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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 Emma Doniger

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 :

Take part in the programme

If you would like to participate in the programme or recommend any speakers or topics please email Emma Doniger or call her on +44 (0) 7740 486428
2018 Keynote
2018 Keynote
  • Opening Address Speaker

    Lord Mark Price
    Mark Price joined the UK government as the Minister of State for Trade and Investment at the invitation of David Cameron in April 2016.

    He was made a life peer in February 2016 to become The Lord Price CVO and Baron Price of Sturminster Newton. Mark was reappointed by Theresa May to her post-Brexit Government, with specific responsibility for negotiating the UKs future trade deals.

    Dubbed 'one of the nation's favourite businessmen' by the Independent, Mark began his career at The John Lewis Partnership as a Graduate Trainee and remained with the company for 33 years. Mark was Managing Director of Waitrose for the preceding 9 years, and Deputy Chairman of The John Lewis Partnership for 3 years. From 2010 - 2016, he was the founding Chairman of The Prince's Countryside Fund for HRH The Prince of Wales. In 2011 Mark was appointed as Chairman of Business in the Community, a position he held for 4 years.

    Mark joined the Channel 4 TV board in 2010 as a Non-Executive Director. In 2013 he was appointed Deputy Chairman. He stepped down from the role in April 2016 when he joined the UK Government.

After dinner entertainment
After dinner entertainment
  • 2018 After Dinner Entertainment

    Phil Tufnell

    Affectionately known throughout the world as ‘The Cat’, Phil Tufnell has entertained many television and sporting crowds over the years. During recent times, Phil has been able to combine his cricketing expertise with his mischievous and laddish reputation as a much-loved television and radio presenter.

    • Nicknamed ‘The Cat’
    • Played for England 42 times
    • Has presented The One Show and is a team captain on A Question of Sport.
    • Has appeared on TV shows Strictly Come Dancing, I’m a Celebrity get me out of here and The Jump.

    Before this, we must not forget that Phil was a top level International cricketer who played for England 42 times and was responsible on several occasions for winning matches for England with his cunning spin bowling.

    Now, of course, he is seen and heard on TV and radio respectively. Phil’s current roles include being regular captain on BBC’s ‘A Question of Sport’ as well as a presenter on ‘The One Show’. In addition, Phil Tufnell can be heard on the airwaves with ‘The Tuffers and Vaughan Cricket Show’ and his regular commentary on Test Match Special.

    In addition to this, Phil was crowned King of the Jungle in ‘I’m a Celebrity get me out of Here’ and in February 2015 donned his ski attire on Channel4 programme ‘The Jump’.

    Phil will bring this year’s event to a close with a Q&A session combining his sporting and media experiences with many wonderful stories and anecdotes.


2017 Conference Programme
2017 Conference Programme
  • VR: hype or reality?

    Adam Simon, Managing Director, Context

    In this interactive workshop you will:

    • Discover why virtual reality is one of the next big things for retail
    • Learn more about what VR is and how retailers are using it
    • Get ideas as to how VR can be used in your own ...

    Making the back bit work: the retail supply chain

    Ian Gilmartin, Head of Retail & Wholesale, Corporate Banking, Barclays

    In this interactive workshop you will:
    • Hear about how change at the front end of retail is disrupting the supply chain
    • See how important the supply chain is in creating an engaging retail experience
    • Understand the issues...


    Tying the threads: bringing together stores and online

    In this interactive workshop you will:
    • Learn why looking at online and stores separately is damaging
    • Discover the latest tools and tricks for assessing how people shop across channels
    • See case studies of retailers successfully operating across channel
    • Identify common...

