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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
2015 Keynotes
2015 Keynotes
  • Opening Address - Question Time with Mary Portas

    Mary Portas, Chief Creative Officer at Portas

    Mary Portas, Chief Creative Officer at Portas, retail consultant , television personality and government adviser on the future of the high street in Britain will headline The Retail Forum.
    A huge variety of influences have impressed upon Mary the importance of responsible ...


    After Lunch Keynote

    Peter Fitzgerald, Country Sales Director, Google, UK and Non-Exec Director, Debenhams

    Peter Fitzgerald is the Country Sales Director for Google UK, the biggest market for Google outside the US and the most advanced major country in terms of e-commerce and online advertising spending.

    Peter is also a Non-Executive Director of UK department store Debenhams and President, ...


    After Dinner Speaker

    Austin Healey

    Austin is one of the most highly regarded English rugby players in the modern era. Austin, won 51 caps for England and toured with the Lions in 1997 and 2001.

    Since retiring, Austin first worked as a successful banker for Credit Suisse and has since become a popular presenter on televi...


2015 Masterclass Sessions
2015 Masterclass Sessions
  • Tomorrow’s digital: Keeping connected consumers

    James Roper, Chairman & Founder, IMRG
    Digital connectivity offers town centre stakeholders a wealth of new opportunities to attract, serve, sell to and entertain people. Traders can collaborate to add value and tap new revenue streams. Landlords can leverage their real estate in the Digisphere. Government departments can operate more...

    Omnichannel retail – future touchpoints

    Kristine Kirby, Executive Strategy & Innovation Director, ThoughtWorks

    How will retail be configured in terms of the touchpoints future consumers use during the purchase process? In order to create a successful omnichannel presence what do retailers need to do in the future ? As well as looking at current trends, this presentation takes into account the impact fu...


    Online: the next five years

    Dr Nicola Millard, Head of Customer Insight & Futures, BT Global Innovation team

    Online retail is now big business and it is sill moving rapidly. This presentation explores the shape of the sector today and predicts how it will evolve over the next five years and what this means for retailers. Key themes include exploring how consumers will shop online and via mobile devic...


  • Creating a blueprint for success

    Lindsay Austin, Head of Region, Marks & Spencer

    How does a multi-format, multichannel retailer create a blueprint for customer service that empowers and engages staff at all levels so that they can deliver a great customer experience? This session will explore how the vision is set, how it is communicated and the practical steps that are ta...


    The principles of great service and experience

    Jane Leadbetter, Learning and Development Manager, McArthurGlen Group

    Great customer service is important for retail businesses, and yet it is often overlooked as a crucial area for employee development. So can investment in customer service impact your revenue? This workshop shares case study experiences on creating a service culture that increases sales and en...


    Empowering teams through technology

    Anna Barsby, CIO, & Katrina Jamieson, Digital Director, Halfords

    As new technology develops how will the role of front line retail staff change? This workshop will examine the types of new technology staff will have at their disposal and how they can use them to create a better retail experience for customers. Case study examples will be highlighted along w...


  • What consumers want

    Maureen Hinton, Group Research Director, Global Retail, Conlumino

    In order to create a great personalised experience retailers must first have a solid understanding of how their customers behave and what they want. This presentation explores not only what customers of today require but also examines how this will change over the next five years and what this...


    Segmenting shoppers workshop

    Vicky Brock, CEO, Clear Returns

    Do you target your consumers effectively? Segmenting your shoppers can generate significant increases in sales.  This workshop will offer you practical advice on how to segment your shoppers, it will show you the process used, the output generated, and also explains how segmentation can b...


    The customer and the new retail paradigm

    Fiona Davis, Managing Director, The Brand Inspiration Co Jane Rome, Managing Director, Insight Strategy Ltd
    What does it mean to think like a customer when I’m back in my retailer’s shoes? This highly interactive session will make YOU the customer. Through a series of case studies and debates, we look at how retailers must clarify their messages and make their proposition easily and meaningfully unde...

  • You’re being disrupted”- the e commerce business models of the future

    Matt Truman, Co Founder & CEO, True Capital
    In this dynamic session Matt will bring together what he sees in retail innovation in the fast changing grass roots ecosystem, and at growth level. Why this session is valuable to you?

    Key takeouts: • Real life examples of the business models coming through at grass roots that will...


    International expansion

    Martin Newman, CEO, Practicology
    International expansion continues to represent a significant opportunity for top-line multichannel growth beyond a UK-retailer’s maturing home market. For any newcomer to overseas growth there is much to consider: where to go first, what model to use, understanding the barriers to entry, ident...

    The social listener – brand engagement through mobile channels?

    Euan Semple, Social Media Expert

    "No, consu...


  • IMRG

    James Roper, Chairman & Founder, IMRG
    For over 20 years, IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) has been the voice of e-retail in the UK. We are a membership community comprising businesses of all sizes – multichannel and pureplay, SME and multinational, and solution providers to industry. We support our members through a range...

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...


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