Elevator mentors Don McCarthy

Elevator mentoring programme in memory of Don McCarthy CBE

Our new mentoring scheme ‘sends the elevator back down’ to those aspiring individuals who will benefit from the experience and expertise of mentors in their given field.

About the late Don McCarthy CBE

Don McCarthy CBE (19 June 1955 – 21 July 2018) was a British businessman who made his reputation in footwear retailing, first with Kurt Geiger, then with the Shoe Studio Group. Latterly he moved into general fashion retailing after acquiring the Rubicon Retail fashion business in 2005. From late 2006 to mid-2014 he was Executive Chairman of the House of Fraser department store group.

Don was an active investor in retail businesses through his own fund, No 9 Investments Ltd. Privately he was a generous donor to charities, a great philanthropist and proud ambassador of retailTRUST.

He was well known for his mantra:

“When you get to the top of your career, send the elevator back down for someone else.”

In Don’s memory, we have launched the elevator mentoring programme to help you progress your retail career.

Why should you apply?

  • A once-in-a-lifetime experience to be mentored by an expert in your field
  • Get tailored guidance to achieve your career goals
  • Access support from an experienced leader to help you overcome challenges
  • Fantastic opportunity to enhance your skills, knowledge and experience

How does it work?

You will be able to access eight hours of mentoring from a senior retail leader or chief executive who has signed up to the scheme. 

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Meetings can take place face-to-face, by telephone or through a video call. The frequency and length of each meeting will be mutually agreed by you and your mentor, and will depend on your objectives, as well as the time you are both able to commit. 

The process

  1. Read the guidance and check you meet the criteria
  2. Complete the application form at the bottom of this page
  3. You will receive an acknowledgment within seven working days
  4. retailTRUST will identify a suitable mentor based on your work experience and future goals
  5. An introductory call will be arranged
  6. retailTRUST will contact you every quarter to review performance and progress

A member of the retailTRUST team will be available for support and guidance throughout the mentoring programme.


You will be required to:

  • Respect confidentiality and behave ethically
  • Take ownership of the mentoring process, attending scheduled meetings and calls
  • Listen to and consider feedback from the mentor
  • Continue to work towards objectives and goals
  • Contribute to a regular review of the mentoring relationship with your mentor.


Please ensure you meet the following criteria:

  • You work within retail and have at least three years management experience
  • You have the time and commitment to be mentored
  • You are able to clearly demonstrate how receiving a mentorship can support your career progression.

Elevator mentoring programme application form


Click here to apply for the elevator mentoring programme

View application form