  • From fantasy to reality: new technologies that will shape retail

    INNOVATION ZONE - Powered by True Start
    • Hear from, see, touch some of the new technologies that will shape retail
    • See how retailers are making the best use of these technologies
    • Understand how technology solving the retail problems and issues
    • Connect with key retail technology innovators
    • Understand how to drive technology innovation for your retail business

    Keeping retail space and places relevant

    Mark Bruce, Retail Director, Meadowhall

    In this workshop session  you’ll learn:
    • The impact online is having on traditional spaces of retail
    • How places need to react and respond to remain relevant
    • What new innovations and thinking can be deployed to keep customers engaged
    • How online and offline can work together for success
    • How the future of physical retail spaces is likely to evolve



  • Loyalty; what’s the trick

    Martin Squires, Global Lead, Customer, Intelligence & Data, Walgreen Boots Alliance

    In this interactive workshop you will:
    • Identify weaknesses in traditional loyalty programs
    • Understand how to create genuine loyalty among consumers
    • See the impact of new and old ways of generating loyalty


    It’s the economy stupid: the outlook for retail and consumers

    Simon French, Chief Economist, Panmure
    In this interactive workshop you will:
    • Find out the key forecasts and predictions for the UK and global economy
    • Understand what’s driving economic change and how it will impact retail
    • Pinpoint the threats and opportu...

  • New kid on the block: how a new retailer can change a market

    Rosie, Wolfenden, Managing Director, Tatty Devine Aron Gelbard, Co-founder & CEO, Bloom & Wild

    In this workshop session you’ll learn:
    • How a new market entrant can disrupt and challenge an existing market
    • The thinking behind forming a new retail business
    • How technology can be used to change a traditio...


    Tear down this wall: removing the barriers to retail growth

    Ed Cooke, CEO, British Council of Shopping Centres

    In this interactive workshop you will:
    • Understand the factors that are preventing retailers from expanding in the UK
    • See the impact that these barriers are having on growth
    • Have the opportunity to discuss the things...

2016 Masterclass Sessions
2016 Masterclass Sessions
  • How to benefit from future technology

    Matt Truman, CEO, True Capital
    This session takes a look at some of the emerging and innovative technologies which have the potential to transform retail and boost performance over the next few years. Including case studies and contributions from technology entrepreneurs, it is a session that offers both practical advice as we...

    Thriving in a multi-channel, multi-platform, multi-device world

    Lee Haslett, eCcommerce Director, Virgin Holidays Ltd

    Richard Houlton, Former Director of Channels, Clarkes International

    Rebecca Kelly, Head of Digital Customer Acquisition, Majestic Wine Warehouses Ltd
    With so many ways to connect with consumers – from buy buttons on social media, to tweet-to-buy, to m-commerce – and with so many different devices across which to engage, there are many emerging challenges for retailers. Which platforms to invest in; how to create a consistent experience; how to...


    Phablets, tablets phones and watches

    Max Macintosh, Agency Head, Google UK
    Mobile is currently one of the fastest grow areas in retail and is likely to remain so for at least the next few years. However, it’s also changing with the introduction of new devices and technologies such as wearables. This session explores the growth of mobile both overall and from the perspec...

  • What’s in store for stores?

    Richard Bonner, Head of Store Development, John Lewis
    With the continued rise of the internet and mobile one of the key challenges for retailers is that the store is increasingly moving from being the place of transaction to a place of inspiration. However, the importance of stores and the invisible role they play in driving overall retail success s...

    How to make progress in a digital world

    Tim Mason, Chairman, Eagle Eye Solutions
    Tim will moderate this session and will seek to answer questions posed by the group such as:- • What’s the difference between multichannel and omnichannel? • Do I need an e commerce business? • Who should my e commerce business report to? • How do I align my staff between my bricks and clic...

    The places and spaces of retail

    Tim Denison, Director Retail Intelligence, Ipsos Retail Performance
    Are the day of physical retail really numbered? While the answer is no, there is no doubt that the way in which we shop, including where we shop, is changing. This session explores how the various place and spaces of retail will fare over the next five or so years: which will thrive and which wil...

  • Retail state of the nation

    Neil Saunders, Managing Director, Conlumino
    With so many things from the economy to technology affecting the sector, retail is now at a crossroads. This presentation takes a look at the current ‘state of the nation’ as far as retail is concerned, assessing the most pressing issues impacting the sector today and tomorrow and exploring what ...

    Is the customer always right?

    Jessica Pryce-Jones, Chair, iOpener Institute
    This session explores how to manage customer service in an environment that is more demanding and more challenging than ever before. How can retailers cope with the increasing demands placed upon them while at the same time getting employees to help them manage margins? The session provides an o...

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