Exclusive: Former Amazon UK managing director and ASOS Chairman on future of e-commerce

Current ASOS chairman: "It's not my problem to figure out how high-street retailers compete with e-commerce, but there's always a place for the good shops who look after their local customers"

Brian McBride Amazon ASOS Chairman Ecommerce

Brian is currently Chairman of ASOS, the UK’s largest multi-brand fashion site and is a non-executive Director on the BBC’s executive board.

This is a quickfire interview with former Amazon UK managing director, and current ASOS Chairman – Glasgow born Brian McBride.

What changes did you see during your time at Amazon.co.uk?

Bigger, faster, sharper. Into more and more categories. Much more respected by competitors, suppliers, press and Government.

What changes did you see in e-commerce over the past 5 years?

The trend has been continued growth of E Commerce at expense of High St retail. Driven by selection, price and availability all being great.

What’s the future for online retail and e-commerce in the UK?

Future is bright. It will continue to grow. Don’t confuse that with being easy, The weak will also be found out, the market is so sharp that you need to be customer-focussed and great at execution to survive.

Will books remain the primary market for Amazon?

Book are still very attractive and e-books are also very attractive. Future is a bit like the recent past I think, growing each category, adding on more Cloud computing offerings, being the best market-place out there for professional merchants.

What’s your view on the demise of Waterstone’s ’3 for 2′ offers?

Pricing shouldn’t be a stunt. We like to offer everyday great value, it builds better trust.

Is there still a place for brick and mortar bookstores on the high street?

Of course, there will always be a place for the good ones who look after their local customers.

What’s your view on the future of the high street?

It’s  a tough place to be. Not my problem to figure out how they compete with Amazon!