Hilary Cookson, Maureen Cookson
Hilary Cookson
Owner (retired)
Maureen Cookson

Hilary began her career as an A level trainee with the JLP in the late 1970s and became the youngest female to sit on their Central Council aged 19.

She then joined Maureen Cookson in 1981 and with her husband grew this business into an 11,000sq ft retail space as a truly womens wear only store. With 31 fitting room and 60 staff it was a one stop shop. They bought the business out of the family in 1995 and grew the store still further. In 2010 she opened a 77 seat café bar and this was followed by a delicatessen.

Hilary was Chairman of the British Independent retailers association and an annual fixture at the Retail Masters Forum on the final day presentations.

She has also been a previous winner of the Drapers Independents Awards with Independent Retailer of the Year, Womenswear Award and most recently the Lifetime Achievement Award.

She was also for many years a consultant for an independent department store in the North West. She retired in 2019 after a breast cancer diagnosis.

She is now a consultant for a plant hire and waste company... which just goes to show every business has the same basic principles!

In her spare time she sits and wonders how she ever found time to work.