Retaissance Appoints Cross-Retail Advisory Board to Guide Development

Retaissance has announced the first appointments to its newly established Advisory Board.

The Board will draw on an extensive amount of high-level experience from across the full spectrum of retail, direct-to-consumer and business-to-business trade.

The new Board will be chaired by Diane Cheesebrough, an experienced Chairman in supporting privately owned and PE backed businesses. Having worked with Retaissance over the last 12 months to support the strategic direction and development of Retaissance as a new venture, Diane is to bring an ambitious guiding force to the Board along with wide-ranging business, financial, sales, operational and technology experience.

James Prince, Head-of-Branch at the John Lewis Partnership flagship Leeds branch, is to bring his knowledge of both ends of the supply chain and expertise on consumer expectations to guide Retaissance’s approach to customer experience. He recently reported directly to the executive board on the digitally-led, cultural-change programme. Before his appointment to the Leeds branch, he led 450 partners to commercial success as Head of John Lewis Sheffield and played a key role in establishing the first-ever ‘John Lewis at Home’ store in Poole.

Medi Parry-Williams, Operations Director at Dransfield Properties, will use her extensive event management experience to advise on Retaissance’s live events, including November’s Meet the Buyer Event. Appointed to Dransfield Properties’ main board of directors in 2017 at the age of 33, Medi is responsible for managing operations across the organisation’s extensive portfolio of shopping centres including the award-winning Sanderson Arcade in Morpeth, Fox Valley in North Sheffield and Five Valleys in the Cotswolds, which is currently undergoing a major refurbishment.

David Stern, Former Global CEO of international cosmetics brand Crabtree & Evelyn, will be utilising his director-level experience and knowledge of digital platforms to advise on Brand Management, Digital Marketing and Product Development. Prior to his current appointment, David has held senior director-level positions and managed brand portfolios for a number of international consumer products brands, including the Kao Corporation (John Frieda, Jergens, Biore, Curel, Guhl) and Unilever.

Cathie Osborne, Retaissance CEO and Entrepreneur said: “Our new Board appointees are among the highest achievers in their respective fields, and bring a wealth of knowledge to guide the future of Retaissance and support our mission to empower and support independent businesses across retail. They are also a wonderful group of people, passionate about supporting Brands, Buyers and opening up opportunities globally, the whole team is looking forward to working with them.

“Retaissance, our revolutionary trading model, has the tools, access and control to successfully trade in the UK, and gives buyers frictionless access to the brands of the world and I am immensely proud that such a talented group of passionate, and I have to say, challenging people are supporting our growth – by really listening and being responsive to our Brands, Buyers and Advisors, Retaissance will continue to quickly develop and deliver these much needed revolutionary tools and opportunities for trade and growth across every size and sector of Retail”

The Retaissance marketplace is a new digital platform, completely free to buyers and available to brands for a small monthly subscription. The subscription period begins once a brand showcase is finalised and approved, and brands are free to explore the profile builder and showcase tools prior to payment. Trade generated by the platform is commission-free.

To register as a buyer, or to sign up as a brand and begin building your profile, visit For enquiries, get in touch on +44 (0) 1606 822943 or email


Retaissance is a revolutionary trading model that gives brands and buyers the tools, access, and control for international trade and facilitates the sharing of knowledge between retail markets.

We help brands acquire, service, and grow their distribution – with complete control over what they spend. For buyers, we offer frictionless access to a world of new, innovative brands and products and the provide the services they need to identify, engage, and work with these new brands via a single integrated platform.

Retaissance works with all non-food retail sectors, and currently serves brands in brands in Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, and the United Kingdom. Phase two development is planned for brand access in 8 further countries including the USA, Canada, and Australia.


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