George Davies (retailer) bigraphy, stories - English fashion designer and retailer

George Davies (retailer) : biography

29 October 1941 -

George Davies (born 29 October 1941 in Liverpool is an English fashion designer and retailer.

Davis headed Next from its creation in the 1980s, before moving on to start the fashion label 'George at Asda' in the 1990s. Leaving Asda in 2000 following their acquisition by Walmart, he launched the Per Una fashion collection at Marks & Spencer.

In 2009, Davies launched his 4th brand (called GIVe) which saw 26 stores opening in selected towns and Cities in the UK along with an e-commerce retailing.

Dubbed as a "serial brand creator", the "King of the High Street" and "the leading fashion visionary" he was awarded the Drapers Record Life Time Achievement award in 2003 and the "Designer of the Decade" by Prima in 2004. It has recently been estimated by the Financial Times that Davies has been responsible for the sale of over £54 billion worth of clothing since his time at Next.

Davies is also considered to be an outspoken personality, particularly when voicing his opinions regarding the UK's retail sector.


George William Davies was born in Liverpool on October 29, 1941 to sausage maker George Snr, and seamstress Mary Davies. Davies cites his mother as his motivation to succeed in life in fashion:

His grandparents lived on a farm in Thornton, Crosby, and his parents moved closer to the coast when he was 11, when his mother took over a Post Office and his father became a sausage factory manager. Davies attended Bootle Grammar School, where he enjoyed sports including golf, football and tennis.

Asked recently by The Sunday Times if he had ever been "hard up" he responded "No. When I got pocket money as a young boy, I would save it. Apart from a blip when I was first in business, I’ve always had money. From the age of 16, I worked as a milkman in my holidays and saved to buy my first car, a Mini van". In the same article, Davies was asked if he was better off than his parents had been. "Financially, I am. But “better off” should be measured by more than finance. My parents were an amazingly happy couple and never wanted for anything. My father was the manager of a sausage factory and my mother bought and ran a post office in her fifties".

A passionate supporter of Liverpool FC through his father (nowadays he is frequently seen watching from the Director's box) Davies had trials for the club during the reign of Bill Shankly but was unsuccessful (in 1995 he told The Independent that as things as turned out, it was probably for the best). However, he did go on to play centre forward for Bangor City, and also represented England Universities and England Under 18's at football and scored twice against Scotland.

Early Business Career

After walking away from Birmingham University where he was studying to become a dentist in the early 60's, Davies returned to Liverpool and applied to work for the retailers Littlewoods whose head office was based in the city. He also applied to work for Pilkington, the glass manufacturer, but Littlewoods responded first. He started off as a graduate trainee before ending up in stock control and then as a buyer (ankle socks). Davies cites His experience at Littlewoods as being the cornerstone of one of his fundamental beliefs of successful retailing - the importance of effective stock control and the need for understanding local buying patterns - commonly known in retail as Trading. He also credits Littlewoods as offering him "the most fantastic training" environment which was to strongly contribute to his successes in the future.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine