4 of the Most Powerful Women in World Retail

Written by Harry Bray

March 8, 2021

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Men have been at the forefront of world business since the dawn of time. However, over the last 20 years, there’s been a powerful rise of influential women taking over the retail world.

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“36% of small business owners are women.”


Women are currently dominating the Beauty, Fashion and Health retail markets. Each year there’s a continuing growth of women entering the retail world, so we can only expect to see an increase in women-owned businesses for years to come!

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“The yearly growth of women in business has been 4.2% in the last 12 years.”


To celebrate Women’s Day and inspire you to follow in their footsteps, we’re going to take a look at 4 of the most powerful women in retail!

1. Maggie Wei Wu – Alibaba

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If you haven’t heard of Alibaba, then you must have been living under a rock! The 3rd largest eCommerce business in the world, only behind the behemoth which is Amazon and JD. Back in 1999, when Alibaba was founded, a third of the co-founders were women.

Maggie Wu is the brains behind Alibaba’s financial success and steady economic growth throughout the years. As the CFO of Alibaba, she’s one of the most powerful women in the retail and finance world.

2. Judith Mckenna – Walmart

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Middlesbrough’s very own Judith Mckenna made waves within the supermarket world as ASDA’s CFO and COO before being appointed as Walmart International’s CEO. Walmart is the world’s largest Grocers, and since taking over, Judith has been instrumental in implementing Walmart’s online sales strategy and transforming their eCommerce offering!

3. Mary Dillon – Ultra Beauty

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Mary Dillon is the CEO of cosmetics powerhouse Ultra Beauty, the USA’s largest beauty brand. Mary took over Ultra Beauty back in 2013 and has since then flipped the business on its head by heavily investing in digital marketing, brand image and eCommerce.

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“Ultra Beauty’s online sales have soared by more than 50%.”


4. Carol Meyrowitz – TJX Companies (TK Maxx)

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As the executive chairwoman of TJX Companies, Carol is in charge of 3800+ stores worldwide, including TK Maxx and Homesense!

Value fashion and homeware is a highly contested market that Carol Meyrowitz has managed to dominate for years. Her business success has been centred around her staff’s learning and development that drives TJX Companies forward from top to bottom!

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