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Retail London 2011 Roundup Thursday, 7th April 2011Sir Terry Leahy, Glen T. Senk and Andy Bond, standout quotes, facts and figures from the conference.
Nearly 500 retail delegates from across the world gathered at the Park Lane Hilton this week for the first Retail London conference.
Spread over two half days, and with an eclectic mix of speakers, it was a brilliant opportunity to hear from all aspects of the retail industry first hand, as well as witnessing Ruby Wax cross examine every CEO she could get her hands on.
Naturally, the recession and the dour state of the high street was hot on the agenda for all speakers, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Howard Saunders created a visual time line of store openings across the globe he’d witnessed since 2007, and spoke of how brands had been forced to up their game with store design, focusing on the rise of Primark and H&M and their sleek, design led interiors built at the height of the downturn. Citing the recession as an opportunity to improve, Saunders stated “when times are good, we don’t care what we buy, but when the recession hits, we want to reward retailers.”
Saunders touched on the idea of being ‘Anti Big’, with Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters embodying the idea of appearing “creative not corporate.” Their CEO, Glen T Senk, spoke on Tuesday of his companies’ abilities to build a distinctive and “emotional” brand, underpinned by the principle of “wowing the customer” in order to “build the business for the long term.”
Andy Bond, former chairman and CEO of Asda caused a flurry of twitter updates when he announced “the retail recession is ahead of us,” however, he was keen to assert the practical changes retailers need to apply in order to survive the “tough times.” Similarly to Saunders, Bond spoke of the increasingly “empowered” customer, and how vital it is to “follow your passion not your wallet,” in times of economic instability.
And it wasn’t just the CEOs that had fascinating insights into the industry. Here are some of My Retail Media’s favourite quotes from the conference:
- “Worldwide we spend two million years per month on our mobile phones.” Doulla Croft
- “Apple make twice as much money per square foot than any other retailer.” Howard Saunders
- “The next generation of retail is about customisation, personal preference and prediction.” Martin Lindstrom
- Howard Saunders on Pop –Up Shops, “When death is imminent we are interested.”
- “Trust is the rarest commodity in business.” Sir Terry Leahy
All in all a brilliant two days, we can’t wait to hear who Retail London have lined up for 2012, see you there!