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Drapers Top 100 2017 – 41. Anthony Thompson, chief executive, Fat Face

Position last year: 53

Fat Face boss Anthony Thompson has continued to buck the discounting trend this year, standing resolute in not getting drawn into offering markdowns throughout the year. This strategy, and his decision to not to open more Fat Face stores for business on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day to enable staff to spend time with their families, has won him much praise across the industry.

Nevertheless, Fat Face has not been immune to the tough trading across the high street. While total sales under his leadership rose 2.4% to £226.1m in the year to 3 June, EBITDA dropped 11.3% to £29.7m. Thompson blamed this on the drop in sterling’s value following the Brexit vote, which hit the business as a large proportion of its foreign currency purchases are made in US dollars.

Continuing with his ambitions to grow Fat Face both in the UK and across the pond, Thompson led the opening of a new 80,000 sq ft distribution centre in Dunsbury Park in February, and plans to open another six to eight stores in the UK in the next year, and another four stores in the US.

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