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Peter Cross_edited.jpg

Consumer expert, Retail Consultant, Change maker, Communicator, Speaker & Host.

Eight years in charge of the customer experience at John Lewis and ten more as Mary Portas’ business partner, mean there are few who can match Peter's unique blend of consulting and practical experience and step so confidently into the future of shopping, helping brands and organisations remain irresistible to their target consumers. 


Known for his charismatic, inspiring and straight talking style, Peter draws on his experience with some of the world's most iconic brands and shares trusted techniques of deepening relationships with both consumers and employees through brand purpose and authentic human connection. 


Peppering his presentations with tangible examples from across the commercial and third sectors, Peter isn't afraid to challenge current thinking, offering new perspectives around disruptive innovation, internal culture and remaining what Peter calls sticky. 


In his time at John Lewis customers slept in shops, staff were sent to theatre school, the organisation's customer service agenda, values and purpose were reset, a Christmas ad campaign became the global benchmark and Waitrose played a front line role in feeding the nation. During his time as a Consultant, charity shops were reinvented, a professional cosmetic line opened Institutes in multiple territories, a report for the Government predicted the future of the high street, one of the world's biggest shopping malls opened during a global recession and some of the greatest luxury brands redefined the meaning of physical retail.


Peter ensures his audiences leave with a clear sense of what the future of commerce might have in store, actionable insights and a passion and determination to stand out and play their part.

Speaking topics 2022

  • Meet the Consumer of the Future - Whilst much has changed irreversibly and there are things none of us saw coming, there are aspects of the modern consumer that remain timeless and universal. Without the babble so often associated with consumer forecasting or contemporary customer experience, Peter shares his view of the core trends that have changed how we shop, live and behave and how all this influences the needs, values and aspirations of the modern shopper. 


  • The future of retail - Peter takes us on a whistle-stop tour of everything that will change in the future of retail based on his deep knowledge of the consumer and the sector peppering it all with tangible examples and personal anecdotes. 


  • The future is local  - a new mindset for the future of our high streets - Peter has always been a passionate advocate of the critical role our high streets play in building thriving communities. From his early days working on a break through report for the UK Goverment with Mary Portas through to his optimism for post pandemic renaissance , Peter shares his five critical drivers of success which redefine what local might mean for the future of business and the communities they serve. 

  • My Golden rules ( and cardinal sins) for outstanding customer service/customer experience - Peter believes that customer service could be one of the unspoken casualties of our age. Sidelined by the pandemic, reduced to CX touchpoints or lost in the opportunities and complexities of digital disruption, Peter reveals the timeless cardinal sins and eternal truths of outstanding customer service across all channels based on first-hand experience and a lifetime serving customers. 

  • Magpies, Merchants and Astronauts: Eternal Truths from a Life in Retail Leadership - Peppered with stories from a life in retail, Peter reveals the most ambitious projects, the craziest ideas and all the highs and lows that have made him the retail leader he is. Whilst insightful and often amusing, these stories reveal the core character traits Peter believes it takes to succeed and win in business. 

  • The Human Side of Business - Drawing on eight years in charge of culture and internal communications at the UK’s largest employee-owned business and a deep-seated passion for the power of communities to drive human connections and happiness, Peter shares his views on why understanding people remains a core driver of business success.  ( work in progress)

  • The Power of Purpose - Life as a quest is not a new idea. Humans have sought meaning in life since the very beginning of life but not all have grasped and harnessed the power of purpose. Similarly, companies have been emboldened by values, visions and missions for several decades but few have truly pivoted their entire business model into a single defining purpose. This chapter explores how the most powerful driver of them all, the will to live, can be as effective in powering and propelling organisations. And how individuals can propel themselves into a new more dynamic opportunistic future by applying the core principles of purpose throughout their lives.  As we enter a new age of “purpose-led” organisations and against a backdrop of woke, increasing consumer expectations and the urgency of building a more sustainable future, Peter clarifies the difference between having a mission and being guided by a mission with meaning and suggests that connecting with a fellow human's authentic life values and principles can ultimately be far more powerful than the most extravagant marketing campaign.  ( work in progress)

  • Building a Culture of Innovation/ The Power of a Curious and Inquiring Mind - Most of the invention and progress throughout history, from flints to self-driving cars, has been fuelled by curiosity. The impulse to find the new and explore and experience novel possibilities is a basic human attribute and yet whilst most leaders in business say they treasure inquisitive minds, most stifle curiosity and ultimately innovation. The audience will be taken on a journey of understanding why curiosity is mission-critical to a business's performance. Curiosity makes us think more deeply and rationally, it can lead to more creative solutions and enables more trusting and inspirational relationships.  Audiences will be encouraged to embrace complexity rather than fear it and will build a new deeper understanding of the power of curiosity to reveal new opportunities.

Retail & Consumer Speakers, Creativity and Innovation Speakers, Motivational and Keynote Speakers

"Peter was an exceptional speaker at our internal away day for 100 colleagues.  We were looking for an inspirational leader with a ton of experience, who could inspire the team, illustrate the messages with compelling stories and energise everybody for the day.  Peter exceeded our expectations and we would love to have him back for a future event." - Adrian, CMO, ITV Studios 


"Peter is charismatic, iintelligent and highly entertaining. Business needs more like him" - Mary Portas 

C - £2.5k to £5k

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