From Bags to Blenders: The Journey of a Yorkshire Businessman (Hardback)Gordon Black (author)
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While there are many books about eminent retailers, From Bags to Blenders tells the story from a different angle - from the point of view of a supplier.
Gordon Black's career at Peter Black spanned over 40 years. He led a team with his brother which built a substantial business with sales of approximately GBP300 million and 3,000 employees. His revealing book faces up to the difficulties of supplying retailers today, and contrasts that with the close and fruitful relationship the Blacks enjoyed in the 1980s and 1990s with their main customer, Marks & Spencer.
This fascinating and amusing book explains why the biggest challenge in building a successful company is the development of a culture of teamwork and passion for the business while, at the same time, avoiding arrogance and taking advice from those with experience.
In Gordon's opinion, exiting a business is as big a challenge as building a business. He pinpoints the different options and the pitfalls to be avoided, and emphasises the need for first-class products: 'You can have the most modern factories and the best systems, but, without the right product, you're dead!'
Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
Number of pages: 160
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
'Theirs is a classic rags-to-riches story'
'An entertaining and amusing read that is peppered with plenty of serious points to provide helpful hints to anyone running a business.' -- John Timpson
'I do get books sent to me from time to time and rarely read them, but in your case I actually picked it up and didn't put it down until I'd finished it!' -- Julian Richer
'It is both a fascinating personal story and a gold-mine of practical advice on good business practice.' -- Professor Tony Badger
'A succinct exposition of the fundamentals of business success in fulfilling the ever-changing demands of the retail market. It is written by a man of huge experience, and one gifted with insight and warmth of personality.' -- Sir Harry Ognall
'Besides the light hearted anecdotes it illustrates very well in practical terms the differences in management style needed for a public versus a private company. Perhaps it should be an essential text book case study for any business school?' -- Barrie Martin
'A jaunty little memoir in the bullet-point style of a memo from the chairman's desk by Gordon Black, whose family business prospered as a footwear manufacturer for Marks & Spencer in the era when the high-street chain nurtured suppliers, took care of staff, pleased customers and made its founding dynasty rich without stirring resentment. That really was a benign model of capitalism: what a shame it has gone completely out of fashion.' -- Martin Vander Weyer
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