Position last year: 9
Carlos Duarte steps just outside of the top 10 this year, but nevertheless the dapper Portuguese head of H&M’s UK business can toast to a successful 2015.
Few, if any, high street retailers can boast the headline-grabbing collaborations of H&M, just look at its Balmain launch in November when crowds rushed on the day of its launch to grab the best looks and it sold out.
Meanwhile, Duarte has been driving the UK business forward. H&M revamped its beauty offer in August, introducing make-up concessions into Oxford Circus, Nottingham and Southampton in the UK and Liffey Valley in Ireland. Major refurbishments took place at stores such as Reading and 14 stores were opened in the second half of its financial year (which runs until November), and a pop-up opened in Shoreditch in July and August.
H&M doesn’t split out UK results, but the third quarter saw sales including VAT converted into Swedish krona increase 18% to SEK 53,420m (£4.2bn). The UK is its third biggest market after Germany and the US, so Duarte is a pivotal part of this fast fashion machine.