The Retail Trust Ball 2012 raised over £1m last night, after a flurry of pledges from the retail sector’s big hitters helped the charity meet its fundraising target for the fourth year running.
Held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, the annual fundraiser was attended by over 1,000 people including leading retail figures such as Arcadia Group owner Sir Philip Green; M&S CEO Marc Bolland; Joseph Wan, chief executive of Harvey Nichols and Michelle Mone (pictured), CEO of lingerie brand Ultimo.
Fundraising activity on the night included table raffles, scratchcards and a silent auction.
By 10.45pm, the event had raised £600,000, well below the annual fundraiser’s £1m record, prompting Retail Trust chief executive Nigel J L Rothband to take to the stage:
“I’ve never done this before,” he told the audience. “But this is an acute need. We’ve raised £1m for the last four years and desperately need your support.”
His impassioned plea led to a number of pledges from the audience, including £190,000 from Sir Philip Green, and corporate contributions from retailers such as M&S; House of Fraser; Arcardia Group and Miss Selfridge.
Rothband (pictured) said: “Tough times are well documented for retail, but I am delighted that our annual fundraising ball still brought the biggest names in the sector together to support their industry charity. We are grateful to all the retailers and supporters for their contributions that will benefit those in retail who are most affected by change, pressures of life and a need to turn somewhere for advice.
“We have seen contacts to our helpline rise significantly in the last six months, not only on matters of redundancy and job security, but on a host of associated issues that come to the fore when recession is in play - finance and relationship issues, instances of workplace bullying, and, as the riots highlighted, threats of violence against those who man the shops we rely on day in, day out.”