Our advisory panel

Buoyed with success and the testimonials ringing in our ears, we set out to understand how we can further support the retail industry for those retailers growing through an international franchise model. And what better way to consider the challenge than over a nice lunch! With their assistance and expertise we have put together what we are confident is a compelling and topical programme. See the 2016 programme






The panel


Gail Anscomb
Director of International, The White Company

In 2014, Gail joined The White Company as its first ever Director of International. Gail has worked across the business and with external partners to understand the international potential reviewing various business models across potential markets.

Prior to this role Gail had spent 14 years working internationally, initially with Oasis and then as Director of International at Coast.  Her role at Coast covered over 20 territories with a variety of business models from Franchising, Consignment, Wholesale to Owned Stores and concessions.

As an experienced retail professional, Gail started her retail career in the young women’s fashion brand Miss Selfridge gaining operational experience in the UK market. She then gained more broad retail experience with roles across Buying, Project Management, Brand Management and Marketing with a variety of brands. 

Gail believes in building good working relations with worldwide partners and achieves results by adapting business models to specific needs of the markets. Partner and market evaluation is key for success and Gail sets consistent high standards by ensuring the transfer of brand and commercial skills with an open and honest approach. Gail is passionate about ensuring brand integrity is maintained whilst aiming for commercial success.


Richard Aquilina
Head of International Franchising, Blue Inc./Officers Club

Before embarking on an international career, Richard held various operational roles with retail poster chain Athena Galleries, eventually reaching the position of Franchise Director, and prior to this a career within W H Smith spanning some 15 years.

Richardís international career began with iconic brand Sock Shop, almost 30 years ago where he responsible for global expansion, establishing networks in Europe, Middle East and Asia. In 2001 Richard joined La Senza, working with UK retail expert Theo Paphitis. Challenged with setting up the European franchise programme for the brand, Richard was instrumental in its development in 13 countries as well as holding domestic responsibility for airports and network rail.

In 2010, Richard set up his own consultancy business, advising chains on international strategy, working with both small companies and large enterprises, such as the prestigious group Arcadia. He also returned to work with Theo Paphitis, setting up the international franchise programme for Theoís new lingerie chain Boux Avenue.

Today Richard is working with UK menswear brand Blue Inc. overseeing international development of their franchise programme. He has already finalised plans to launch in the Middle East in 2014 and progressing interest in North Africa, Russia, Central America and the Caribbean.


Cheryl Clifford
Head of International Development, Hobbs

Cheryl Clifford is Head of International for Hobbs Limited where she is responsible for leading Hobbs’ international development and expansion.  Her remit includes ensuring successful delivery of Hobbs’ international strategy by optimising all channels and maintaining brand integrity in all markets.

Cheryl’s retail career prior to Hobbs has taken her to South East Asia, the Middle East and Australasia where she has held a range of international positions for Mothercare & Early Learning Centre, Laura Ashley and Debenhams.


Lucy Haine
International Territory Controller, Asia, Debenhams


Rosie Stringer
Head of International Development, Phase Eight

Rosie joined Phase Eight in 2012, having previously worked at Barclays Capital for 4 years after graduating from Cambridge University with a degree in Economics.

Since joining Phase Eight, Rosie has seen the international business grow from 4 international points of sale in Oct-12 to >180 stores and concessions in 2015, including over 40 in Germany. It has been a really exciting and successful period for the business and amazing to see how far a brand can travel!


Olly Finding
Head of International and Franchise, Hackett London



Neil Wynn-Jones MBE
Luxury and Retail sector specialist adviser to the Consumer Trade Group at UK Trade and Investment

Neil Wynn-Jones is the Luxury and Retail sector specialist adviser to the Consumer Trade Group at UK Trade and Investment.

Originally from the textile and clothing trades, and latterly the food and beverage industries, Neil has a private sector background with 30 years international sales and senior management in the Latin American, US, Far Eastern and European markets.

Working with both Multinationals and MSBís both directly and as a senior management consultant, Neil has broad experience of the issues Retailers and Brands can expect in setting up or expanding their business overseas.


Sarah Pavlou
Founder and Managing Director, kyclO

Sarah is Founder and Managing Director of Kyclo, a Retail Franchise and Brand Expansion Solutions company based in the UK.

Sarah has over 20 yearsí experience in retail, including 10 years in International Franchising, working with some of the greatest retail brands in both the UK and internationally. Whilst supporting these companies in their internal and external developments, Sarah inspires a true passion for brand values and achieving profitable growth; driven by exceptional customer experience and increased brand loyalty. With a never-failing eye for detail, outstanding leadership skills and a full understanding of the bottom line, Sarah has delivered unfailingly successful results that are consistent, commercial and demonstrate the key to success lies in optimising the power of the brand and its people.

Sarah is also a Founding Board Member, Chairperson of the Executive Committee, and Chief Executive Officer of IWIB, International Women in Business, a Non-Profit Organisation which she founded in 2012 and now has more than 1500 members from across the globe.

Sarah is married to her husband from Cyprus for 10 years and has two toddler boys.