James Prescott started his travel retail career in 1990 as a buyer with Allders International. After moving through the ranks at Allders, James joined World Duty Free early in 1999 – just before the abolition of duty free for travellers between EU states – as Head of Category for Duty Free, Tax Free & Luxury. He moved to the Whyte & Mackay Whisky Company as Global Sales Director in 2006 before a move to the Middle East, joining Aer Rianta International as the General Manager of Operations for the retailer’s Middle East business.
A family-prompted move back to the UK in 2014 saw him joining cruise retail specialists Harding Retail as Buying Director, before assuming his current role as Managing Director early in 2016.
James has since overseen a comprehensive restructure of the business, and since he was appointed Managing Director, the Harding business has more than doubled its share of the cruise retail market, securing a number of high-profile cruiseline partnerships, including the new entrants Virgin and Ritz Carlton.