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Retail & Consumer

FT Future of Retail Summit

The Changing Role of the Physical Store

London |
Speakers include:
Rachel Shechtman

Rachel Shechtman


Terry  von Bibra

Terry von Bibra

Alibaba Group

Jamie  Murray Wells OBE

Jamie Murray Wells OBE



For UK and European retailers wanting to stay ahead of the game, the 2nd annual FT Future of Retail summit brings iconic global brands and exciting new startups into one lively space to share their thoughts on the future of the shop, and shopping. Translate their insights and analysis into bottom-line impact for your business: more customers, higher sales, increased profits. 

fallback Add to my Calendar 09/19/2017 08:00:0009/19/2017 16:35:00trueFT Future of Retail SummitFor UK and European retailers wanting to stay ahead of the game, the 2nd annual FT Future of Retail summit brings iconic global brands and exciting new startups into one lively space to share their thoughts on the future of the shop, and shopping. Translate their insights and analysis into bottom-line impact for your business: more customers, higher sales, increased profits. FT-Future-of-Retail-Summit411e3fb3880f4424a1e994d75085a337MM/DD/YYYY

2017 Photos

See the 2017 photos here



2016 photos

See the 2016 photos here



Full Overview

The future of the shop: Identity crisis & metamorphosis

These days, with e-tailers offering free delivery, endless choice, very competitive pricing, and painless returns policies - all from the comfort of the living room sofa - what’s the point of going to the shops? It’s a question that, in the face of declining margins and footfall across all markets and in all retail segments - traditional retail CEOs are working very hard to address. The answer lies in interrogating the idea of the physical shop itself: “what is a shop, and what is it for?” Getting the answer to this right, and transforming the physical space accordingly, is key to survival in the bricks and mortar retail world.

There is no doubt that being a physical shop has its advantages, but in order to continue to drive growth alongside (and in partnership with) its virtual online self, the physical store is going through an accelerated metamorphosis. Shops can no longer just sit hopefully on high street. They have to turn themselves into destinations (exciting ones), into places where people with broad knowhow (not just basic product expertise) can be easily accessed. They need to get much better at taking and fulfilling orders. And the physical store itself – through sensor and other technologies - will have to get much, much smarter at figuring out what customers want.

Accomplishing a successful metamorphosis brings with it some painful challenges and difficult decisions. Speakers at the FT Retail Summit will reveal the decisions they are making, and the strategic and operational implications these decisions imply. 


Agenda - 19th Sep

  • 8:00am
    Registration and Networking
  • 9:00am
    Chair’s Scene-setting Remarks

    Mark Vandevelde, Global Retail Correspondent, Financial Times 

  • 9:05am
    Opening Keynote Panel: The Changing Role of the Shop

    These days, with e-tailers offering free delivery, endless choice, very competitive pricing, and painless returns policies - all from the comfort of the living room sofa - what’s the point of going to the shops? It’s a question that, in the face of declining margins and footfall across all markets and in all retail segments - traditional retail CEOs are working very hard to address. The answer lies in interrogating the idea of the physical shop itself: - what is it? and what is it for? Getting the answer to this right, and transforming the thinking about and the physical space itself will be key to survival in the bricks and mortar retail world.

    What does our panel think retailers need to do now to ensure they are ‘physically’ fit for the future?

    Jamie Murray Wells OBE, Industry Head, Retail, Google
    Seth Ellison, EVP and President for Europe, Levis Strauss
    Robbie Feather, Director of Commerical, Argos
    Matt Farrell, Director, Trophaeum
    Moderated by Mark Vandevelde, Global Retail Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 9:50am
    Destination Retail: Creating Value through Store Design

    Whilst the industry is rethinking the role of the physical retail space, Sybarite will explore examples of where sensory, spirited and timeless store design can create long term, sustainable value.

    Simon Mitchell, Co-founder, Sybarite

  • 10:00am
    Transforming industries from Uber to UberEATS: How technology is changing the face of food retail

    Uber’s ridesharing technology has transformed the way our cities move, enabling people in hundreds of cities around the world to press a button and get a ride in minutes. 
    Now with UberEATS, the same technology means local residents in over 100 cities across the globe can get their favourite meals, freshly prepared and conveniently delivered, with a few taps of their smartphone. This simple act is transforming the face of food retail: driving unprecedented growth, creating new economic opportunities and fostering entirely new business models.

    Jambu Palaniappan, Regional General Manager, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, UberEATS

  • 10:20am
    The Future Competition You Might not be Expecting

    The last decade has seen a dramatic shift across many industries into online retail. The next decade promises continued disruption. We think the pendulum is swinging back to physical stores – combining seamlessly with digital technologies to offer omnichannel experiences. Crucially, this means no one player is perfectly positioned today.  Retailers from both sides of the digital and physical divide face a new learning curve – and new competition.

    Nick Harrison, Senior Partner, Oliver Wyman

  • 10:40am
    Fireside chat: Choosing sides: betting big on retail or e-tail?

    Insight from Tej Lalvani, the CEO of Vitabiotics, the UK’s largest vitamin company. Vitabiotics has distribution in every major UK grocery, pharmacy and health store chain. However with fast growing online businesses, Tej shares his thoughts on which side he thinks suppliers’ focus should be on.
    Tej is the latest multi-millionaire investor to enter the Den in the 15th series of the BBC's hit 'pitches to riches' show, Dragon's Den

    In conversation with Mark Vandevelde, Global Retail Correspondent, Financial Times 

  • 11:00am
    Networking tea and coffee break
  • 11:30am
    Talk of the Town: Redefining the Physical Store

    A fireside chat with Rachel Shechtman, founder and CEO of STORY, the New York concept store that's thrown out the old bricks and mortar retail rulebook.

    Rachel Shechtman is a fourth generation retail entrepreneur and is the founder of STORY, a New York based concept store known for its editorial, ever-changing approach to retail. STORY, a business based on the belief that retail held the potential to be about more than the transaction - it could serve as a channel for branded, community-based storytelling. The store takes the point of a magazine, change like a gallery, and sell things like a store, updating its themes, design, and products every 3-8 weeks.

    Rachel has been recognised by the media including Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40, Crain’s Under 40 and most recently was named Ad Age’s 50 Most Creative.

    In conversation with Mark Vandevelde, Global Retail Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 12:00pm
    New Retail: Insights into the Chinese Consumer

    In the next 3 years, Chinese consumers will increase their level of consumption by at the very least the size of the UK economy and over the next five years will roughly equal a market 1.3 times the size of Germany or the UK. As the Chinese consumer population grows, the move into a ‘new retail’ is becoming increasingly evident. Chinese consumers no longer want to purchase items, they want a relationship and an experience with brands, and the successful brands are the ones who partner with the consumer.

    Terry von Bibra, General Manager, Europe, Alibaba 

  • 12:30pm
    Are you keeping up with the competition?

    Using global benchmark data to identify where to focus on profitable growth.

    Benchmarking commercial performance can be tricky and public data can hide more than it reveals. However, just as digital is measurable internally, it is also measurable externally and if you know how to read the data you can establish a solid understanding of how effective you are against your competition, and possibly even more interestingly, against recognised ‘best in class’ performers. James Hammersley’s business curates public comparative online performance data for 'Retail Week' and ‘The Drum’ and he will be sharing how they use it to understand how well their clients are really doing and what it can tell them about where to look for growth.

    James Hammersley, CEO, Good Growth

  • 12:45pm
    Case Study: Augmenting retail: how the relationship with consumers will be impacted by AR

    Consumer behaviours are shifting rapidly with offline and online converging. In her talk, Mikela will explore different ways in which Augmented Reality (AR) will redefine the relationship with the consumers by sharing concrete applications of the technology in the retail sector.


    Mikela Eskenazi, Commercial Director, EMEA, Blippar 


  • 1:00pm
    New Frontiers in Retail Tech

    What will stores look like in 2025? As the lines between digital and physical commerce blur, in-store technologies can help retailers attract shoppers to stores,   analyse their activity, and strengthen relationships with them after purchase. We'll dive into beacons, sensors, robots, AI, virtual reality, and other new tools for retailers that will transform the store experience.
    Zoe Leavitt, CPG and Retail Analyst, CB Insights, US 

  • 1:15pm
    Networking Lunch
  • 2:25pm
    Retail Tech: Startup Spotlight

    Ben Corrigan, Co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer, Pouch
    Jonny Plein, co-founders and Finance Director, Pouch

    Ben Corrigan and Jonny Plein won offers of investment from all five of the millionaire investors in the new series of 'pitches to riches' T.V. show Dragon's Den.

    In conversation with Mark Vandevelde, Global Retail Correspondent, Financial Times 

  • 2:45pm
    Panel: Integrating Shop, online & mobile

    Integrating all platforms to produce the seamless experience the modern shopper wants is central to winning more customers, boosting sales and increasing profits. Our panelists will discuss some of the pitfalls to avoid and lessons they’ve learned along the way – so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes.

