Liberty managing director Ed Burstell is to star as “the Simon Cowell of retailing” in a major new BBC2 television show.
The Buying Game, a six-part series hosted by retail entrepreneur Theo Paphitis, will feature the premium London department store alongside high street chemist Boots and homewares chain Habitat.
The show will invite members of the public to pitch their designs or inventions to panels of The X Factor-style judges from each retailer. The series will air in the autumn.
Burstell, a self-confessed “competitive New Yorker” and former senior vice president of Bergdorf Goodman, will sit on the Liberty panel alongside fashion journalist Sarah Mower, Daily Telegraph design editor David Nicholls and craft and interiors expert Danielle Proud.
A source told Drapers: “The whole team is in it but Ed is the star. He has been cast as the Simon Cowell of retailing.”
Liberty already runs a scheme called Open Call to scout for new design talent, under which it invites designers to pitch their products to its buyers. Liberty started stocking scarves from designer Michael Birch following an Open Call, as well as product from designer Joseph Altuzarra. Liberty predicts new products sourced at Open Call will contribute £500,000 of sales this year.
To read an interview with Ed Burstell, click here