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The conference programme aimed to give senior retail professionals access to new ideas, solutions and innovations to help take their departments and companies forward. The agenda was pitched at a high level and we endeavoured to present new case studies and new thinkers on the programme each year.

Keynote and seminar sessions gave a high-level view of the retail industry, offering predictions and insights to help delegates form their future strategies. The interactive workshops and discussion groups complement the larger sessions by drilling down into specific issues, allowing delegates to share their collective experiences and to learn how their peers are dealing with similar situations.

 If you are interested in finding out more about the full conference programme please contact Emma Doniger

CPD Certified

cpd_certified_rgb.pngThe Retail Forum qualifies for CPD credits. All delegate attendees will receive a CPD certificate after the event.

For further information on CPD accreditation please visit :

Take part in the programme

If you would like to participate in the programme or recommend any speakers or topics please email Emma Doniger or call her on +44 (0) 7740 486428
2017 Keynote
2017 Keynote
  • Opening Address Speaker

    Justin King CBE Vice Chairman, Head of Portfolio Businesses

    Justin joined Terra Firma as Vice Chairman and Head of Portfolio Businesses in September 2015. He sits on the boards of the General Partners and is a member of Terra Firma’s Management Committee.

    He was previously the CEO of Sainsbury’s between 2004 and 2014, where he led the business through a major turnaround which led to nine years of profit growth. Before joining Sainsbury’s, Justin was Head of Food at Marks & Spencer. He held prior roles at Asda, Haagen-Dazs, PepsiCo and Mars in a thirty-year career spanning consumer goods and grocery retailing. 

    Justin has previously served as a director of Staples and a board member of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and was on the audit committee of both organisations. He was also a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group.

    Justin is well known for his interest in motorsport, supporting his son who races in GP2. After the Manor Formula One team fell into administration, Justin played a key role in its recovery through a company voluntary arrangement, becoming interim Chairman.

    In 2013, Justin was named Most Admired Business Leader by Management Today as well as Britain’s Most Impressive Businessman in the IPSOS-MORI Captains of Industry Report.

    Justin received an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Bath, and in 2009 the University of Bath awarded him with an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration. Justin was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 2011.


2017 Conference Programme
2017 Conference Programme
  • VR: hype or reality?

    Adam Simon, Managing Director, Context

    In this interactive workshop you will:

    • Discover why virtual reality is one of the next big things for retail
    • Learn more about what VR is and how retailers are using it
    • Get ideas as to how VR can be used in your own ...

    Making the back bit work: the retail supply chain

    Ian Gilmartin, Head of Retail & Wholesale, Corporate Banking, Barclays

    In this interactive workshop you will:
    • Hear about how change at the front end of retail is disrupting the supply chain
    • See how important the supply chain is in creating an engaging retail experience
    • Understand the issues...


    Tying the threads: bringing together stores and online

    In this interactive workshop you will:
    • Learn why looking at online and stores separately is damaging
    • Discover the latest tools and tricks for assessing how people shop across channels
    • See case studies of retailers successfully operating across channel
    • Identify common...

  • From fantasy to reality: new technologies that will shape retail

    INNOVATION ZONE - Powered by True Start
    • Hear from, see, touch some of the new technologies that will shape retail
    • See how retailers are making the best use of these technologies
    • Understand how technology solving the retail problems and issues
    • Connect with key retail technology innovators
    • Understand how to drive technology innovation for your retail business

    Keeping retail space and places relevant

    Mark Bruce, Retail Director, Meadowhall

    In this workshop session  you’ll learn:
    • The impact online is having on traditional spaces of retail
    • How places need to react and respond to remain relevant
    • What new innovations and thinking can be deployed to keep customers engaged
    • How online and offline can work together for success
    • How the future of physical retail spaces is likely to evolve



  • Loyalty; what’s the trick

    Martin Squires, Global Lead, Customer, Intelligence & Data, Walgreen Boots Alliance

    In this interactive workshop you will:
    • Identify weaknesses in traditional loyalty programs
    • Understand how to create genuine loyalty among consumers
    • See the impact of new and old ways of generating loyalty


    It’s the economy stupid: the outlook for retail and consumers

    Simon French, Chief Economist, Panmure
    In this interactive workshop you will:
    • Find out the key forecasts and predictions for the UK and global economy
    • Understand what’s driving economic change and how it will impact retail
    • Pinpoint the threats and opportu...