    Mairi Fairley, Strategy and Business Development Director, Hobbs
    Rob Hattrell, Vice President, eBay, UK 
    Lara Marrero, Strategy Director & Retail Practice Leader, Gensler 

    Moderated by Sanjay Bailur, Managing Director, AlixPartners

  • 3:25pm
    Lessons in convenience

    Consumers make delivery decisions primarily around three factors – cost, certainty and convenience. So how are retailers - omnichannel and pureplay - adapting their delivery offerings to meet these needs? Doddle shares its experience designing a convenient click & collect delivery service and reveals the consumer traits retailers need to accommodate to improve customer satisfaction and increase loyalty, now and in the future.

    Tim Robinson, CEO, Doddle

  • 3:40pm
    The Retail CEO panel

    Accomplishing a successful metamorphosis brings with it some painful challenges and difficult decisions. Our panel of vanguard retail CEOs will reveal the decisions they are making in the context of the evolving role of the physical shop, and the strategic and operational implications these decisions imply. They will also look at some of the other challenges hurtling over the horizon at them, including commodity prices, changing consumer behaviour, retail tech, and Brexit. 

    Peter Williams, Founder & CEO, Jack Wills
    Oliver Meakin, CEO, Maplin
    Philipp Gajzer, Managing Director, Move Now 
    Ahmed Ismail, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim Ventures

    Moderated by Mark Vandevelde, Global Retail Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 4:30pm
    Closing remarks followed by Drinks Reception

Speakers (23)

Rachel Shechtman

Rachel Shechtman

Founder & CEO

Rachel Schectman has always believed in the power of objects to tell human stories. Stories that connect, inspire and engage. As the founder of NYC concept store STORY, she has created a venue where these stories come to life inside a 2000-square foot space that takes the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery, and sells things like a store. It’s retail as theatre - a living magazine where the objects pique our sense of wonder.

Ms Schectman’s journey to create STORY was informed by a 10-year career as a consultant, founding Cube Ventures as an independent firm that introduced brands like TOMS, Bliss Spas, Kraft Foods, JC Penny, and the CFDA to the power of non-traditional, merchandise-driven storytelling. However, with four generations of retail entrepreneurship in her DNA, she had always flirted with the idea of owning her own store.

In December 2011, she took the leap and opened STORY – a challenge to reinvent and rethink the traditional brick and mortar business model. As she saw it, retail had more to say and brands had the opportunity to reach customers and new ways beyond traditional adverting – but it would require doing everything differently. So STORY invented its own model, “Retail Media” to embrace these observations and opportunities. In place of articles, STORY would curate merchandise and events around a specific conversation as its editorial narrative. And partner brands would serve as sponsors for the experience, benefitting from the exposure and opportunity to experiment, create content and generate awareness in a new format.

Today the ever-changing store has told over 37 unique branded stories, updating its themes to include Color, Well Being, and an annual Home for the Holidays installation. In five years it has successfully partnered with companies including Intel, American Express, Target, Microsoft, and Cigna – each benefitting from Rachel’s special sauce of content, community, and commerce.

STORY’s approach to retail has become a new North Star for the industry and the business has been widely lauded by press including features in the New York Times, Ad Age, and WWD. Rachel has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, Fortune’s 40 Under 40 List, Crains’ 40 Under 40 list, Ad Age’s Most Creative People, and was awarded the FGI Rising Star Award for Retail.

As the business evolves, Ms Schectman’s passion for giving people a space to share their stories remains steadfast. She has become a champion of the creative entrepreneur, whether stocking STORY’s shelves in items from local Makers or inviting a chef to host a cooking class. Rachel serves as a trusted advisor to a number of start-ups including SmartyPants, Birchbox and MikMak and she was recently named to the Board of Directors of the National Retail Federation – its youngest member.

Terry  von Bibra

Terry von Bibra

General Manager, Europe
Alibaba Group

Terry von Bibra was appointed Alibaba Group General Manager Europe in October 2016. He is also managing director of Alibaba Group Germany, a position he has held since November 2015.
He is responsible for helping businesses and consumers across key European markets access the Alibaba ecosystem and brings a wealth of experience in global omnichannel retail, e-commerce and marketing to the role.

Prior to joining Alibaba, Mr von Bibra was chief omnichannel retail officer for German department store chain Karstadt from 2013 to 2015. Between 2005 and 2013, he held multiple roles within Yahoo, including managing director of Yahoo Germany, vice-president of central Europe and marketplaces vice-president for Yahoo EMEA. He previously played a pivotal role in establishing Amazon in Europe, where he led online marketing and business development for more than five years.

