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22 Paul Kelly (15)

Chief executive, Selfridges

Never mind the downturn, Irishman Paul Kelly used 2010 to launch what was arguably the most ambitious shopfit the industry has seen this decade - the Selfridges Shoe Galleries.

The London flagship store was already on the tourist map but the £10m refurbishment of its footwear department has pushed it up the list of must-visit places and created the biggest footwear retailing space in the world. Shoe Galleries is proving a boon to all its concessionaires - be it luxury labels like Christian Louboutin or accessible retailers like Topshop.

The driven and steely Kelly has guided Selfridges to a 19% hike in pre-tax profits to £65.7m in the year to January 30 and showed little sign of slowing over the rest of 2010 with some imaginative initiatives - a TV crèche for football fans and an installation offering a tour of the interior of Hermès’ aptly named Kelly handbag.

Kelly and Selfridges keep setting the standard for retail theatre and help confirm British retailing as some of the best in the world.

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