Beginning her retail career as a Saturday girl in John Lewis, Mary Portas is now hailed as the ‘Queen of Shops’, founding Portas: one of London’s most respected retail and brand communication agencies.
Mary's TV career includes the seminal, BAFTA-nominated MARY, QUEEN OF SHOPS, the show that saw her go behind the scenes of the fashion retail world, challenging her to rescue a series of failing independent boutiques and supermarkets; MARY, QUEEN OF CHARITY SHOPS, MARY PORTAS: SECRET SHOPPER ; and, more recently, WHAT BRITAIN BUYS: a study that looks at what the British public are consuming then analysing what this says about our collective psyche. In 2019 she launched her first radio series, MARY PORTAS: ON STYLE on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds.
Mary’s first book, WINDOWS: THE ART OF RETAIL DISPLAY, published by Thames and Hudson in five languages, quickly became the worldwide authority on window displays, with her second, HOW TO SHOP, offering the ultimate 21st Century guide to retail therapy. She published her memoir, SHOPGIRL, with Transworld in 2015 to critical acclaim, watching it became a bestseller, and most recently in 2018, WORK LIKE A WOMAN.
In 2019, Mary launched her new podcast WORK LIKE A WOMAN, quickly going on to top the Business podcast charts on iTunes. She is currently recording the second series with a plethora of amazing guests, including Phyllida Lloyd, Gina Miller and Jude Kelly.
Mary’s Sunday Telegraph column ‘Shop!’ ran for seven years, wrapping up in April 2013 with a review of her own line of charity shops: Living & Giving – of which there are now over 20 in London alone, having raised millions on behalf the associated charity Save the Children.