6.30 am. Wake up call, shower then breakfast. Waiting for JD my thoughts were all about the reason I was there in England, about how I ended up in London and then back over now, in my last professional years. A long flashback. Maybe I just needed an Italian coffee, a good espresso, to be able to think more clearly. Actually, I was hungry. Yes, I was hungry to act, hungry to discover and learn new things. A consultant has that kind of very visceral curiosity towards their mission, especially in our field, because food is culture, art, research AND passion.
7.30 JD arrived. First customer, first meeting: The British Library. At the desk there was a badge waiting for me, another sign of Coverpoint’s team great organizational ability. Nothing is left to good luck with this company. A two-hours long meeting to dissect the unthinkable with divisional managers and representatives of partner companies who work at the British Library. Great teamwork. It showed the job Coverpoint does there is based on a fully confident business relationship between JD and his client, something which is very important and that I have personally experienced with my clients, especially with Saadeddin. It is all about trust, and how people respect you.
How long does it take to create a project such as the one at the British Library or such as the creation of food venues inside a shopping mall? Let me tell you: it takes a lot! The context analysis, the customer analysis, demographics, research and comparison and buying habits are just some of many basic steps towards a winning proposal and concept.
The second meeting of the day: Cabot Circus, a big shopping centre in Bristol, an Old city of England famous for boats and railways. With the ambitious goal to reassess the concepts related to food, the meeting was there to challenge “is it possible to do better, and how?”. These are the issues the consultant gets excited about and gives his/her best. To analyze the present to predict the future, the consultant in this case also acts as a trendsetter.
Morley Stores was the last stop. We went to Elys, that’s located in Wimbledon and the leisure atmosphere, the “I eat fast and go back to the game” concept could be deeply experienced, at least that was impression. To my disappointment I visited the department store. Everything looked old and not looked after, and for the first time since the beginning of my journey, I would have gladly added a touch of Italian design- made by DESITA, of course! JD has presented a rather interesting, Coverpoint’ style, analysis: “Where are we now”,
leaving the presentation of “Future Roadmap” to the next meeting. It was a pity the meeting ended so soon, ideas had just started to come to my mind.
A comment about my second day? Thumbs up!
Important clients, complex organizations that really care about the effective functioning of the area they devoted to food. I start thinking about Italy, with its incredible potential, which we often do not make the most of it, because of improvisation and of tight regulations. It is in a country such as Italy that FCSI, with its professional consultants, can really make an important difference to support the food retail industry with strategy and direction.
The day ended at a hotel restaurant, where I quickly had a mega cheeseburger and fries too tired for a real dinner. End of second day.