Dixons Carphone boss Sebastian James steals Retail Week Power List crown from Next's Simon Wolfson

Catherine Neilan
Follow Catherine
High street retailers have overtaken supermarkets in Retail Week's Power List (Source: Getty)
Dixons Carphone chief executive Sebastian James has been crowned the most powerful person in British retailing, knocking Next's Simon Wolfson off the top spot.
James has stolen the number one position in Retail Week's annual Power List, published today, for his work successfully merging the two retailers, creating a £10bn business that swooped into the FTSE 100.
Wolfson has dropped four places to number five, being edged out by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, the John Lewis Partnership's Charlie Mayfield and Primark boss Paul Marchant, who took places two, three and four.

Sebastian James is now the main man in retail (Source: YouTube)

And for the first time ever, the top five has no supermarkets represented, which Retail Week said “reflects the unprecedented shift in food retail”.
Tesco's Dave Lewis was the highest placed grocer – a new entry at number six, - with Asda boss Andy Clarke at number eight, while Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe came 13th.
Even Aldi has dropped down the rankings, with Matthew Barnes falling from seventh to 10th “because, despite making life difficult for the big UK grocery chains, recent months have seen Aldi's growth plateau”.
But it wasn't just people who made it into the list of key influencers in the retail industry - Black Friday also got a mention, as a new entry in at number 42 (no doubt, causing some gnashing of teeth in parts of the sector).

Retail’s Most Powerful

1. Sebastian James, Dixons Carphone

2. Jeff Bezos, Amazon

3. Charlie Mayfield, JLP

4. Paul Marchant, Primark

5. Simon Wolfson, Next

6. Dave Lewis, Tesco

7. Andy Street, John Lewis

8. Andy Clarke, Asda

9. Mike Ashley, Sports Direct

10. Matthew Barnes, Aldi

Chris Brook-Carter, editor-in-chief of Retail Week, said: “Sebastian James was far and away the stand-out candidate to be recognised as retail’s most powerful person for 2015.
"His strength of belief in his strategy and vision for his business combined with the adept handling of the merger of Carphone Warehouse and Dixons has made other leaders sit up and take note. He’s leading the way in how we think about technology.
"The absence of the big grocery chains from the top five for the first time really shows just how dramatically the UK retail landscape has changed. With new leadership at some of the biggest supermarkets, there are encouraging signs that the more established household names could be starting to get back on track to recovering their former glory."

Related articles