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The 2023 Programme

08.45 - 09.15


09.15 - 09.25

Chair’s welcome address

Darren Williams, Global Head of Leasing, Impress

09.25 - 09.50

Keynote Address: ‘Blended omnichannel retail’ - future retail predictions and trends

The future retail environment is hugely unpredictable and consequently extremely difficult to navigate. Our keynote speaker will outline how the retail industry is performing and analyse which retailers are seeing great wins and why?

  • How is the cost-of-living crisis impacting retailers and their customers?
  • Strategies to manage costs and inflationary pressures
  • What will impact retail in the next five years?
  • Sustainability - building a meaningful omnichannel business

Loek Berendsen, Global Strategic Advisor - Digital Customer Experiences Stores, IKEA

09.50 - 10.30
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Retail Showcase Panel: A roadmap to building a cohesive customer centric and profitable omnichannel strategy

Brands are increasingly expected to have a considered omnichannel strategy in order to attract investment and customers. Without an integrated approach to physical, digital, and mobile, retailers will struggle to find long-term business profitability.

  • Listening to the needs of your customers and working to accommodate a changing retail landscape
  • Continually evolving your omnichannel offering - to create efficiencies and seamless experiences from in-store to online
  • Why physical stores are an important part of retail transformation strategy - driving profit with in-store experiences
  • How technology is facilitating, enabling, and driving omnichannel innovation
  • Growing a powerhouse omnichannel brand, while maintaining a challenger mindset
  • Should retailers shut their stores and consider becoming a pureplay?

James Gentile, Solutions Manager, Exponential-e

Bunty Stokes, Consultant Managing Director, Asquith

Graham Johnston, Retail & Distribution CEO, Donaldson Group

Loek Berendsen, Global Strategic Advisor - Digital Customer Experiences Stores, IKEA

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10:30 - 10:55

Morning coffee and networking break

10.55 - 11.50
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Retail Spotlight Panel: Omnichannel retail - opening more doors with online marketplaces

The digital marketplace is now an important part of omnichannel retail, as it provides an additional channel to market and sell retail products. This session will provide an overview of marketplace strategy with a focus on the challenges retailers are facing as they expand into this new selling channel.

  • Online marketplaces - what are the best platforms for selling your products?
  • Obtaining the right tools for the right market
  • What are the priorities to make the right marketplace investment decisions for:
    • international growth
    • scaling up
    • luxury retail

Jessica Christenson, Regional Vice President - UK & Ireland, Mirakl

Ayaz Rafael Ibrahimov, Co-Founder, Sellier

Moses Rashid, Founder & CEO, The Edit LDN

Dan Saunders, Head of Performance Marketing, Evergreen Finance & former Pure Play eCommerce Manager, Stanley Black & Decker

Nick King, Market Research & Insight Director, Auto Trader

Neil Tunbridge, eCommerce & Marketplace Consultant & Co-founder,

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11.50 - 12.30
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Retail Mega Panel: Digital transformation - why a digital-first strategy will allow you to meet growing customer demand

Digital transformation brings together a retailers’ online, data and digital capabilities - remodelling their internal and external processes to keep up and enable trading at a faster pace, with range and availability, adapted to the online model.

  • Creating more of a one-stop-shop experience online for your customers
  • Limitations of eCommerce - are there still barriers to purchasing online?
  • Improving online retail experiences with new tools to alleviate customer digital dissatisfaction
  • The use of digital tools to help create enjoyable customer experiences
  • Optimising your eCommerce - boost revenue and spend less
  • The need to transform the technology behind your eCommerce platform - significantly improve customer experience
  • Delivering a brilliant digital customer experience more important than ever in today’s competitive retail environment
  • What effect will the expanding metaverse have upon the wider eCommerce industry and the ways brands operate?

Janis Thomas, eCommerce & Marketing Director, Look Fabulous Forever

Gareth Jones, Head of eCommerce, Pour Moi

Geoff Bull, Chief Marketing Officer, Swyft

James Coughlan, Digital Transformation Strategist; former Managing Director - Digital, HMV (2013-2016)

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12:30 - 13:20

Lunch and networking break

13.20 - 14.00
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Retail Focus Panel: Can retail deliver on ‘store of the future’ - the challenges and opportunities in moving beyond bricks and mortar

This session will explore how the store of the future will go beyond retail and be a hybrid, flexible, experiential space that keeps local communities coming back for more. Retailers are now using their physical spaces to merge retail with research, product development and production - hear how retailers are using their in-store tech to create a more informed and engaged customer.

