That’s what John said.

John King was in my class at school and when he left, his first job was stacking shelves in Sainsbury’s. But once he got on to their management trainee scheme, he began a hugely successful career in retail, ending up as CEO of House of Fraser. He turned their fortunes around, giving the stores a sleek black makeover and shrewdly securing a prime position in the upscale “Village” part of Westfield, putting House of Fraser on a par with Selfridge’s and Harvey Nichols. Their stock price soared but when shareholders received a big offer from a Chinese consortium, John strongly advised them not to take it. He told me this consortium would destroy the business, and so it proved. House of Fraser went bust last week and had to be “rescued” by Sport Direct’s Mike Ashley, who unfortunately treats people like the symbol of his business – great big mugs.