Getting to know Maurice Helfgott: Q&A with Brightpearl’s new Chairman

Getting to know Maurice

We recently announced an exciting addition to the Brightpearl team in the shape of our new Chairman, Maurice Helfgott, founder of Amery Capital, the leading advisor and investor company.

As well as supporting Amery Capital investee companies including Oliver Sweeney and Goat, Maurice is the Senior Independent Director of Moss Bros Group and Non Executive Director at luxury street style brand, END, which means Maurice brings a multitude of valuable retail expertise with him.

And now’s your chance to get to know him a little better as we asked Maurice to share his views on how he plans to tackle the role of Chairman, what challenges he thinks merchants of today are facing and what key themes he thinks will be big news for retail and wholesale businesses for the rest of 2018 and beyond.

1. What attracted you to Brightpearl?

“I was an early investor in Brightpearl. With over 30 years of experience within retail – from big stores to small, local and international, physical to online, food to apparel and everything in between, I really liked the idea of an enterprise software solution, which was easy and accessible for smaller and more entrepreneurial omnichannel businesses. One that provides a practical solution to all the back office needs that I know so many mid-sized and high growth businesses – many of which I’ve been involved in – have a challenge handling efficiently and effectively.”

2. How do you plan on approaching the role of Chairman?

“Job number one – and the job that I always take on as Chairman – is to listen; listen very carefully to the customers, the stakeholders, to management and to what’s going on in the competition. And then to be there in a facilitating, supporting and challenging role. I’m not getting involved to run the business, but I hope to provide some support to CEO, Derek, CTO, Andrew and the team that does. My instincts are with retailers, so joining a business serving retailers with my retail hat on will be hopefully be helpful too.”

3. In your view, what are the top challenges facing retail and wholesale businesses today?

“I think the top challenges are the same challenges that they’ve always been, which is to provide customers with the right product in the right place, at the right time, and for the right price. But to do so in a much more competitive world where customers have more choice – not just in the types of products they buy, but where they can get them from. The pace of business today is much faster, and the increased complexity of interacting with many different consumers and using different platforms to reach consumers means that merchants have to operate much more effectively with twenty-first century technology in place.”

4. How do you think Brightpearl and other technologies can solve these challenges?

“Brightpearl is not a generic ERP. It was designed with retail specifically in focus, ensuring that every facet of a merchant’s business can be effectively supported by modern back office technology.

And on the subject of modern technology, we know that automation is going to be a key driver for businesses in ensuring they can work more efficiently. Brightpearl is very much at the forefront of that, which is supported by industry experts recognizing the company’s achievements, such as in the case with the recent nomination for a National Technology Award.”

5. Looking ahead to the rest of 2018 and beyond, what trends should merchants take note of?

“In 2018, consumers will spend even more time engaging with brands digitally, and spend less shopping in brick and mortar stores. They will want to try out new and innovative products, technologies and experiences, and be less loyal to the old and the traditional.

I also think that promotional peaks will be higher, while non-promotional troughs lower. This means that the winners will win big, but there will be less of them. And the losers will slide further and fall harder, but there will be more of them.”

That’s all from Maurice for now, but we’ll continue to keep you updated over the coming months as we support a rising number of retail and wholesale businesses in their endeavors.