  • New kid on the block: how a new retailer can change a market

    Rosie, Wolfenden, Managing Director, Tatty Devine Aron Gelbard, Co-founder & CEO, Bloom & Wild

    In this workshop session you’ll learn:
    • How a new market entrant can disrupt and challenge an existing market
    • The thinking behind forming a new retail business
    • How technology can be used to change a traditio...


    Tear down this wall: removing the barriers to retail growth

    Ed Cooke, CEO, British Council of Shopping Centres

    In this interactive workshop you will:
    • Understand the factors that are preventing retailers from expanding in the UK
    • See the impact that these barriers are having on growth
    • Have the opportunity to discuss the things...

2016 Masterclass Sessions
2016 Masterclass Sessions
  • How to benefit from future technology

    Matt Truman, CEO, True Capital
    This session takes a look at some of the emerging and innovative technologies which have the potential to transform retail and boost performance over the next few years. Including case studies and contributions from technology entrepreneurs, it is a session that offers both practical advice as we...

    Thriving in a multi-channel, multi-platform, multi-device world

    Lee Haslett, eCcommerce Director, Virgin Holidays Ltd

    Richard Houlton, Former Director of Channels, Clarkes International

    Rebecca Kelly, Head of Digital Customer Acquisition, Majestic Wine Warehouses Ltd
    With so many ways to connect with consumers – from buy buttons on social media, to tweet-to-buy, to m-commerce – and with so many different devices across which to engage, there are many emerging challenges for retailers. Which platforms to invest in; how to create a consistent experience; how to...


    Phablets, tablets phones and watches

    Max Macintosh, Agency Head, Google UK
    Mobile is currently one of the fastest grow areas in retail and is likely to remain so for at least the next few years. However, it’s also changing with the introduction of new devices and technologies such as wearables. This session explores the growth of mobile both overall and from the perspec...

  • What’s in store for stores?

    Richard Bonner, Head of Store Development, John Lewis
    With the continued rise of the internet and mobile one of the key challenges for retailers is that the store is increasingly moving from being the place of transaction to a place of inspiration. However, the importance of stores and the invisible role they play in driving overall retail success s...

    How to make progress in a digital world

    Tim Mason, Chairman, Eagle Eye Solutions
    Tim will moderate this session and will seek to answer questions posed by the group such as:- • What’s the difference between multichannel and omnichannel? • Do I need an e commerce business? • Who should my e commerce business report to? • How do I align my staff between my bricks and clic...

    The places and spaces of retail

    Tim Denison, Director Retail Intelligence, Ipsos Retail Performance
    Are the day of physical retail really numbered? While the answer is no, there is no doubt that the way in which we shop, including where we shop, is changing. This session explores how the various place and spaces of retail will fare over the next five or so years: which will thrive and which wil...

  • Retail state of the nation

    Neil Saunders, Managing Director, Conlumino
    With so many things from the economy to technology affecting the sector, retail is now at a crossroads. This presentation takes a look at the current ‘state of the nation’ as far as retail is concerned, assessing the most pressing issues impacting the sector today and tomorrow and exploring what ...

    Is the customer always right?

    Jessica Pryce-Jones, Chair, iOpener Institute
    This session explores how to manage customer service in an environment that is more demanding and more challenging than ever before. How can retailers cope with the increasing demands placed upon them while at the same time getting employees to help them manage margins? The session provides an o...

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