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Professor Chris Edger - Birmingham City University. Birmingham, , GB

Professor Chris Edger Professor Chris Edger

Professor of Multi-Unit Leadership | Birmingham City University


Chris has over 20 years' of retail operations, sales and support expertise working for domestic and internationally-owned companies.


Professor Chris Edger is the author of 'Effective Multi-Unit Leadership – Local Leadership in Multi-Site Situations' (described by the Leadership and Organization Development Journal as 'one of the key books of its kind for this decade'), 'International Multi-Unit Leadership – Developing Local Leaders in International Multi-Site Operations', 'Professional Area Management – Leading at a Distance in Multi-Unit Enterprises' (1st and 2nd Editions), 'Franchising – How Both Sides Can Win' (shortlisted for the 2016 CMI Management Book of the Year and nominated as a ‘Top 5 Franchising Read’ by Reed Commercial in June 2016), ‘Effective Brand Leadership – Be Different. Stay Different. Or Perish!’, 'Retail Area Management – Strategic and Local Models for Growth' and ‘Inspirational Leadership – How to Mobilise Super-performance through eMOTION!

Chris holds the chair of Multi-Unit Leadership at Birmingham City Business School (BCBS), Birmingham City University. He has also taught at the University of Birmingham and the Warwick Business School, where he was the winner of several teaching excellence awards on the Warwick MBA Programme.

Chris has over 20 years' of senior leisure and retail multi-unit operations, sales and support expertise working for domestic and internationally-owned multi-site companies. During his career he held Area Management and Regional Operations Director (400+ units) positions. In addition he has held Executive Board positions as Group HRD, Commercial Director and Sales Managing Director in organisations with multi-site interests in China, Eastern Europe and Germany. He was a member of an Executive Board that transacted two major cross-border M&A deals totaling £2.3 billion and $1.7 billion, respectively.

His specialist teaching areas on the MSc in Multi-Unit Leadership and Strategy at BCBS are Service Leadership and Operational Improvement within retail, hospitality and leisure multi-unit contexts. Described by some commentators as the UK’s leading expert on 'multi-site retail leadership', Chris frequently features in the media having appeared on/written for outlets such as Channel 4 News, ITV, BBC News Online, Which?, City A.M., Propelinfo, The Retail Gazette, Daily Mail, Guardian, Telegraph, Retail Week, Drapers etc.

Chris holds a PhD (ESRC Award) from Warwick Business School, an MSc (econ) with distinction from the London School of Economics, an MBA from NBS, Level 7 Advanced Award in Coaching & Mentoring and is a Fellow of the CIPD.


Areas of Expertise (3)

Retail Management and Planning

Retail Trends

Black Friday

Education (3)

Warwick Business School: Ph.D.

ERSC Scholarship

London School of Economics: M.Sc., Economics

With Distinction

Nottingham Business School: M.B.A.

Selected Media Appearances (3)

Primark Birmingham: Inside the huge new store, with a Disney café, barber and vinyl section



As a regional centre, the city has fared comparatively well during the UK’s high street crisis, and, given that big brands need a physical presence, even in the digital age – Amazon’s expansion into the physical realm is a case in point – plunging money into bricks and mortar is not as counterintuitive as it may seem. “Birmingham is a regional shopping magnet that transcends some of the issues that are occurring across the high street,” says Professor Chris Edger, who teaches at Birmingham City University’s business school.

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Britain's High Street In Crisis As Two Household Names Collapse On Same Day

Huffington Post  


Chris Edger, a professor at Birmingham City University’s business school, said Toys R Us and Maplin were “living proof” that businesses’ efforts to reorganise their finances without “a consumer focus ultimately accelerate decline to inevitable termination”. “Private equity plus distressed retail equals collapsed assets,” he said.

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Could shops with no staff be the future?

Shropshire Star  


It sounds like something from one of those old Carling Black Label advertisements. You walk into a shop, help yourself to anything that takes your fancy, and then walk out again without having to worry about handing over any cash or anything like that. Of course, it comes with a catch. The stuff there isn't free of charge, and the shop employs a network of security cameras that makes the Big Brother house seem like an oasis of seclusion. Nevertheless, Prof Chris Edger is in little doubt that the Amazon Go supermarket in Seattle gives us a glimpse into the future of shopping. "It's inevitable," says Prof Edger, a retail expert at Birmingham City University. "The direction of travel is clearly towards using technology to reduce the costs of the service-provider function. If you have got a store, the biggest overhead is your staff costs, and if you can use technology to reduce that without impacting on the customer experience, then retailers are going to use that."

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