Next week, we’re hitting the road again—this time to jolly old London Town for 2019’s Retail Week Live. Touted as retail’s “Greatest Think Tank,” this event draws over 300 companies, 20 start-ups, and 150 thought leaders to discuss the importance of innovation in today’s retail economy. This year, the two-day event invites retail professionals from around the world to come together to take part in a jam-packed schedule of workshops, seminars, and keynote presentations targeting six key themes of the retail industry: (1) collaboration and partnerships, (2) people strategy, (3) business models, (4) digital transformation, (5) the role of the store, and (6) the future consumer.
One person excited for this year’s event is our very own Claire Turton, Vice President of Services and Account Management at Bamboo Rose. She’ll be attending Retail Week Live alongside fellow Bamboo Rosers, Andrew Gardner, Senior Director of Sales, and David Auger, Director of Industry Consulting. This week, I had the chance to chat with Claire and get her thoughts on the big show.
Jane: Hi Claire! You, Andrew, and David are heading to Retail Week Live this year. What are you guys most excited about?
Claire: We’re really looking forward to catching up with friends and colleagues from the retail industry, especially those we haven’t seen in a while. And actually, this is the first time the stars have aligned and allowed me to attend, so this event will be a whole new experience for me.
Jane: Why do you think this event is so valuable?
Claire: I think it’s a great chance to talk with a lot of people in the retail community, exchange ideas, and get fresh insight into new focus areas. As a representative of Bamboo Rose—a company entirely focused on retail—I believe it’s even more essential, and my team and I are really excited to come away with some interesting view points.
Jane: A hot topic of discussion among retail professionals is the industry’s future landscape. Personally, what do you think lies ahead for the future of retail?
Claire: That’s a big question! Some elements of retail aren’t changing—customers still want great product at the right price, and quickly. But competition grows as markets combine, and digital selling breaks down previous barriers. Other elements, like customer service and experience, are increasing in importance as well. Retailers capable of pivoting and providing supporting technology to meet these new demands and navigate the change journey will be the ones who thrive. As for start-ups, what these businesses lack in scale, they make up for in agility. Technology is the enabler that will allow these companies to compete in the new retail economy, but only if it supports the entire community across the value chain. We need to be able to work with the same ease and expectations consumers shop with today.
Jane: What sessions are you most looking forward to?
Claire: I’m excited to check out “Sustainability: Your Customers are Paying Attention, and You Should Too.” Retail has a pivotal role to play in the fight for a greener planet, not only in the immediate future, but in the long-term as well. We really need to set an example and lead the way in making changes necessary for environmental sustainability. So I’m curious to hear how today’s retailers find success in influencing and initiating sustainable change within their companies.
Jane: Among all the speakers scheduled to present, which one tops your must-see list?
Claire: No question, it would have to be Anne-Marie Imafidon, MBE. She’s built a career on encouraging young women to explore educational opportunities in math, science, and technology, and she does it in such a selfless way. Through Anne-Marie’s Stemette program, these girls learn to empower themselves and build self-confidence in the process. As a woman who not only loves math, but also happens to work in tech, I think she’s a remarkable role model for any women working in male-dominated industries. I can’t wait to hear what she has to say.
Retail Week Live 2019 takes place March 27th and 28th at London’s O2 InterContinental. You can learn more about what’s in store for the big event by visiting http://live.retail-week.com.
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