Retail Week Day 1

Retail Week Live Day 1
Day 1 of the greatest retail gathering on the calendar did not disappoint; plenty of insight from the leaders of our industry and thought provoking messages to conjure with.

One thing is clear – none of us really knows what the future holds for retail and more importantly what the connected consumer of the future looks like. This is what makes Retail Week Live so absorbing and fascinating – never has the industry been so dynamic and exciting.

From Seb James to Lord Mandelson to Mike Coupe to Jacqueline Gold, Retail Week served up a veritable cornucopia of distinguished speakers to whet our appetites and fuel our collective thinking. Inspired by all this, what were the main themes emerging from day 1?

We live in an age of the connected consumer but what does this mean? It signals a fundamental shift from traditional thinking and represents, according to Seb James, an asteroid about to hit us. Never before have we been in an age where the power and influence of the consumer has been so great. This is both a threat and an opportunity for retailers. Those who grasp it will reap the rewards whilst those who choose to ignore it will die. It is that simple. This power is challenging the traditional retail business model.

Much is said about digital but few are able to articulate what this means for us as consumers and especially for retail brands. But one thing is clear, a digital future awaits all of us and the opportunity will be how we embrace it in order to better fulfil our lives. Day 1 at the conference demonstrated that retail has a huge part to play in this – just how much only time will tell. If we are to trust retail brands then they must earn the right to connect with us but what they get in return will be invaluable.

Never before has retail been so relevant to all of us; never before has the future been so uncertain.

Andrew Busby is Retail Business Head at Zensar Technologies

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