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Brief Published: 23 Apr 2019

Retail Expo 2019: Preview


The annual Retail Expo returns to London next week (May 1-2, Olympia), delivering a holistic view of tomorrow's retail landscape. Featuring tech, design and digital signage zones, as well as speakers from retail, finance, hospitality, academia and beyond, it promises a wealth of innovation and strategic thought-leadership. We list our pick of the presentations.

  • Myth-Busting Demographics: The event promises illuminating sessions on avoiding the pitfalls of preconceptions. Business expert and TV reporter Kate Hardcastle will confront consumer myths, revealing how to put Gen Z and millennials at the heart of your business. Meanwhile in Dynamic Youth, Stylus' own head of Retail, Katie Baron, will take a deep dive into Gen Z – explaining how they're sidestepping traditional media, swarming to side hustles and seeking support, along with the key opportunities for brands to unlock.
  • Eco-Ethical Commerce: An increasingly sustainably minded public means a more responsible outlook is now a universal business imperative. Panellists Thomas Berry, director of sustainable business at luxury multi-brand fashion e-tailer Farfetch, H&M's sustainability manager Giorgina Waltier and Peter Andrews, head of sustainability policy at the British Retail Consortium, will be addressing climate change, emissions, waste and more.

    Garry Wells, lead store design buyer at British natural cosmetics brand Lush, will explore sustainability through creative store design. Look out for our upcoming Macro Trend Towards Our Sustainable Future, publishing on June 6 2019, for more on tackling this challenge.
  • Experiential is the Answer: Recognising that experiential retail can forge valuable consumer connections, several speakers will focus on the booming appetite for bespoke brand experiences. Google's head of creative strategy, Amy Brown, will explore the cultural trends driving this growth, as well as her work on Google Curiosity Rooms (see The Brief for more).

    With sports stores proving to be an especially fertile ground for such experiential retail rides (see Retail's Spirit of Adventure), look to Adidas's HR director Julie Steinhoff. She'll be discussing the increasing importance of trial over or alongside transaction, and how other sectors can harness the passion of sport.

Full coverage of the event publishes on May 9 2019.