He holds a bachelor's degree in Germanic languages and literature from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a fine arts degree in advertising photography from the Art Center College of Design, and an MBA/MBI from the Rotterdam School of Management.

Jamie  Murray Wells OBE

Jamie Murray Wells OBE

Industry Head, Retail

Jamie Murray Wells OBE is Industry Head, Retail, at Google, leading a team that looks at store, web, mobile and marketing experiences of the future. They support UK retailers on best practice, and close the loop to Google product teams on feedback from the industry. Prior to Google, Mr Murray Wells founded and lead Glasses Direct for 10 years, during which it became Europe’s largest online glasses retailer. He served as an advisor for 3 years on the Shadow Chancellor's New Enterprise Council from 2007-2010, after which he co-founded entrepreneurship campaigning organisation StartUp Britain at No.10 Downing Street, which was announced in the Chancellor’s 2011 budget speech, personally launched by the Prime Minister, and is still active today. In 2009 Jamie received the Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion. He was appointed OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2015.

Sanjay Bailur

Sanjay Bailur

Managing Director

Sanjay Bailur co-leads the EMEA Retail and Consumer Products practices for AlixPartners. With over 27 years of experience in helping both healthy and under-performing companies, he has helped clients to improve profitability and cash flow, both in an advisory and in an interim management role.

His expertise covers the spectrum from strategic problem solving through to operational implementation, working with multichannel retailers to drive EBITDA and cash flow using a wide range of levers including revenue growth (pricing, range optimisation, channel optimisation) as well as cost reduction (SG&A, buying, supply chain) and working capital improvements. He has deep experience in working with large global corporates as well as private equity portfolio companies, particularly in developing value creation plans and full potential programmes. He is a frequent speaker on the key issues facing the retail industry.

He holds a BSc(Econ) honours degree in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics from the London School of Economics and an MBA from the London Business School.

Seth Ellison

Seth Ellison

Executive Vice President and President, Europe
Levi Strauss and Co
Mikela  Eskanazi

Mikela Eskanazi

Commercial Director EMEA

Mikela is a marketing leader and Augmented Reality (AR) expert, building high profile campaigns in partnership with some of the world’s largest consumer and retail businesses. She is currently Commercial Director EMEA at Blippar, the leading Augmented Reality and Computer Vision platform and consistently recognised as one of the UK’s top technology companies.

At Blippar, she leads a team which works closely with consumer brands, retailers and agencies, including Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, COTY and WPP. Using Blippar’s cutting edge platform, they create interfaces between the virtual and real worlds to boost clients’ bottom line.

Mikela’s work with clients has been recognised as ground-breaking, including being referred to as “true innovation and revolution in retail” by the Marketing Week, together with coverage in The Retail Times and Huffington Post. Her work in the cosmetics category with COTY has been awarded “Best campaign of the year” by the Drum Marketing Awards. She has also been recognised as one of the top female digital marketing leaders in the UK (a “digital maverick”) by Campaign.

Mikela started her career in banking, but soon discovered a passion for technology and start-ups. She explored this through a role in a Singapore-based boutique strategy consultancy, advising technology start-ups on growth strategies. She joined Blippar in 2012 to launch the Turkey office, and played a key role in the company’s international expansion, holding a series of senior commercial and business development roles.

She is passionate about technology, and the role that women can play in the sector. An experienced speaker and panel member, she gave her first TEDx talk on the subject of the “Future of Mobile and Mobility”. Mikela was the first Ambassador of @LevoLeague (a career support platform for Gen-Y women) in Europe, and works closely with “GeekGirlsUK” and other associations to encourage more women to join the technology industry.

Matt Farrell

Matt Farrell


Matt Farrell is Director at Trophaeum, a retail-focussed Landlord in Central London. He overseas the retail portfolios of Albemarle Street and St John’s Wood High Street, a position he has held since August 2015. Mr Farrell is responsible for the Albemarle Street strategy as an emerging retail location, and re-establishing St John’s Wood High Street as a vibrant lifestyle destination whilst retaining the area’s inherent charm. His knowledge and expertise is vital in bringing in key brands to ensure a strong mix of occupiers at each destination.
He studied Real Estate at University in Glasgow went on to work at Invista Real Estate. Subsequent to that, he acquired a wealth of experience during five years at Grosvenor, working on their Mayfair retail assets including the regeneration of Mount Street.

