Retail Week Live 2021 is nearly upon us, taking place at Magazine London on October 13 – 14. It has always been the stand out event in the retail calendar but after missing 2020 owing to Covid, this conference is probably the most important ever for the industry.
Because as we know, in the last eighteen months, seismic changes have been occurring in retail, primarily forced on the sector due to the ravages of the pandemic. But retail is nothing if not robust and as with most things in life, it is always the strongest who will survive and sadly, the weaker struggle to keep their heads above water.
This has been made more acute than ever, however it’s not simply the global pandemic which has had, and continues to have, a profound effect on the sector.
Leaving the European Union, pressure on supply chains, rising costs, attracting and retaining the right skills, climate change, business rates, just to mention a few, are all taking their toll. Never before has it been as important to come together, learn from each other, share knowledge and experiences and to collaborate.
Amongst the speakers this year are Tesco CEO Ken Murphy and his counterpart at The Co-op, Steve Murrells. Senior leaders from the likes of Ikea, Kingfisher, eBay, The Very Group, Asda, ASOS and Superdry also feature in the speaker line-up.
The agenda for this year is equally compelling. Headlined, ‘Retail Evolved: Thriving In A Digital World’, Retail Week Live is framed around five winning strategies compiled as a result of in-depth research:
- Brand relevance and evolution
- Agility and partnerships
- Innovation and investment
- Culture and purpose
As would be expected, digital innovation features in many of the sessions, although sustainability is also high on the agenda. But those aren’t the only key themes; delivery, diversity, social mobility and the future of the high street are all represented.
However, Retail Week Live is not just a conference, it’s interactive with pop-ups, experiences, tech tours and live meets and of course there’s always the first night party!
But perhaps one of the most significant events at the conference is Discovery 2021 involving 50 of the most disruptive retail tech start-ups around, showcasing their game-changing solutions to retailers who are looking to find the next big tech trend that could revolutionise retail. Watch that space!
Retail Week Live is an opportunity for the industry to come together for the first time in nearly two years and as such has great significance. Retail Reflections will be there to bring all the latest news and highlights from the conference. It promises to be an exciting two days.