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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 Charlotte Benton-Hughes.

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 : http://www.cpduk.co.uk

Take part in the programme

If you would like to participate in the programme or recommend any speakers or topics please email Charlotte Benton Hughes or call her on +44 (0) 20 8487 2225
2014 Keynotes
2014 Keynotes
  • Opening Address -Preparing town centres and high streets for the 21st Century

    Bill Grimsey, Retail Turnaround Specialist

    In recent years we have witnessed the collision of the worst economic conditions in living memory with a major shift in consumer buying habits driven by technology and multi channel retailing. This has resulted in major structural changes to the retail landscape and challenged retailers  both big and small to adapt their propositions to stay ahead of the pack. On the basis we cannot know where we are today or where we might need to be in 2013 without learning lessons from the past the opening address will set the scene by:

    • Examining the innovations of the last 45 years that changed the structure of the retail industry
    • Understanding what led to retail winners and losers over this period
    • Outlining the issues facing the sector today
    • Imagining the impact of technology on the sector in ten years time
    • Setting out a series of actions required by Government, retailers and suppliers to prepare the high street for the 21st Century

    Bill Grimsey, former CEO of Wickes, Focus DIY and The Big Food Group will be opening The Retail Forum.  Bill has recently published a review of the UK high street to all political parties stating that British high streets have been poorly served by  the government and Mary Portas who led a review of the high street nearly two years ago.


    After Lunch Keynote - Looking after the guys who pay our wages

    Joe McEwan, innocent
    Joe tells the inspiring story of the innocent brand from West London start up fourteen years ago to its position as number one smoothie brand in Europe today, demonstrating that a willingness to communicate openly and naturally with consumers at every touch point is key to building an engaged community of consumers. He brings to life the many ways innocent has placed consumers firmly at the heart of the business, showing how the brand's ability to engage with consumers across social media and traditional communication channels drives business strategy and success for the brand.

    Joe has dedicated all of his time to building a thriving two way relationship with innocent’s community of consumers. He will be talking about how innocent is one of the few brands who really understands how to engage with its consumers

2014 Industry Sessions
2014 Industry Sessions
  • The post austerity shopper

    Neil Saunders, Managing Director, Conlumino
    With the economy now picking up, attention has now turned to how consumers behave as the recovery gathers pace. Will the trends established during the downturn, like trading down and the rise of pound-shops, dissipate? We look at emerging and future behaviour patterns and assess what this means f...

    The global marketplace

    David McCorquodale, UK Head of Retail, KPMG
    With growth in most mature, developed markets becoming increasingly sluggish many retailers are looking overseas to the emerging economies. However, one of the biggest issues faced by those who expand is understanding the needs and habits of consumers and adapting propositions and offers accordin...

    The silver pound

    Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer & Business Insight UK, Nielsen
    The next ten years will see an explosion in terms of the amount of retail spend made by the over 50 demographic. This presentation explores the size and scale of the opportunity as well as examining what retailers will need to do to secure a slice of this spend. The nature, habits and demands of ...

  • Destination of the future - Out with the old; in with the new

    Mark Teale, Director - Head of Retail Research, CBRE Ltd | Retail

    Are the days of bricks and mortar shopping really numbered? Will we all shop online in the future; will everything be delivered to our homes? The answer is clearly ‘no’. However, it is evident that the growth of multi-channel retailing is still having a major impact on  proper...


    Gen Z: How to design retail for the constant state of partial attention

    Aaron Shields, Strategic Planning Director, FITCH
    Following an international study on 14-19 year olds in Europe, Russia and China, global design consultancy FITCH has identified a ‘Five-point path to purchase’ for Gen Z – the most culturally diverse generation to date and retail’s biggest challenge yet.
    Key take-ou...

    Using technology to engage your customers

    Chris Arnold, Partner & Founder, Creative Orchestra & Comobi2

    Relationships develop everyday via social media and it is imperative you embrace it and use it to your business advantage.  Chris  will explore:

    • Identify what media you should be looking at now
    • Understand what the ‘next big’ technolo...


  • The ten principles behind great customer experience

    Matt Watkinson, customer experience expert and author

    Customers are powerful. They have a loud voice, a wealth of choice and their expectations are higher than ever. This presentation will (re)introduce you to ten principles involving new channels and platforms you can use to make real world improvements to your customers’ experiences and s...


    Inspiring people to achieve retail excellence

    Dennis Reid, Managing Chairman, RPS Global

    The difference a good team makes compared to a poor team can be as much as 30%.  The difference is clarity, focus, attitude and disciplined application. The role of a good leader is to create the environment in which teams can succeed, where poor standards are not tolerated and where peop...


    Economic futures

    Justin Urquhart Stewart, Co-Founder, Seven Investment Management

    This session provides a comprehensive overview of the economic outlook over the next ten years. Covering all key macroeconomic drivers it assesses where the economy is headed, how this will impact on consumers and, ultimately, what it means for retail trading. This is an essential presentation...


2013 Keynotes
2013 Keynotes
  • Opening Address

    Peter Williams, former CEO Selfridges & non exec for ASOS
    Peter Williams has spent over 20 years in a variety of executive and non-executive positions in the retail industry spanning department stores, ecommerce, duty-free, sportswear and mail order.

    For 13 years up to 2004, Peter worked for Selfridges, initially as Chie...


    Jim McCarthy, CEO, Poundland
    Jim McCarthy joined Poundland as Chief Executive in May 2006. Prior to joining Poundland, Jim was Managing Director of J Sainsbury's convenience stores and was a member of the operating, retail and investment boards
    His experience extends to over thirty years in retail including Chief

    Beyond the Horizon

    Monty Halls, Explorer & TV Presenter
    In the uncertainties of the modern world, successful individuals and teams must be adaptable and responsive to change. Drawn from over twenty years of observing people all over the world, explorer and TV presenter Monty Halls will explore the dynamics of the team, the individuals within it a...

2013 Industry Sessions
2013 Industry Sessions
  • Driven by demand: the changing consumer

    Richard Hyman, Adviser to Conlumino Neil Saunders, Managing Director, Conlumino
    Over the past few years consumers have changed extensively. Some of the shifts have been driven by austerity but some, such as the fragmentation of demand and shifting demographics, are more fundamental longer-term changes which are here to stay. This presentation examines how consumers will chan...

    The future of the high street

    Ashley Blake, Director of Retail Portfolio Management, Land Securities Michael Weedon, Deputy CEO & Communications Director, bira

    Over the past year high streets have been an area of extensive debate. While it is true that high streets are changing, it is not true that all high streets are in decline or that there is no future for physical shops. This presentation explores the pressure on high streets and then looks to t...


    Surviving and thriving in a multichannel world

    Peter McKenna, Multichannel Director, Dwell Nadine Sharara, Head of E-Commerce, Thomas Pink
    Over the past few years the retail environment has become far more complicated in terms or routes to market. Successful retailers now need to manage a multitude of channels and touch points. This presentation looks at what these touch points are, how they are changing and what retailers need to d...

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