Retail Week Live 2015: Sessions You Must Attend

Retail Week Live 2015

The retail event in the calendar is nearly upon us. This year it takes place once again over 2 days in London March 11th and 12th; here Andrew Busby takes his pick of the must attend sessions at Retail Week Live 2015.

  • “The Retail Week Live Opening Speech”


Unlike many of his peers, Sebastian James is both eloquent and entertaining and that’s reason enough to be sure to get your seat at the opening keynote. But more than this, he heads an exciting organisation which through the merging of Dixons and Carphone is creating a business which may become the blueprint for the future of retailing. If you want to know how to create a retail business for the digital age then this is a must attend session.

When: Day 1 Wednesday 11th 09:00 – 09:30 Track: Main

  • “Living in a selfie world: how far will the connected consumer go?”


Social, or more especially the impact and influence of social media on today’s retail landscape is still overlooked to an extent by many. In most retail businesses, social performs as an adjunct to the business, bolted onto the Marketing Department in order to listen out for and respond to customer complaints. This is but scraping the surface of something which will become central to a retailer’s brand engagement with their customers. A connected consumer is one who will exert a power and influence over a brand previously unheard of and in a world where over 75% of all phones sold is now a smartphone and 4G, wi-fi in store become readily available anywhere, the consumer will at all times have the ability to shop, engage, discuss, comment, research wherever and whenever they like. This has far reaching consequences for retail brands which should not be ignored.

When: Day 1 Wednesday 11th 14:14 – 14:45 Track: The Consumer

  • “Delivering exceptional results through exceptional store experiences”


Consumer expectations of the experience they wish to get from retailers and the actual reality are very much far apart; this is a central issue for retail right now: how to engage – and therefore drive loyalty – with our customers? Digital is not just about online and mobile, it should be central to the store experience – kiosks, interactive mirrors, RFID, mobile, iPads – if used in an elegant way it drives conversion, customer individualisation and loyalty. As the new normal shows us, moving from a sales led organisation to one which places customer engagement and experience at the heart of everything they do, involves a leap of faith few retailers seem able to make just yet. Understanding the new emerging role the store places at the heart of customer experience is a key element in driving exceptional sales results.

When: Day 2 Thursday 12th 14:55 – 15:25 Track: Your Customer

  • “Closing Keynote: Transformation in the grocery market – causes & consequences”


The grocery sector never seems to be out of the media spotlight just now; much of the seismic change we are currently witnessing being driven by us, the consumer. We expect cheap food, perfect looking fruit and vegetables, convenience from point of purchase to fulfilment, availability 24×7, greater ranges……the list goes on. Is the current model sustainable? With Ocado posting a profit do we have reason to be more optimistic? Either way there are important lessons to be learnt from the upheaval affecting the grocers, not least of which the impact of price and brand engagement on sales. As Mike Coupe establishes himself in the top job at Sainsbury’s this promises to be a fascinating insight and closing session to the conference.

When: Day 2 Thursday 12th 16:50 – 17:20 Track: Main


Andrew Busby is Retail Business Head at Zensar Retail


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