Robbie Feather

Robbie Feather

Commercial Director

Robbie Feather joined Sainsbury’s in 2011, after two years as Buying Director for Electricals at John Lewis. After managing Sainsbury’s general merchandise and entertainment business he was appointed Director of Online at Sainsbury’s. He also has extensive experience in growing and leading SME businesses, including Feather and Black beds. In September 2016 Robbie joined the Argos Board as Commercial Director, playing a leading role in the integration of the businesses with Sainsbury's and delivering the Argos digital transformation.

Philipp Gajzer

Philipp Gajzer

Managing Director
Move Now Luxury Brokers & Advisors

Philipp Gajzer is Managing Director of Move Now Luxury Brokers & Advisors and Managing Director of Move Now Commercial Brokers a German based company that provides transaction services for luxury retail real estate and advises some of the top players in the luxury market.

After studying Medicine and Law in Frankfurt and Heidelberg Universities, Mr Gajzer co-founded the company in 2003 and led its international growth, with the company currently operating in Europe, Asia and US, procuring only in premium locations such as Avenue Montaigne in Paris, Bond Street in London, Canton Road in Hong Kong, Nanjing Xi Lu in Shanghai and Madison Avenue in New York. He works with the world’s most prestigious luxury brands, including Giorgio Armani, Bottega Veneta, Jimmy Choo, Harry Winston, Loro Piana and Prada.

James Hammersley

James Hammersley

Good Growth

James founded Good Growth and is co-author of the book ‘Leading Digital Strategy’.  James is responsible for ensuring all clients grow their businesses through working with Good Growth.  James has expertise across Digital Strategy, CRM and CRO and has had the privilege of working with some of the largest and most successful UK and global brands.  He holds a finance and management first degree and went to the University of Cambridge to complete a postgraduate course in management.  

Oliver Meakin

Oliver Meakin

Maplin Electronics

Oliver Meakin has been CEO of Maplin Electronics since June 2015, having joined as Commercial Director in July 2012. Prior to that, Oliver ran Miller & Carter Steakhouse restaurant chain for Mitchell’s & Butlers as Brand Operations Director, also launching a Pan-Asian casual dining brand called TUK CHO (from December 2010 to July 2012). And before that, he was Strategy, Business Development & Business Systems Director at Somerfield supermarkets (from May 2006 – May 2009).

Oliver started his career at Bain & Company, management consultants, focusing on Retail & Consumer clients and supporting Private Equity companies with Commercial Due Diligence and post-merger integration. He was at Bain from September 1998 – May 2006.

Jambu Palaniappan

Jambu Palaniappan

Regional General Manager, Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Jambu Palaniappan is the Regional General Manager for UberEATS in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He oversees market strategy, expansion and operations for UberEATS and is currently focused on launching the business in new cities across the region.

Previously Jambu was the Regional General Manager for Uber in the Middle East, Africa and Central Eastern Europe. In this role, Jambu oversaw the rides business in over 25 countries in the region. He joined Uber in the summer of 2012 and has been a key part of Uber's growth into almost 350 cities across 60+ countries worldwide. Jambu grew up in Silicon Valley and studied Public Policy and Economics at Vanderbilt University, before going on to work in corporate development in the tech industry.

Tim Robinson

Tim Robinson


Tim Robinson founded Doddle in March 2014 while still serving as the Managing Director, Sussex, for Network Rail. Since then, Doddle has opened more than 80 parcel stores for consumers to collect and return their online shopping, gaining the company a NPS of 82. Prior to joining Network Rail, Mr Robinson spent 10 years in executive roles spanning the UK rail freight sector for Global Infrastructure Solutions, the English, Welsh and Scottish Railway and GB Railfreight.

Peter Williams

Peter Williams

Founder and CEO
Jack Wills

Peter Williams established Jack Wills in 1999, as a single shop in the seaside town of Salcombe, Jack Wills has since expanded to become an international brand with 90 stores (and counting) across the globe, including those in the UK, US, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Middle East, and currently shipping to 130 countries worldwide via

Jack Wills is a British fashion and lifestyle brand that has always believed in creating premium clothing and accessories for people who appreciate design, quality and attention to detail. It’s known for heritage inspired classics with a contemporary twist and is proud to fly the flag for Britain around the world, whether through a collaboration with a Yorkshire mill or the Jack Wills Seasonnaires’ summer on the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Authenticity, honesty and irreverence are just three of the qualities woven into the ‘Fabric of Jack’ and this company ethos has stood fast for 18 years.