  • AI tools - elevating the experience for customers to be modern and seamless and delivers a modern, seamless experience fit for the high street of today
  • Utilising technology to enhance the customer experience - providing shoppers with the opportunity to touch, feel and engage with your products
  • The use of immersive experiential activations, to concept stores and pop-up installations
  • Emphasis on the store - what it can really bring in terms of operational efficiency, customer engagement, and upselling?
  • How to make the high street store presence ‘fit for the future’
  • The role of the ‘flagship store’ - a place where customers can browse and shop the entire collection with ease
  • The power of physical retail and the importance of the physical retail experience in engaging shoppers

Tony Brown, CEO, BodyCare Stores &, Beales Department Store
Luke Phillips, Programme Director, Studio Retail
Lee Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Worldline Merchant Services UK Limited
Charlotte Rees-John, Head of Consumer Goods & Services, Irwin Mitchell

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14:00 - 14:40
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Retail Spotlight Panel: Dawn of the ‘phygital’ experience - a seamless connection between online and offline, digital, and physical

The most successful retailers are those that connect with consumers in new ways by leaning in on their digital, omnichannel, and in-store technology ambitions. Therefore, it is critical that retail’s online offer is complemented by conveniently located stores, providing the best-in-class customer experience and service - does giving customers unparalleled choice give brands increased visibility over their inventory and channels to market?

  • To what extent could the metaverse bridge the gap between physical and digital shopping experiences?
  • Analysing the shift towards blending online to offline
  • Thinking holistically about the entire customer experience
  • Bridging the gap between the myriad of touchpoints that exist in the complex shopper landscape
  • Should we ban the word ‘channel’ and instead think customer?
  • Recognising that online and offline can work together and complement each other
  • A truly omnichannel offer - is DTC dead?
  • Changing the way retail connects with their customers – time to reshape how retail brands gain recognition and presence

Chris Delahunty, Head of Digital Marketing, 3rd Rock

David Kohn, eCommerce Investor & Advisor; former Customer & eCommerce Director, Heal's

David Gardiner, former Head of Back Office,

Joseph Robert O'Donnell, Marketing Manager, Bella Freud
Angeliki Galanopoulou, Industry Manager - Retail UK, Google

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14:40 - 15:00

Afternoon coffee and networking break

15:00 - 15:40
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Retail Perspectives Panel: Putting customers at the heart of the omnichannel journey - enhancing engagement with new experiences

Changes to customer behaviour is playing a big part in omnichannel retail and experience is now influencing how customers shop. With retailers needing to keep pace of rapidly changing customer expectations around omnichannel experiences, how can existing technologies be expanded to improve customer experience and engage consumers across the retail journey?

  • The importance to cater to Millennials - engaging with shopping apps and personalised mobile communication
  • Redefining brand experiences
  • Creating opportunities for engagement when customers return an item to the store - how to sell something else in its place
  • Improving the speed, convenience, and consistency of your delivery, including in-store

Krisi Smith, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Bird & Blend Tea Co

Jim Edwards, Digital Innovation Lead EMEA, Kimberly-Clark

Octavia Benham, Head of eCommerce, Dreams

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15:40 - 16:20
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Retail Insight Panel: Empowering in-store staff to deliver omnichannel experiences

Considering the entire experience of the customer, across all retail channels is key - how can retail businesses inspire and lead their teams to understand the entire journey?

  • Ensuring leadership is empowering decision making around omnichannel strategy
  • How can the brand’s people help shape future omnichannel success
  • How have customers and store staff reacted to current omnichannel changes
  • Getting your internal teams to work together and collaborate to provide a seamless digitised in store experience
  • The use of POS systems to enable staff to help customers shop online and arrange for products to be delivered directly to their doorstep

Rowland Gee, Chairman of The Board, Cell Workout Athleisure

Vishal Talreja, Property Director, Itsu

Tim Stevens, Head of Logistics, Women's Best

Linda Campbell, former Global Retail Director, The Body Shop

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Chair's closing summary

Venue & Contact

The Hallam Conference Centre W1W 6JJ

22 March 2023


For retail speaker opportunities:

Claire Knott
T: 01276 489626

For sponsorship and non retailer speaker opportunities:

Karen Howard
T: 01276 489626 M:07725414385

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