Position last year: 50
The intriguing Fenwick family are well known for being publicity averse, but few could doubt their influence. The 11-strong department store chain has a devolved power structure, eschewing the centralised buying its competitors have adopted. This localised approach, it could be argued, is what keeps it one step ahead.
The man in charge is fifth generation chairman Mark Fenwick, flanked by his cousins Adam and Hugo, who are group managing director and group trading director, respectively.
Sales may have fallen by 1.6% to £426.6m and profit before tax from £35m to £32m for the year ended January 31, due to the mild autumn last year and aggressive discounting in the market in the final quarter, but that isn’t stopping this retail dynasty. The refurbished and expanded Fenwick Colchester has now partially reopened ahead of a full launch next year, its Bond Street flagship is undergoing a £20m revamp, and it will open a new Fenwick at the Lexicon Bracknell in 2017.