Peter Williams founded Jack Wills at the age of 23, having graduated from UCL with a degree in economics. He returned to the position of CEO in August 2015, having stepped away in 2012, and has since orchestrated a buy-out with BlueGem, owner of the iconic Liberty brand and department store in London, driving forward the reinvigoration of the Jack Wills brand.

Jonny  Plein

Jonny Plein

Co-founder and Finance Director

Jonny Plein ran a social enterprise whilst at University where he ran projects to improve the lives of others. These projects were always run on a shoestring budget so learning how to optimise spending and save money was part of his everyday work.
When he graduated he worked at Ernst & Young (EY) for 3 years in corporate finance where he qualified as a chartered accountant. He took an interest in technology whilst working at EY.
Jonny’s best friend from school, Ben Corrigan, approached him with the idea for Pouch and he couldn't turn down the opportunity to start such an innovative business where he could combine his finance skills and passion for helping people optimise their spending.
He studied economics with Chinese at Nottingham University.

Ben Corrigan

Ben Corrigan

Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer

Ben joined as employee number 6 at Yieldify which quickly became one of the fastest growing technology companies in Europe. Yieldify secured a $11.5 million investment from Google Ventures and Softbank and works with some of the biggest retailers in the world. He then joined Yieldify competitor SaleCycle as the Senior Vice President for Nordic markets before founding Pouch.

Ben was named by as one of the 'Top 20 young founders to watch in 2017' alongside Jonny Plein.

He has as been obsessed by startups from a young age. He was one of the first people to sell eBooks on eBay from 2004 when he was 13, and designed websites for friends and family.

Ben came up with the idea for Pouch after being incredibly frustrated with the process of finding voucher codes.

He studied Law at Leeds University

Zoe Leavitt

Zoe Leavitt

Retail and CPG Analyst
CB Insights

Zoe Leavitt is the retail and CPG analyst at data analytics firm CB Insights, where she covers emerging trends in in-store technologies, distribution, and more. Prior to joining CB Insights, she worked in equity research at the Cowen Group and in analytics at the consumer finance group of the Bank of China in Shanghai. Her work is frequently cited in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other outlets. Zoe graduated from Stanford University and is currently based in New York.

Mairi Fairley

Mairi Fairley

Strategy & Business Development Director

Mairi is Strategy & Business Development Director at Hobbs, who offer timeless British elegance for smart busy women. Mairi runs the International business and is responsible for all aspects of business strategy and development routed in customer insight.

Previous to Hobbs, Mairi was an Associate Partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants for 9 years, working primarily with Retail and Leisure organisations across business strategy and due diligence projects working with clients such as Hobbs, Agent Provocateur, Gondola Group, French Connection, Hilton, Radisson, Tesco and many others.

Tej Lalvani

Tej Lalvani


Tej Lalvani is the CEO of Vitabiotics, the largest vitamin company in the UK and the latest Dragon to enter the Den in the fifteenth series of the hit BBC show Dragon’s Den.

With his experience leading Vitabiotics to become one of the leading and most innovative nutrition companies in the world, Tej brings to the Den shrewd business expertise and a passion for developing brands.

Founded in 1971 by his father, Professor Kartar Lalvani, Tej has overseen the phenomenal growth of Vitabiotics for twenty years, driving the company’s expansion to sell its products in over 100 countries.

With Professor Kartar Lalvani still remaining as Chairman, the family business run by Tej now turns over £300 million annually and is renowned for producing many of the UK’s number one selling vitamins including Perfectil, Pregnacare, WellMan and WellWoman.

Lara Marrero

Lara Marrero

Strategy Director & Retail Practice Leader

As Strategy Director and Leader for Gensler’s Retail Practice Area, Lara informs the design process through research, trend analysis, and her knowledge of business, marketing and consumer needs.

In an industry that’s constantly evolving, Lara has built a highly reputable position for herself as someone who understands the changing needs of her clients, challenging them to see beyond the now to the next. Leveraging a diverse education that spans psychology, advertising, marketing and cultural anthropology, she has honed her ability to translate complex global consumer trends into understandable, workable and profitable outcomes.

Lara is focused on how users engage with brands, delivering experiences that consider the roles that service, storytelling, experience and environments play in connecting with customers, employees and everything in between. She is also an active voice in the retail industry, and was named one of Retail Design Magazine’s 2017 ‘40 under 40’ honourees.

Nick Harrison

Nick Harrison

Senior Partner
Oliver Wyman Labs

Nick Harrison is a Senior Partner with Oliver Wyman Labs and co-leads the Retail and Consumer Practice in EMEA. Nick works across the EMEA region and has also previously lived and worked in the US.

