John Hoerner has been a successful retailer for more than 50 years. His work has taken him from Hovland-Swanson speciality store in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he started work in 1959, to Woolf Brothers specialty store in Kansas City, Hahne’s in New Jersey, H. & S. Pogue in Cincinnati and L.S. Ayres in Indiana.
In 1987 he was recruited by the Burton Group to run Debenhams, a chain of 59 department stores in the UK. In 1992 John was made Chief Executive of the parent company with over 2,000 stores in the UK. In 1998 John led the de-merger of Debenhams from the Burton Group.
The remaining chains of multiples were renamed Arcadia Group, which John ran until 2000. In 2001 he joined Tesco, the world’s third largest retailer, to lead the development of their clothing business.
John lives on a farm in Gloucestershire with his wife Lea, their three horses, and their five rescued dogs from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.