PENTLAND GROUP: A FAMILY OF BRANDS
Three generations of the Rubin family gathered around the dinner table for their usual Friday evening get-together. It was a perfect opportunity to discuss everything and anything about the business, the family and the world. The discussion quickly turned to the changing channels available to consumers. There had been many radical shifts before, and the family relished its agility and ability to regenerate itself regularly. Stephen's parents had arrived in Liverpool on ships from Eastern Europe and in 1932 set up a shoe wholesaler. Later, the Rubin family ventured into shoe manufacturing, first locally then became one of the first European companies to outsource production to Asia. Savvy investments, like the acquisition and divestment of a majority stake in Reebok, financially enabled them to progressively build a unique collection of sport brands, such as Speedo, Ellesse, Berghaus, Canterbury, Mitre and others. But venturing into retail with JD Sports Fashion was a radical departure from the family's B2B roots, and they still had to figure out all the implications of the move. Other topics of discussion included how digitalization and big data would impact the future of Pentland, the impact of global political shifts and the family generational transition, with the 2nd generation turning 80.