Q&A with Russell Atkinson from GXO


Russell Atkinson, Business Unit Director, GXO


What’s your favourite aspect of working within the Beauty & Fragrance industry?

The need for meticulous care, detail and attention to deliver for our customers as well as the end consumer. The industry is evolving thanks to new buying channels; the way people buy is changing and consumer expectations, particularly for online purchases, are higher than ever. Fortunately our systems, infrastructure and work ethos allow us to adapt and meet demand and exceed these expectations.


From a retail perspective, the industry is the heartbeat of any department store and provides an intimate service in a public setting, which is really unique. While we love to be a key player in the online revolution, we’re still committed to department stores and believe that beauty and fragrance consultants are the past, present and future of their success.


The people. The way the beauty & fragrance industry works in developing teams and individuals is a benchmark for others in my opinion. Motivation, enthusiasm and care is highly visible to us and vital to the customer experience. Other industries can learn a lot from the way that these consultants are developed and retained.


What is number 1 on your work to do list?

Preparing for the big trading periods, such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Black Friday, Christmas and the Boxing Day sales. GXO is a people business and we rely on a highly motivated, engaged and enthusiastic team to ensure we continue to offer a flawless service and safeguard a seamless supply chain. Going into each trading period, we work to develop plans for resource be it space, labour, automation or transport to ensure we deliver our customers’ most important trading periods.


How important is connecting with your peers at the COPRA Events?

The COPRA events are really important to us as they’re a great opportunity to broaden our relationships. The events are joyous occasions where old friends meet and are a genuine celebration of the best of the industry. This is both inspiring and humbling.


We are firm believers in sharing best practice and learning and such events provide a fantastic platform to meet with like-minded people and learn what is current and upcoming in the industry.


How is sustainability playing a part within your business?

Sustainability is our number one mission as a business and as an industry. We’re continually identifying and delivering technical innovation to reduce our carbon footprint. We recently published our first annual ESG report and have set ambitious global and local targets.