like myself, she had never had any media training and wasn’t sure she could do it but her 11 year old son was also about to do an exam and he didn’t think he could do that either. They agreed that if she did the TV interview he’d do the exam. Catherine is pleased to report that most importantly he passed the exam but she also managed to get through the interview.
Since then Catherine has been called upon every week across media outlets all over the world to give her perspective and views on what is happening in the retail and shopper spheres. She says that if she believes she knows the subject then she’s ‘Always happy to comment and share my thoughts but that means I need to keeping watching and listening to shoppers.’
Catherine’s first job was as a Saturday girl in a chemist shop in Sheffield where she learnt more about ‘Entrepreneurship and business than anywhere else.’ Whilst working at the chemists, Catherine was taught the importance of shopping local, understanding the customer, margins and having a point of difference. My first Saturday job was as a hairdresser’s junior at the age of 14. I loved the job but it soon became evident that I sadly lacked any real talent in this field. With my 80’s permed hair, not sure I was the best advert ever for the profession either!
As for the worst job she’s ever had, Catherine says that ‘Quite honestly there’s been something good in every job I have done and in every business so I wouldn’t have a worst job. Probably the one I realised wasn’t for me was my school work experience at Barclays Bank in a branch where I spent the week folding statements and putting them into envelopes. ‘I’m sure many people have a shared memory of the excitement of their work experience days Catherine.
When I asked Catherine about her biggest customer service gripe, she said it was ‘Not delivering what you promise.’ This is a bugbear I wholeheartedly share. If you can’t do it, don’t say you will.
As a UKMoneyblogger I was interested to find out what Catherine’s thrifty tip would be. Catherine advises that you ‘Make sure you never automatically renew anything – it’s so easy to compare prices especially for expensive products like insurance that a 10 minute review on a comparison site can make an enormous difference in your outgoings.’ Again I’m in 100% agreement with this one. Try it out and see how much you can save?
In 10 years time, Catherine hopes she’s ‘Happy, healthy and with my family.’ I really hope that 2030 has a much brighter outlook than this one. This year has really brought home to many what’s really important and that’s the safety and wellbeing of our family and friends.
Last but by no means least, we chatted about breakfast! Catherine says that ‘Monday to Friday I’m a cereal and toast person but at the weekends I love an Omelette – But every day being a Yorkshire girl I always have a big mug of Yorkshire tea.’ It’s coffee for me Catherine, can’t function until have had at least 3 in the morning but there’s nothing better than a good Northern brew from lunchtime onwards.
Aside from moi, Catherine would like to have breakfast with Barack Obama who she regards as a ‘Fascinating man with an insight into world affairs that would just be fascinating to know more about. I’d be interested in his views on how the world needs to change. I’d also like to know what he eats for breakfast.’ Agreed Catherine, I think I would also invite Michelle, as she’s one inspirational lady.
Many thanks to Catherine for taking the time to have breakfast with me. If you’d like to find out more about what she does then please do check out her website. Savvy Catherine is also on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Until next time everyone!