He focuses on transformation and growth and has led large projects for many retail clients, including in turnaround, profit improvement, and strategic growth situations. He also has experience in other industry sectors including retail financial services, consumer packaged goods, travel & leisure, and telecommunications.

Nick has been with Oliver Wyman since the late 90’s, and a particular theme of his work has been using data and analytics to help companies improve the outcomes they deliver for their customers and shareholders. He knows how to help companies get behind the hype of big data, and use information to make their organizations more effective in powerful and pragmatic ways.

Simon  Mitchell

Simon Mitchell


Simon Mitchell co-founded Sybarite – a London based architectural practice specialising in retail - with Torquil McIntosh in 2002 and has since delivered all the global stores for Marni and Joseph and the practice has just completed the largest luxury department store in China by size and turnover – SKP Beijing - with the 250,000 sq m 20 storey SKP Xi’an currently underway.

He studied at the University of Greenwich in London, gaining his RIBA Part III qualification in 1998. Simon has over 25 years’ experience in retail design, including his time at Future Systems, where he worked on projects including Lord’s Media Centre, Selfridges Birmingham and the iconic Comme des Garçons stores in Tokyo and New York.

Rob Hattrell

Rob Hattrell

Vice President
eBay UK

Rob Hattrell is Vice President of eBay UK, responsible for leading the UK business, one of eBay’s strongest markets worldwide, attracting over 23 million active buyers a month.

Previously at Tesco, he was most recently responsible for the General Merchandise business across the UK and Central Europe. He believes the retail market is going through a seismic shift and that customers are empowered by technology and the growth of internet shopping.

Before joining Tesco, Rob was a partner in the global retail practice at Accenture.


Chair (1)

Mark Vandevelde

Mark Vandevelde

Global Retail Correspondent
Financial Times

Mark Vandevelde is the FT's global retail correspondent. He previously worked in private equity and at Bain & Company, the consultancy, where his assignments included cold-calling the Three Mile Island nuclear power station in New Jersey to ask about the price of a gadget called a scintillation counter. After a stint in New York studying philosophy, he joined the FT as an editorial writer, and has also edited the paper’s opinion pages. 

Who attends?

Attendance at the FT Future of Retail Summit is exclusively for senior UK and European retail executives, including:

  • Chief Executive Officers (CEOs)
  • Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), Heads of Marketing
  • Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), Heads of Finance
  • Chief Digital Officers, Heads of Digital, Heads of Online, Heads of eCommerce, Heads of Omni-Channel, Heads of Multichannel, Senior 3D Design Manager
  • Chief Customer Officers, Heads of Customer Experience, Heads of Loyalty
  • Chief Operating Officers (COOs), Heads of Operations, Heads of Retail Experience, Heads of Strategy
  • Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Heads of Information Systems, Chief Technology Officers (CTO), Technology Directors
  • Heads of Procurement, Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs), Heads of Supply Chain,
  • Heads of Retail Operations, Heads of In-Store Experience, Heads of Retail, 
  • Heads of Human Resources (HR), Heads of Personnel,Heads of Consumer Insights

2016 Attendees

111SKIN, Battersea Power Station, Berry Bros & Rudd Ltd, Booker Group, Card Factory plc, Central England Co-operative, Costco Wholesale (UK) Ltd, Dixons Carphone, Dune London, Enjoy, Essential Retail, Fortnum & Mason,French Connection plc, Greggs plc, Harrods Ltd, HSBC, Iceland Foods Ltd, Innovative Electrical Retailing, Jil Sander, John Lewis, Liberty Ltd, Lookers Plc, Hawes and Curtis/Ghost,, Majestic Wine Warehouses Ltd, Maplin Electronics, Marks and Spencer, McColl's Retail Group Plc, Moody’s, New Look, Nisa Retail, NotOnTheHighStreet, QVC, Rakuten, RALPH LAUREN, Screwfix, Shop Direct, Singha Corporation, Tesco, The LEGO Group, Tiffany & Co., Tulchan Group, Value Retail PLC, Waitrose, World Duty Free Group


Benefits of Attending

Don’t be wrong-footed by what you think is in store. Discover what is in store for the physical shop of the future. 

