Main content

George Davies

Sue Lawley's castaway is businessman and designer George Davies.

Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the retail legend George Davies. In the 1980s he changed the shape of our high streets with his chain Next. In the 1990s he made supermarket clothes fashionable with his George range for Asda and in 2001 he launched his Per Una collection in Marks and Spencer - it's credited with helping the store find renewed financial success. He was brought up in Liverpool and showed early promise as a footballer - he was talent-spotted by the legendary Bill Shankly, but wasn't good enough to play at the highest level. Then he nearly became a dentist but, after dropping out of university, found a job with Littlewoods as stock controller in charge of children's ankle socks. From the day he started he says he never looked back - he knew his future lay in retail.

His trick is knowing his market, and he does that by carefully studying the details of how his clothes sell. Each week he analyses sales figures for every garment, in every store up and down the country - the result, he says, is that he not only knows what women like, he knows what they think.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: You'll Never Walk Alone by Gerry and the Pacemakers
Book: A book about learning to paint
Luxury: A Cannondale Bike

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 16 Jun 2006 09:00

Music Played

  • The Beatles

    Do You Want To Know A Secret?

    • Please Please Me.
    • Parlophone.
  • Lonnie Donegan

    Rock Island Line

    • The Hits of Lonnie Donegan.
    • Music for Pleasure.
  • Frankie Laine

    Do Not Forsake Me, O My Darling from High Noon

    • Hollywood Magic: The 1950s.
    • Columbia.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Gerry & the Pacemakers

      You'll Never Walk Alone

      • Bringing On Back the Good Times.
      • The Collection.
  • The Weather Girls

    Success

    • Success.
    • CBS.
  • ABBA

    Money, Money, Money

    • The Singles (the first 10 years).
    • Epic.
  • Luciano Pavarotti

    Caruso

    • The Essential Pavarotti.
    • Decca.
  • Cher

    Believe

    • Believe.
    • WEA.
  • Book Choice

    • A book about learning to paint

  • Luxury Choice

    • A Cannondale Bike

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Sue Lawley
Interviewed Guest George Davies

Broadcasts

Featured in...

The Desert Island Discs podcast

The Desert Island Discs podcast

Subscribe or download individual episodes.

Listen to over 2,000 programmes

Articles

Articles

Read the surprising things we've learned about some stand-out castaways.

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

Featuring David Beckham, the funniest and most moving moments, animations and quizzes.

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?

Podcast