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Shop Girl


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The moving and hilarious true story of the early years of Mary, Queen of Shops

About the Author

Mary Portas is one of the world's foremost authorities on retail and brand communication, and is credited with turning Harvey Nichols from a staid department store into a modern fashion powerhouse.

She is the founder of the creative communications agency Portas, which creates award-winning campaigns for brands including Habitat, Clarks and Mercedes-Benz. She regularly travels the world advising on retail strategy and frequently lectures on the theme of brands and retail.

Mary is a fierce protector of the UK's high streets and has previously advised the British government on their future and continues her vociferous campaigning for high streets and communities. As Global Retail Ambassador for Save the Children she is the creator of seventeen Mary's Living & Giving charity shops, after she redefined the charity shop experience to put the local community at its heart, and in doing so raised millions of pounds.

As well as contributing a column to the Telegraph for eight years, Mary has become a household name through her television series, including Mary Queen of Shops and, most recently, Mary Portas- Secret Shopper on Channel 4.


Portas writes with wit and verve... The book has the narrative charm of Anita and Me or The Buddha of Suburbia; so when the darkness comes it's genuinely shocking. Shop Girl is a testament to survival. But most of all it is a love letter to her mother, Mary Flynn. Every joke, argument, cake baked, tenderness proffered, sings off the page. 'To my mum - How lucky was I getting you' is the book's dedication. And we are lucky to read it. * Independent *
Enormous fun, readable, nostalgic, poignant and authentic... Read it then give it to your daughter * Daily Express *
Absolutely fabulous... Colourful, camp and unexpectedly heart-rending, I loved it. -- Caroline Sanderson * The Bookseller *
Her school stories are hilarious... a nostalgia-fest * Heat *
Portas's memoir is witty, fascinating and, at times, sad but always compelling * Stylist *
It breezes along seamlessly... with levels of charm, depth and humour * The Observer *
Poignantly described * Telegraph *
Heartbreaking * The Times *
Inspiring and emotional * OK! *
[A] delightful memoir... full of evocative images * Choice Magazine *
Warm, witty and evocative, Shop Girl is a cloudless trip down memory lane * The Tablet *
Undeniably compelling * Irish Sunday Independent *
Searingly honest... A fascinating memoir * Hello! *
[Shop Girl] is both a beautifully nostalgic look back at a world long gone and a testament to family ties and our inherent strength * Irish Independent *

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