Join our very high level audience of retail CEOs and their leadership teams from across the UK and Europe, and in just one day you will:-

  • Hear exciting retail start-ups and iconic global brands share their thoughts on the future of the physical shop
  • Translate speaker insights and analysis into bottom-line impact for your business
  • Mix with some of the brightest minds in retail. Return to work feeling confident that your next move will be the right one. They did it. So can you
  • Learn new things, meet new people, discover new approaches, have new conversations, and begin to move your business in new and more profitable directions 
  • Grow your list of influential business contacts from across the retail ecosystem


Ticket Type                                       Fee

Retailer Standard Rate                    £795 +VAT

Service Provider Standard Rate      £3000 +VAT

To qualify for the 'Retailer Summit ticket' prices you must be able to prove you are from a retail brand.
Service provider tickets are strictly limited.



49 Brook Street
London W1K 4HR

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7629 8860


Presented By (1)

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. In 2016 the FT passed a significant milestone in its digital transformation as digital and services revenues overtook print revenues for the first time. The FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of more than 910,000 and makes 60% of revenues from its journalism.

In association with (1)

Move Now Luxury Brokers & Advisors deliver custom made transaction services for luxury retail real estate on three continents.
Wir realisieren selbst für komplexeste Anforderungen bei Transaktionen von Miet- und Kaufverträgen in Retail-Luxuslagen passgenaue Ergebnisse auf drei Kontinenten.
Nous proposons un service personnalisé pour les transactions immobilières commerciales de luxe sur trois continents.
Forniamo servizi personalizzati per transazioni immobiliari per il luxury retail in tre continenti. 
Мы предоставляем персональные услуги по сделкам с элитной недвижимостью на трех континентах. 

Strategic Partner (1)

Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting that combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organization transformation.
In the Retail & Consumer Goods Practice, we draw on unrivalled customer and strategic insight and state-of-the-art analytical techniques to deliver better results for our clients. We understand what it takes to win in retail and consumer goods: an obsession with serving the customer, constant dedication to better execution, and a relentless drive to improve capabilities. We believe our hands-on approach to making change happen is truly unique – and over the last 20 years, we’ve built our business by helping retailers and consumer goods companies build theirs.

Supporting Partners (4)

In today’s fast paced global market timing is everything. You want to protect, grow or transform your business. To meet these challenges we offer clients small teams of highly qualified experts with profound sector and operational insight. Our clients include corporate boards and management, law firms, investment banks, investors and others who appreciate the candor, dedication, and transformative expertise of our teams. We will ensure insight drives action at that exact moment that is critical for success. When it really matters.

Gensler is a global architecture, design and planning firm with 44 locations and more than 5,000
professionals networked across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East and the Americas. Gensler helps clients succeed by focusing on the needs of the people they serve, whether they are employees, customers, sports fans, students, passengers or guests.

Founded in 1965, the firm serves more than 3,500 active clients in areas as diverse as retail, aviation, sports stadia, brand strategy, hospitality and educational facilities. Gensler designers strive to make the places people live, work and play more inspiring, more resilient and more impactful.

Good Growth puts people in charge of technology to drive superior performance. Our trademarked processes have been adopted by leading global brands in key sectors to build powerful customer insight and exploit this to grow sales and improve the performance of digital marketing investment.  Our clients include The Economist, The Financial Times, Channel 4, Telefonica/O2, Regus and Virgin Active, along with a wide selection of UK high street and online retailers.  They work with us to transform performance in Conversion Rate Optimisation and Digital Marketing.

We deliver commercial outcomes using a distinctive and disciplined approach and offer a very different way of working to the traditional agency model: we measure everything in relation to our commercial impact.  This thinking is the basis for one of the UK's top selling e-commerce books over the last couple of years: ‘Leading Digital Strategy’ co-authored by our founding partners James Hammersley and Professor Chris Bones.

Sybarite was founded in 2002 by Simon Mitchell and Torquil McIntosh who met at Future Systems with a vision to create a ‘one-stop-shop’ for retailers worldwide. Now in its 16th year, Sybarite has worked with some of the world’s leading luxury brands including Joseph, Marni and Alberta Ferretti as well as retail operators such as SKP in Asia. Sybarite was honoured to received the Queen’s Award for International Trade in 2016.
Sybarite's work with SKP Beijing has been transformational to their business with sales increasing significantly in all refurbished categories of the luxury department store resulting in an expansion to second tier city Xi’an designed by Sybarite and opening in 2018.
Sybarite store concepts are timeless, providing solutions for the current season, whilst forecasting ahead with innovative and future proof designs.


Funmbi Adenubi
Delegate Booking and Registration Enquiries
Financial Times
Amy Brazewell
Marketing Manager
Financial Times
Craig Bethell
Sponsorship Opportunities
Financial Times
Michaela Ridgway
Speaking Opportunities
Financial Times