James Butcher

James Butcher is an experienced director and entrepreneur with over 25 years’ experience in retail, food, manufacturing and packaging. Initially with a focus on packaging coding labelling, artwork and inspection systems, James helped to revolutionise the retail barcode labelling market with Prestek. Following a trade sale to Markem, James helped achieve an estimated 70% worldwide market share for its SmartDate range of thermal overprinters as global product manager. This was achieved across categories including food, beverage and pharmaceuticals, working with both global brands and private brand manufacturers. In the late 1990s, James was founding director of Claricom, which progressed to world market leader for Packaging Coding Management software and consulted to major retailers on barcodes, artwork management and best practice coding and traceability. James Butcher joined Solutions 4 Retail Brands (S4RB) in 2009 as managing director, and has led the transformation of the business from specialist advisers on retail brands, to the market leader in consultancy-led software provision of cloud-based tools for Supplier Engagement and UBX (Unified Brand Experience).

Recent Posts

PLMA 2019 – where the industry sees RED

In the pre-PLMA seminar this week, IGD presented their updated forecast for retail growth in an interesting presentation on the future of traditional retail, where those of us lucky enough to attend got to see RED – the IGD model for retail success,...
22 May, 2019

Practising next generation collaboration

I will admit unashamedly that I’ve stolen this title from Doug Baker’s (VP at FMI) closing presentation at this year’s Velocity event. Alongside Kroger, Wakefern, Walmart and others, Doug discussed the pace of transition from private label to...
07 May, 2019

Many hands make light work

I’m sure we’ve all heard the expression; it has been around long enough. Apparently, it appears in pretty much all proverb collections from the 16th Century onwards. Many hands make light work.
24 April, 2019

Data insight: don’t be data rich but knowledge poor

With the evolution of online trading, social media and other digital transformations, there is plenty written about the fact that “data is the new oil” – all helping to fuel this current evolution. Some would even say it’s a revolution.
06 March, 2019

When performance is measured, performance improves

Most people recognise the maxim from their business life, but the concept pervades our personal lives too. Consider the Apple Watch and Health app; how many iPhone users have not checked the ‘health app’ to see their step count at least once? Some...
20 February, 2019

How many people does it take to implement a PLM?

The question may not be as pithy as a pending bar room joke, but in discussion with an own brand retailer, we recently found ourselves having this very discussion.
16 January, 2019

Is supplier engagement a nice to have?

Regular readers will know that we are huge exponents of retail own brand teams working with their store brand suppliers as ‘one team’- and meaning it (as opposed to just talking to it).
09 January, 2019

The importance of supplier engagement to achieve nutritional improvements

When asked what we mean by ‘supplier engagement’ - which is still a relatively new concept in many own brand retailers - it is about better facilitating supply related processes or supplier related initiatives through better communication, better...
26 September, 2018

Supermarkets ask suppliers to prepare for Brexit 'no deal'

The noise about Brexit is only on the increase as the ‘deadline’ approaches.  However, many of the issues discussed in the press are intangible to the proverbial ‘man in the street’.  
24 August, 2018


At a recent FoodEx and associated exhibition I attended in the UK, there were some great artisan products on show. There was an array of assorted cheeses, an increased prevalence of chilli and a small number of speciality gins including the...
22 August, 2018
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