We the People

Who’s who in the Retail Partners Unit.


Alasdair M Hirst


After a robust 20-year track record of living and breathing retail to the point of obsession, delivering commercial and brand advantage with leading retailers in the UK and Australia- and FMCGs that have needed help with ‘retail thinking’ Al brings the RPU proven brand marketing, B2B and B2C marcomms strategy expertise. He delivers actionable insights for our clients. Starting his retail career in operations with Halfords UK, Al migrated to marketing with some of the most famous brand names including Comet Group (Kingfisher), Morrisons Supermarkets, Argos (UK), P&G, Staples, World Duty Free, Virgin and Lloyds Pharmacy, to name but a few.

Al is one of the few who can genuinely claim to be a long-time leader in CRM and e-commerce development, with a notable innovation and commercial success trail. He’s blessed with high creativity, obsessive customer centricity with honed insight instincts and outstanding commercial strengths. Over the decades he’s been in management, planning and marketing roles and has worked both corporate and agency side in senior management. He’s a dream to work with if you can get past the accent and the awful puns.

Geoffrey M Bowll


Geoffrey is a senior marketer with 30 years of experience in managing campaigns and driving research projects for some of the biggest brands in Australia. Working closely with fellow marketers and C-level staff, his approach is risk-averse, research-driven, analytical, outcome focused and strategically disruptive.

He has a colourful history spanning a broad range of marketing roles many of which include significant retail interfaces, and a boatful of fish (we’ll explain later).

What Geoffrey doesn’t know about research isn’t worth researching. Who he doesn’t know really isn’t worth knowing. And if you want an opinion, Geoffrey’s your man. But he shares the one thing that all RPUers hold in common: we are customer-first to the core.

Arguably the intellectual backbone of the RPU, Geoffrey brings a hatful of agency and consultancy experience, and bridges strategy, business ideas and opportunities, turning them into tangible financial outputs.


Mark Ferguson

Strategic Account Management

Heading the Retail Partners Unit Sydney office and leading his own practice Market Wise Advantage for the past 14 years, Mark Ferguson has over 26 years of experience in FMCG Sales and Trade Marketing in both Australia and Europe.  Mark brings reputable and pragmatic Sales Skills development expertise to the offering. He is a highly skilled facilitator in strategic account management, trade marketing, sales management and promotional planning. Mark has held a number of senior sales positions, both in Australia and internationally. Having held senior roles within a Fortune 500 company in their global headquarters for Sales, his work included working closely with the local sales teams in the implementation of Sales Best Practice across Europe and North America.

In addition to this, Mark has developed extensive knowledge through the practical application of promotional planning and Trade marketing Activation processes.

Areas of Expertise:-

Sales Competency assessment . Negotiation / Selling . Strategic Planning . Presentation Skills . Customer Management . Business Development . Relationship Management . Customer performance benchmarking

Dale Stevens

Communications and Presentation Skills Partner

London trained actor Dale Stevens used her creativity to develop vastly different characters such as an assassin in Mission Impossible or a detective in Blue Heelers. Today, she prefers to use her creativity to develop the presentation and communications skills potential in the people and teams she coaches. Dale uses her extensive experience in theatre, film, and television to inform her unique approach to coaching, where she emphasises the importance of ‘Presence’ in creating powerful messaging and shares actors ‘tricks of the trade’

Dale has worked with a wide range of clients, from solo entrepreneurs to top company executives, from small multifunctional teams to corporate specialist departments. In each case, she uses her unique creativity to grow the influence of each and every individual; ‘One brand story told individually’ is her mantra.

She is results driven, so seeing her star client Dr. Brownwyn King’s TED talk reach 2.1 million views, leading to $1.3 trillion being moved out of tobacco investment was truly inspiring. Her clients achieving outcomes beyond what they ever thought was possible is what drives her.

Dale principally operates within the X2change programme from Retail Partners and also heads her own business, Present with Presence, based in Melbourne.

Marcus Simkin

Information Technology

Online technologist with outstanding security credentials  in government and corporate fields. Has 25 years of building and maintaining Australia’s most secure sites, with a focus on customer engagement. Marcus holds a BA in Information Technology, is a member of AICD and has been a Director of Myriad IT and Shiftfinder, among others. Brings a practical, global perspective and will deliver our customer-focused, user-friendly interface.


Anya Ow

Senior Brand Designer

Anya has had years of experience devising creative solutions for clients large and small, including brands like Barry Plant, RACV, and the City of Boroondara. Specialising in brand strategy, Anya helps our clients make noise in increasingly crowded marketplaces by helping them fine-tune their brands for an omnichannel future.

Let’s Zoom together soon!

We’re happy to jump onto a video conference to sort out your immediate needs, so let’s have a chat online ASAP!

Phone: +61 466 848 166
E-Mail: alasdair@retailpartnersunit.com

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