Skip to content

Retail Think Tank

Maureen Hinton is the latest member of the KPMG/Ipsos Retail Think Tank

The KPMG/Ipsos Retail Performance Retail Think Tank (RTT) has appointed a new industry specialist to its panel of experts.

Maureen Hinton will join the RTT at its next meeting on 7th April 2015. The panel meets quarterly to discuss issues and opportunities within the UK retail market, and to assess the overall health of the sector through the Retail Health Index.

Maureen is group research director at retail research agency Conlumino, which specialises in all aspects of retail and provides the expertise to help clients understand the global retail landscape. Previously director of research & analysis at Verdict Research Maureen’s background is in the retail industry, including roles in Italy and Russia.

“I am delighted to have been invited to join the RTT,” commented Maureen, “I am looking forward to adding my views to those of the group. It is currently a fascinating and ever-changing time for the sector and I believe our work can help to provide valuable insight for UK retail businesses.”

Maureen will replace her colleague Neil Saunders, managing director of Columino, who has been a member of the RTT since 2010, and stepped down to relocate to New York.

“Speaking on behalf of the RTT members, we are looking forward to having Maureen on board”, added Dr Tim Denison, head of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance and co-founder of the RTT.

“Her global experience and insight will add another dimension and voice to our debates on retail health and the strategic issues facing retailers.”

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG and chairman of the RTT said:

“Maureen is the perfect replacement to fill Neil’s position and provide authoritative thought leadership.

“We as a group are looking forward to welcoming Maureen at our next meeting, where we will be discussing how the year has started for retailers, and how the health index may change during quarter two.”

The RTT was established in 2006 to provide an authoritative, credible and trusted view on what is happening in the retail sector and develop thought leadership on the key areas influencing the future of retailing in the UK. Following its quarterly meetings it produces the Retail Health Index, which assesses the state of retail health by examining the effect to demand, costs and margins on the sector, as well as regular white papers on issues facing the sector.

Maureen Hinton joins the existing nine-strong panel which also includes Nick Bubb, independent retail analyst; Dr. Tim Denison, Ipsos Retail Performance; Martin Hayward, Hayward Strategy and Futures; James Knightley, ING; Richard Lowe, Barclays Retail and Wholesale Sectors; David McCorquodale, KPMG; Martin Newman, Practicology; Mark Teale, CBRE and Mike Watkins, Nielsen.

For more information on the KPMG/Ipsos Retail Think Tank, visit

Date Published: 4/7/2015 10:00 AM

Note to Editors:

The RTT panellists rely on their depth of personal experience, sector knowledge and review an exhaustive bank of industry and government datasets including the following:

Members of the RTT are:

  • Nick Bubb – Independent Retail Analyst
  • Dr. Tim Denison – Ipsos Retail Performance
  • Jonathan De Mello – Harper Dennis Hobbs
  • Martin Hayward – Hayward Strategy and Futures
  • Maureen Hinton – Conlumino
  • James Knightley – ING
  • Richard Lowe – Barclays Retail & Wholesale Sectors
  • David McCorquodale – KPMG
  • Martin Newman – Practicology
  • Mike Watkins – Nielsen

The intellectual property within the RTT is jointly owned by KPMG ( and Ipsos Retail Performance (

First mentions of the Retail Think Tank should be as follows: the KPMG/Ipsos Retail Think Tank. The abbreviations Retail Think Tank and RTT are acceptable thereafter.

The RTT was founded in February 2006. It now meets quarterly to provide authoritative ‘thought leadership’ on matters affecting the retail industry. All outputs are consensual and arrived at by simple majority vote and moderated discussion. Quotes are individually credited. The Retail Think Tank has been created because it is widely accepted that there are so many mixed messages from different data sources that it is difficult to establish with any certainty the true health and status of the sector. The aim of the RTT is to provide the authoritative, credible and most trusted window on what is really happening in retail and to develop thought leadership on the key areas influencing the future of retailing in the UK. Its executive members have been rigorously selected from non-aligned disciplines to highlight issues, propose solutions, learn from the past, signpost the road ahead and put retail into its rightful context within the British social/economic matrix.

Definitions:  The RTT assesses the state of health of the UK retail sector by considering the factors which influence its three key drivers.

  1. Demand – Demand for retail goods and services.  From a retro-perspective, retail sales, volumes and prices are the primary indicators.  When considering future prospects, economic factors such as interest rates, employment levels and house prices as well as others such as consumer confidence, footfall and preferences are used
  2. Margin (Gross) – Sales less cost of sales; the buying margin less markdowns and shrinkage.  Cost of sales include product purchase costs, associated costs of indirect taxes and duty and discounts
  3. Costs – All other costs associated with the retail operations, including freight and logistics, marketing, property and people

The Retail Health Index – how is it assessed?

Every quarter each member of the RTT makes quantitative assessments of the impact on retail health of demand, margins and costs for the quarter just completed and a forecast of the quarter ahead.   These scores are submitted individually, collated and aggregated in time for the RTT’s quarterly meeting.  The individual judgements on what to score are ultimately a combination of objective and subjective ones, drawing upon a wide range of hard datasets and softer qualitative material available to each member. The framework follows the example of The Bank of England Agents’ scoring system on economic intelligence provided to the Monetary Policy Committee.

The aggregate scores are combined to form the Retail Health Index (‘RHI’) which is reviewed at that meeting and occasionally revised after debate if members feel it appropriate.  The RHI tracks quarter on quarter changes in the health of the UK retail sector and as such provides a useful and unique measured indicator of retail health.  The index ‘base’ of 100 was set on 1 April 2006.  Each quarter, it assesses whether the state of health has improved or deteriorated since the previous quarter.  An improvement will lead to a higher RHI score than that recorded in the previous quarter, and with a deterioration leading to a lower score.   The larger the index movement, the more marked the shift in the state of health.

The RHI has two main benefits.  Firstly, it aims to quantify the knowledge of the RTT members in a systematic way.  Secondly, it assesses the overall state of health of the UK retail sector for which there is no official data.

For media enquiries please contact:

Max Bevis, Tank PR

Tel: +44 (0)1159 589 840


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *