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FT Future of Retail 2019

Turning disruption into growth

London |
Speakers include:
Dave Lewis

Dave Lewis


Frans  Muller

Frans Muller

Ahold Delhaize

Mary  Portas

Mary Portas



FT Future of Retail is the big picture, mega-trends event for large online and bricks-and-mortar retailers from across the UK and Europe. As the impact of new technologies and changing consumer expectations continue to ricochet through the retail ecosystem, the 4th annual summit will address the hottest issues through probing interviews and panel debates with the pioneering CEOs and industry leaders who are reinventing their businesses for the 21st century. 

The roll-call of disruptive forces impacting retail is getting longer: Brexit, digitisation, new players entering the market in unprecedented numbers and turning existing business models upside-down, the lengthening shadow of climate change, GDPR, personalisation, AI, quantum computing, driverless cars, algorithms, and blockchain - to name quite a few. FT Future of Retail will showcase some of the new strategies retail CEOs are adopting to turn these forces of disruption into engines of growth for their businesses.

Underpinning the conversations at this year’s summit is the imperative that retail growth is sustainable and responsible. Progressive retailers from around the world will shine a light on how they are responding to the consumer-led push for more transparent, sustainable and values-driven business practices.

Some of the topics to be discussed include: 

  • Sustainable Retail: How are retailers integrating social and ecological sustainability practices into their enterprise DNA – as well as beyond the company’s walls - to improve competitive positioning?
  • Getting Truly Personal: In the era of increasingly ‘granular’ personalisation, how can retailers maximise the power of data-driven insight?
  • Boom or Bust: What will Brexit mean for European retailers with operations in the UK, and vice versa?
  • Horizon Scanning: What do retailers and retail analysts see as the early warning signs of disruptive forces forecast to hit the sector further down the line?
fallback Add to my Calendar 09/18/2019 08:00:0009/18/2019 18:30:00trueFT Future of Retail 2019FT Future of Retail is the big picture, mega-trends event for large online and bricks-and-mortar retailers from across the UK and Europe. As the impact of new technologies and changing consumer expectations continue to ricochet through the retail ecosystem, the 4th annual summit will address the hottest issues through probing interviews and panel debates with the pioneering CEOs and industry leaders who are reinventing their businesses for the 21st century. The roll-call of disruptive forces impacting retail is getting longer: Brexit, digitisation, new players entering the market in unprecedented numbers and turning existing business models upside-down, the lengthening shadow of climate change, GDPR, personalisation, AI, quantum computing, driverless cars, algorithms, and blockchain - to name quite a few. FT Future of Retail will showcase some of the new strategies retail CEOs are adopting to turn these forces of disruption into engines of growth for their businesses.Underpinning the conversations at this year’s summit is the imperative that retail growth is sustainable and responsible. Progressive retailers from around the world will shine a light on how they are responding to the consumer-led push for more transparent, sustainable and values-driven business practices.Some of the topics to be discussed include: Sustainable Retail: How are retailers integrating social and ecological sustainability practices into their enterprise DNA – as well as beyond the company’s walls - to improve competitive positioning?Getting Truly Personal: In the era of increasingly ‘granular’ personalisation, how can retailers maximise the power of data-driven insight?Boom or Bust: What will Brexit mean for European retailers with operations in the UK, and vice versa?Horizon Scanning: What do retailers and retail analysts see as the early warning signs of disruptive forces forecast to hit the sector further down the line?FT-Future-of-Retail-2019a49f2facedf1156aa8fb2933f60402c4MM/DD/YYYY

FT Future of Retail Summit Testimonials

"The FT Future of Retail Summit provides a unique opportunity to get new perspectives from Retail industry Leaders to help shape the strategy of your own organization.” Klaas Mantel, Head of Global Convenience Retail, Shell

"For three years, we have sponsored and attended FT Future of Retail as it is the leading event in Europe for retailers to discuss and share how to respond to the strategic challenges facing the sector. The speakers are always diverse and challenging. With c. 150 participants it encourages open dialogue between delegates and attendees.” James Hammersley, CEO & Author, GoodGrowth

"I was impressed by the quality of the speakers, from Sainsbury’s CEO to Ocado’s Head of product. The event was informative and all the attendants were keen to connect and create tomorrow’s retail together. Looking forward to the next edition!" Maria Marchi, Marketing Manager, Stuart

"An opportunity to explore and develop views of what will be needed to drive future success in Retail.” Chris Taylor, Retail Advisor, Sole Trader

“Another excellent line up of speakers and delegates makes this a must attend event for anyone serious about Retail. Three in a row - excellent work from the FT!” Steve Leach, Sales Director, Nisa


Agenda - 18th Sep

  • 8:00am
    Registration and tea & coffee
  • 9:00am

    Jonathan Eley, Retail Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 9:05am

    Dave Lewis, Group Chief Executive, Tesco

    In conversation with Jonathan Eley, Retail Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 9:35am
    In conversation: Sustainable and responsible retail

    Hege Sæbjørnsen, Country Sustainability Manager, Ikea UK and Ireland

    In conversation with Leila Abboud, Consumer Industries Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 9:55am

    Retail guru Mary Portas discusses what Brexit will mean for European and UK retailers, the role of technology in the increasingly personalised relationship with consumers, equality and diversity in the workplace, and the importance of sustainable retail and responsible growth to the Millennial generation, soon to be the largest demographic of consumers.

    Mary Portas, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Portas

  • 10:25am

    An up-to-the-minute view of the retail disruptors, collaborators and innovators that are pushing the sustainable business model and technology boundaries in retail.

    • 10:30 - Showcase One: Mette Lykke, CEO, Too Good To Go
    • 10.40 - Showcase Two: Michael Langguth, Co-founder and COO, Poq
    • 10:50 - Showcase Three: Oli Johnson, Co-founder, Catapult

    Followed by a short audience Q&A

  • 11:05am
    In focus: The Implications of Blockchain Technology for the Retail Sector

    Sarah-Diane Eck, CEO, Sandblock

  • 11:15am
    Tea break
  • 11:35am

    If current trends continue, will they be good for the consumer and good for society?

    Richard Pennycook, Co-chair, Retail Sector Council, and former CEO, Co-op

    In conversation with Kate Hardcastle, TV expert and Co-founder, Insight with Passion

  • 12:00pm
    PANEL DISCUSSION: Socially Responsible and Ecologically Sustainable Retail - Taking Action

    A ‘how-to’ discussion on integrating social and ecological sustainability into enterprise DNA – as well as beyond the company’s walls - to improve competitive positioning. Our panellists will outline the external drivers and internal resistors to introducing more sustainable business practices in retail.

    Peter Freedman, Managing Director, Consumer Goods Forum
    Ioannis Ioannou, Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, London Business School
    Pauline Op de Beeck, Sustainable Fashion Lead, Carbon Trust 

    Moderated by Jonathan Eley, Retail Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 12:30pm
    Using Machine Learning at Scale in Retail

    This session will discuss the importance of using machine learning in retail, how the benefits can be measured, along with the cultural changes required to effectively use machine learning throughout the business. The discussion will also address key lessons learned so far, and how to scale up the use of machine learning.

    Bastien Leblanc, Solutions Architect, AWS
    Martin Sutton, Partnerships Director, Peak

  • 12:50pm
    Fireside Chat: Disruption and Growth in Global Grocery

    Ocado’s 20-year “overnight success” that is disrupting the global grocery industry.

    Duncan Tatton-Brown, Chief Financial Officer, Ocado Group

    Interviewed by Matt Clark, Managing Director, AlixPartners

  • 1:10pm
  • 2:20pm
    KEYNOTE CONVERSATION: Turning Disruption into Growth

    Shop Direct has transformed into one of the UK’s most successful pureplay digital retailers by adapting to the new retail reality. But they’re not stopping there. In this keynote, Henry Birch will share how the company is investing in technology, data and infrastructure to enable them to continue to respond to customer needs and gain competitive advantage for the future.

    • Shop Direct’s transformation
    • Using tech and data to innovate and continually improve the customer experience
    • How people and a strong company culture are key to success

    Henry Birch, Group Chief Executive, Shop Direct

    In conversation with Jonathan Eley, Retail Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 2:45pm
    PANEL DISCUSSION: Getting (Truly) Personal - Maximising the Power of Data-driven Customer Insight

    Creating meaningful personalisation and reaching the right customers at scale are key challenges facing retailers who are engaging a mobile and 'always on' customer base. Brands that fall short on intelligent digital distribution quickly see nimble competitors emerge. What must retailers and brands do to stay ahead so that they can deliver advanced analytics to the heart of their business and in turn deliver true personalisation? This panel will explore the value of a 'data-driven' culture and look at innovative ways that brands can better harness its potential, both customer-facing and internally, and look at how analytics can help enrich the customer experience.

    Nick Barth, Senior Sales Engineer, MicroStrategy
    Michael Ross, Co-founder and Chief Scientist, DynamicAction
    Katharina Sutch, Global Shopper & OmniChannel Activation Director, LEGO Group

    Moderated by Jonathan Eley, Retail Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 3:15pm

    Peer-to-peer discussion amongst delegates to reflect on what's been said during the course of the morning and mid-afternoon sessions. 

  • 3:30pm
    Tea break
  • 3:55pm
    Start-up spotlight

    Cassandra Stavrou, Co-founder, PROPER

    In conversation with Leila Abboud, Consumer Industries Correspondent, Financial Times 

  • 4:10pm
    Deep dive: Purposeful retail

    Veronika Pountcheva, Global Director, Corporate Responsibility, and Senior Vice President, METRO AG

    With extended audience Q&A 

  • 4:40pm
    CASE STUDY: Embracing a Mobile First Approach

    The evolution of and how a retail giant had to shift mentality and adopt a mobile-first approach. Site speed is king, so how do you ensure you win in this category and win for the customer?

    Perry Lally, Senior Product Manager, George at Asda

  • 5:00pm

    Understanding the future of retail in the European context

    Frans Muller, President and CEO, Ahold Delhaize 

    In conversation with Jonathan Eley, Retail Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 5:30pm

Keynote Speakers (5)

Dave Lewis

Dave Lewis

Group Chief Executive

Dave Lewis joined the Board of Tesco PLC as Group Chief Executive on 1 September 2014.

Dave has significant experience in brand marketing, customer management and general management. Prior to joining Tesco, he worked for Unilever for nearly 30 years in a variety of different roles across Europe, Asia and the Americas. He has experience across many sectors in the UK and overseas, and has been responsible for a number of business turnarounds. He was previously a non-executive director of Sky PLC.

Dave is also a member of the Governance Committee of the Consumer Goods Forum and Chair of Champions 12.3, a UN programme seeking to add momentum to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals target 12.3 by 2030.

Frans  Muller

Frans Muller

President and CEO
Ahold Delhaize

Frans Muller has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Ahold Delhaize since July 1, 2018. Prior to that he was Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Integration Officer since 2016, and Acting Chief Operating Officer for Delhaize America, from October 2016 until January 2018. Before the merger between Ahold and Delhaize, Frans served for three years as President and CEO of Delhaize Group from 2013 to 2016.

Prior to joining Delhaize Group, Frans worked at German retailer Metro AG for more than 15 years. He was CEO of Metro Cash & Carry from 2008 and a member of the management board of Metro AG, to which he was appointed in 2006. He first joined Metro AG in 1997 as operations director, and then served as managing director of its Dutch subsidiary, Makro. In 2002, Frans served as a board member of Metro Cash & Carry International and was appointed regional director for Eastern Europe and Russia. From 2004 to 2005, he served as President for Asia Pacific and Russia/Ukraine. In 2005, he was appointed CEO of Metro Group Buying. Frans started his career at KLM Cargo in 1988, serving in various management and executive positions in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Vienna and Singapore.

Frans is President of the European Retail Round Table and serves on the board of directors of the Food Marketing Institute and Vlerick Business School. He is a board member of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and co-sponsor of the CGF Health and Wellness pillar.

Mary  Portas

Mary Portas

Founder and Chief Creative Officer

Mary Portas is Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Portas, a brand consultancy and creative agency. Known to the nation through her TV shows as Mary, Queen of Shops, Mary has made an indelible mark on British retail across her career. By aged 30 she was on the board of Harvey Nichols. Working as their Creative Director Mary transformed the luxury department store in London’s sexiest fashion destination. Mary has written columns for most national media on retail and consumerism, published three books, advised Government on the future of High Streets, launched her own fashion label as well as kickstarting the return of British manufacturing with her brand Kinky Knickers. Her proudest achievement to date is the creation of Mary’s Living and Giving shops for Save The Children. Currently the most profitable charity shops in the UK, she has opened 25 and counting and has raised over £13 million to date. Mary’s most recent book Work Like a Woman is about the empowerment of women in work culture.

Henry Birch

Henry Birch

Group Chief Executive
Shop Direct

Henry Birch joined Shop Direct as Group Chief Executive in May 2018. As the UK’s largest integrated pureplay digital retailer and financial services provider, Shop Direct has annual sales of £1.96 billion delivered through its brands,, and The brands receive an average of more than 1.4 million website visits every day, with 74% of online sales completed on mobile devices.

Prior to Shop Direct, Henry was Chief Executive Officer of FTSE 250-listed Rank Group plc. During his four years at Rank Group, Henry led the business through a wide-reaching strategic overhaul to create the UK’s largest multichannel gaming operator.

Before joining Rank, Henry spent four years as CEO of William Hill Online, where he launched the company’s mobile business. He started his career working in the House of Commons and holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Richard Pennycook

Richard Pennycook

Retail Sector Council

Richard Pennycook stepped down as CEO of the Co-op in February 2017 in order to pursue a portfolio career, having joined in 2013 as part of a team which saved the Group from near collapse. He is currently Co-chair of the Retail Sector Council and also lead non-executive Director of the UK Department of Education. He has over 25 years’ experience in retail, starting with the management buyout of Allders in the late 1980s. Over the years, he has been involved in the growth of J D Wetherspoon and the turnarounds of Laura Ashley, Welcome Break, Bulmers, and Morrisons. Richard is non-executive Chairman of The Hut Group, Chairman of Howdens Joinery, Fenwicks and BRC.


Speakers (18)

Veronika Pountcheva

Veronika Pountcheva

Global Director, Corporate Responsibility, and Senior Vice President

As Global Director, Corporate Responsibility, and Senior Vice President of METRO AG, Sofia-born Veronika Pountcheva heads the sustainability strategy of the international wholesale and food specialist. She has more than 20 years of experience in wholesale, having been Managing Director of various METRO companies. She is an acting Co-Chair of the Sustainability Pillar of the Consumer Goods Forum and serves on the board of amfori BSCI. Veronika is passionate about environmental and societal change, and works on building strong partnerships with business partners, the investor community and NGOs to achieve sustainable societal and environmental transformation. She supports food innovation as a startup business angel, and as an advisory board member of LEAD Network, she also advocates for diversity in the consumer goods and retail sectors.

Hege Sæbjørnsen

Hege Sæbjørnsen

Country Sustainability Manager
IKEA UK & Ireland

Hege Sæbjørnsen is the Country Sustainability Manager for IKEA UK & Ireland, responsible for all aspects of the retailer’s sustainability strategy across both countries. Hege joined IKEA in May 2015 as Sustainability Expansion Manager, leading the integration of sustainability into the expansion agenda at a time of rapid growth for the business. She was a key member of the team behind the Greenwich sustainable store project, and has been instrumental in co-developing IKEA’s Role in Society strategic initiative.

Prior to joining IKEA, after an initial career as a photographer, Hege set up several creative projects for social and economic change such as the Affluenza exhibition and Platforma Arts & Refugee Network. This led her to co-found Mindapples, a mental wellbeing social enterprise. Subsequently she spent five years developing values-led start-ups and social entrepreneurship programmes, including three years establishing a networks and engagement direction for UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs.

Katharina Sutch

Katharina Sutch

Global Shopper & OmniChannel Activation Director
LEGO Group

Katharina Sutch is a marketing, communications and leadership executive with 20 years of experience in developing, managing and expanding the world’s leading toy brand.  She has taken on roles in Shopper Marketing & Retail/ OmniChannel Strategy, Shopper Insights, Global PR & Communications, and Brand Marketing & Management in various European markets and the US. She works for a brand that allows her to be creative, innovative and fuels her passion for developing retail experiences that are unique, memorable, impactful and enhance the LEGO System of Play for Shoppers and Consumers around the world.

Nick Barth

Nick Barth

Senior Sales Engineer

Nick Barth has been involved with planning and business intelligence software longer than he likes to admit. He first joined MicroStrategy in 2006, where he built up a reputation for working with some of the larger Enterprise customers, particularly in Retail. Nick has started developing a Retail practice within MicroStrategy, collecting Digital Transformation stories from around the globe and developing a cadre of Trusted Advisors who are as passionate as he is about Retail. 

Matt Clark

Matt Clark

Managing Director

Matt Clark works with leaders of retail and consumer-facing businesses to tackle the seismic shifts shaking the industry and deliver significant improvements in performance. He is a business transformation specialist with more than 20 years’ experience covering both turnaround and growth programmes. His experience includes running transformation programmes, proposition development, top-line growth, channel/market optimisation, margin enhancement, operational productivity and cost reduction. Before joining AlixPartners, he co-founded Boxwood (latterly KPMG Boxwood), the business transformation boutique consultancy, where he ran the retail and consumer sector.

Sarah-Diane Eck

Sarah-Diane Eck


Sarah-Diane Eck is the CEO and Co-founder of Sandblock, the French blockchain startup that revolutionises customer engagement through gamification. Sandblock, one of the first French startups funded by a successful initial coin offering (ICO), has developed a flagship product, Surprise, that allows consumers access to universal loyalty points based on crypto assets from more than 500 global brands. 

Sarah-Diane has been involved in the blockchain and startup community for several years and has helped many entrepreneurs launch and develop their projects. Her aim is to promote the concrete uses of blockchain, and more generally to support talent in the world of tech and startups, particularly opportunities for women to be engineers.

Sarah-Diane is also the Vice President of France Digitale, a French general interest association that brings together digital entrepreneurs and investors (venture capitalists and angel investors). It is considered the most representative professional organisation in the sector.

Peter Freedman

Peter Freedman

Managing Director
Consumer Goods Forum

Peter Freedman has been the Managing Director of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) since January 2014. The CGF is an industry network comprising some 400 of the world’s largest and leading consumer goods companies, including retailers, manufacturers and related service providers. The combined revenues of these companies total €3.5 trillion and they directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million jobs along the supply chain. The CGF’s job is to help its members drive efficiency and positive change in the world by collaborating together and with external stakeholders. It focuses currently on environmental sustainability, social sustainability and human rights, product safety, health and wellness, and the impact of the digital revolution on all of the above. It is led by a Board consisting of over 50 chief executives of its member companies.

Peter has over 30 years' experience in consumer industries globally. From 1984 to 2011 he worked for McKinsey & Company, advising both retail and consumer goods clients on issues of strategy, organisation, operational improvement, change management, and capability building. He led the firm’s Europe, Middle East & Africa consumer goods practice for over 10 years, and worked as a consultant with both large multinationals and local family-owned companies, in most regions of the world.

Peter has also served in non-executive roles with a variety of consumer-facing organisations. He is currently Chair of Spring Impact, a charity dedicated to scaling social impact, and a Trustee of Fare Share, a UK food waste charity. He is also on the board of Frill Holding AB, a health-focused food company.

Ioannis  Ioannou

Ioannis Ioannou

Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship
London Business School

Ioannis Ioannou is Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School. He is a Strategy scholar whose research focuses on Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. More specifically, Prof Ioannou seeks to understand whether, how, and the extent to which the modern business organisation contributes towards building a sustainable future. In 2016, he was awarded the 2016 ARCS Emerging Sustainability Scholar Award, which recognises a scholar in the area of corporate sustainability who is likely to make significant contributions to the advancement of corporate sustainability scholarship.

Prof Ioannou regularly publishes in top-tier peer-reviewed academic journals and his research is widely cited. He is also very active on social media and a frequent contributor to the popular and managerial press including the Financial Times, Bloomberg, The Guardian and Forbes. He has been recognised in various rankings as one of the world’s top social media influencers for issues of responsible business and sustainability.

A key contribution of his research has been to theorise about and provide empirical evidence for the emergence of the “responsible organisation”. In a study published in Management Science, Prof Ioannou and his co-authors provide evidence regarding significant long-term outperformance of responsible businesses compared to traditional ones in terms of operating and stock market performance. Prof Ioannou is a member of the Advisory Board of Ethical Corporation and a member of the World Economic Forum Expert Network.

Oli Johnson

Oli Johnson


Oli Johnson is Co-founder of Catapult, the flexible work platform catering to employers and staff in the retail and hospitality industries. Hailing from Iceland, Oli, who holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, started his career in finance, investing in brands like Hamleys, House of Fraser and, fittingly, Iceland Foods.

Perry Lally

Perry Lally

Senior Product Manager
George at Asda

A Senior Product Manager for, part of Asda and the Wal-Mart family, Perry Lally has been a leader at the retail giant for over six years, focusing on the growth of the fashion and home eCommerce business. With prior experience in merchandising, storefront, creative, analytics, and optimisation, he has a broad understanding of the critical building blocks of an eCommerce business. Perry was part of the team that led to be the first major retailer in the UK to launch accelerated mobile pages (AMP) on their site and to deactivate it for the purpose of further validation and analysis.

Michael Langguth

Michael Langguth

Co-founder and COO

Michael Langguth is Co-founder and COO at Poq, a SaaS platform that is revolutionising mobile app commerce by empowering retailers to design immersive app shopping experiences to meet the demands of changing consumer behaviours and the evolving retail landscape.

Michael has been exposed to the retail industry since a very young age with his family running one of Germany’s largest wine retailers for over six generations. Since co-founding Poq in 2011, he has worked with some of the most innovative executives in the industry and is passionate in supporting brands and retailers throughout their mobile commerce strategies and helping them define their app commerce roadmap.

Bastien Leblanc

Bastien Leblanc

Solutions Architect

Bastien Leblanc is a Solutions Architect with AWS. He helps Retail customers adopt the AWS Platform, focusing on Data, Analytics and Machine Learning workloads. Bastien has been working with UK retailers for the last couple of years, building innovative solutions and driving adoption of cloud technologies.

Mette Lykke

Mette Lykke

Too Good To Go

Mette Lykke is an accomplished entrepreneur on a mission to fight food waste as CEO of Too Good To Go. Available in 11 countries in Europe, Too Good To Go is helping more than 25,000 supermarkets, restaurants and bakeries to sell the surplus food they would otherwise have thrown away at the end of business. The free app is now a popular marketplace for surplus food with more than 12 million users across Europe.

A third of all food is wasted and the mission for Too Good To Go is to inspire and empower everyone to take action against food waste. With that comes the ambition of creating a strong movement to get all of us to think differently about food -- and ultimately waste less of it. 

Pauline Op de Beeck

Pauline Op de Beeck

Sustainable Fashion Lead
Carbon Trust

Pauline Op de Beeck is responsible for the Carbon Trust’s work with the fashion, retail and manufacturing sectors across the UK and Europe. She provides advice that enables companies to benefit from sustainable opportunities at both an organisational level and across their value chains, as well as supporting the recognition of their environmental achievements through assurance services. Pauline is also the Carbon Trust’s lead on sustainable fashion, helping the industry overcome multiple challenges including resource constraints, supply chain transparency and their need to adopt business model innovation.

Michael Ross

Michael Ross

Co-founder and Chief Scientist

Michael Ross has spent the last 25 years in the digital and data world. He joined McKinsey in 1994 and spent five years consulting in the early days of the internet. From 1999 to 2006, he was Co-founder and CEO of (which was sold to N.Brown in 2010). Since 2007, he has been the Co-founder and Chief Scientist of DynamicAction (and former parent company eCommera). He is also a non-executive director of Sainsbury's Bank and N Brown Group.

Cassandra Stavrou

Cassandra Stavrou


Cassandra Stavrou is the co-founder of PROPER, the UK’s largest independent snack brand. Having started the business in 2011 when she was just 25, by tumbling popcorn in a refashioned cement mixer, Cassandra and her co-founder Ryan Kohn have grown the business from food startup to global snack favourite in the space of just eight years. 

They now sell some 4 million packs of award-winning snacks every month. That’s more than a bag every second, somewhere in the world.  PROPER can be found in 15 countries and, last year, was recognised by the Financial Times as one of the fastest growing independent businesses in Europe.

Best known for its colourful collection of popcorn, which transformed the healthy snacking landscape in the UK, PROPER recently introduced new lentil chips to its portfolio of snacks. 

Cassandra’s tireless passion for both her business and the wider food industry has seen her work with the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) as a Great British Food Pioneer. Most recently, she joined the government’s Food and Drink Sector Council, representing the interests of all food and drink SMEs and entrepreneurs across the UK.

Martin Sutton

Martin Sutton

Partnerships Director

Martin Sutton is Partnerships Director at artificial intelligence firm Peak, a company founded in 2014 with a mission to help businesses do great things with data. Martin joined Peak in 2016, having previously held the position of Business Development Director at Dell EMC, working within the firm’s Emerging Technology Products division. Before this, he held senior positions at companies including Hitachi and Fujitsu. Martin is a co-founder of Battenberg Inc, a company dedicated to helping large corporations work smarter with tech start-ups and universities.

Duncan Tatton-Brown

Duncan Tatton-Brown

Chief Financial Officer
Ocado Group

Duncan Tatton-Brown was appointed Chief Financial Officer at Ocado in 2012. Before joining Ocado, he held the Chief Financial Officer role at Fitness First plc, and prior to that, Group Finance Director of Kingfisher plc, one of the world’s largest home improvement retailers. Duncan has also held the role of Finance Director of B&Q plc, Chief Financial Officer of Virgin Entertainment Group, and various senior finance positions at Burton Group Plc.

In June 2019, Duncan was appointed Non-Executive Director at Trainline UK. Previously, he held a Non-Executive Directorship and Senior Independent Directorship at Zoopla Property Group plc. Prior to this, he was a Non-Executive Director and Audit Committee Chairman of Rentokil Initial plc.  

Duncan holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from King’s College, Cambridge. He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.


Chair and Moderators (3)

Jonathan  Eley

Jonathan Eley

Retail Correspondent
Financial Times

Jonathan Eley was appointed Retail Correspondent of the Financial Times in April 2018. Previously, he was deputy head of the Lex column and before that, personal finance editor. He also spent 12 years in various roles at Investors Chronicle, an FT group publication for private investors. He is a graduate of Aston University.

Leila Abboud

Leila Abboud

Consumer Industries Correspondent
Financial Times

Leila Abboud writes about the consumer goods industries for the Financial Times, which includes writing about large food and drinks companies such as Nestle and Unilever as well as agriculture and obesity. She has extensive experience covering global business, having earlier worked as a columnist at Bloomberg and at the Wall Street Journal and Reuters. On a more personal note, Leila is an omnivore but is curious about learning more and tasting new vegan and vegetarian options to replace meat, not only for health reasons but out of concern for the environment.

Kate Hardcastle MBE

Kate Hardcastle MBE

TV expert and Co-founder
Insight with Passion

Kate Hardcastle is the UK’s leading ‘go-to’ business expert on consumer insight for national TV and media. Kate has added her unique brand of knowledgeable commentary to thousands of interviews for TV and radio outlets including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky News. She has also presented leading consumer shows ‘Rip Off Britain’ (BBC 1), ‘What Britain Bought’ (Channel 4), ‘Battlefront’ (Channel 4) and ‘Inside Out’ (BBC 1), as well as being the consumer champion for hit ITV 1 consumer show ‘Eat Shop Save’. Her work is respected globally. As Founding Partner of consultancy Insight with Passion, her projects have included the successful turnaround of ailing retail brands and shopping centres, the creation of powerful consumer brands, and consulting to oversee business redevelopment, restructure and takeovers.

Future of Retail 2019 Advisory board

Many thanks to the FT Future of Retail Advisory Board for their valuable intellectual input:

  • Josie Cartridge, Customer Director, River Island
  • Lindsay Claydon, Director Brand & Community, Europe, Lululemon
  • Peter Cross, Customer Experience Director, John Lewis
  • Margaret McDonald, former CEO, Victoria Secret
  • Richard Pennycook, Co-Chair, Retail Sector Council, former CEO, Co-op
  • Terry von Bibra, General Manager Europe, Alibaba Group
  • Angelo Zegna, Head of Stores, Appear Here 

Circular Dialogues

What is a Circular Dialogue?

A scheduled space built into the programme for our audience to reflect on what’s just been said on stage, and to share personal experiences with peers, speakers, and journalists.

Who's involved?

You will meet a mix of retail sector movers & shakers through small group conversations to help deepen understanding and share experiences of the most topical retail sector challenges. These circular dialogue sessions are also a great way to add to your professional contacts list. Bring plenty of business cards!

What's the benefit to you?

Conference formats sometimes overlook the need for delegates to talk about what's just been said on stage. It can feel like going to see a really good film and then not be given the opportunity to unpick it afterwards. The circular dialogues are an informal opportunity for you to have your say about what's just been said on stage, while it is still fresh in your mind.

"Interestingly, I find at FT events that it is the roundtable discussions that I enjoy the most. I sat with fascinating people at the top of their game. I don't think there are any other events other than those hosted by the FT Live that facilitate this (hence why I always clear my diary to attend these events)."

"Disrupting the standard format of conferences by engaging everyone in great discussions and interactive sessions."



Benefits of Attending

Discover what's in store for the physical and virtual shop of the future. Join our high-level audience of retail CEOs and their leadership teams from across the UK and Europe, and in just one day:

  • Get behind-the-scenes insights from the visionary retailers deploying sustainable business models, tech, and growth strategies to deliver higher sales and more profit.  
  • Enjoy probing interviews and panel debate conducted by the FT’s world-class journalists.
  • Share your own thinking on the issues and challenges facing retail during our immersive peer-to-peer discussions at the FT’s innovative Circular Dialogue sessions.
  • Hear exciting retail start-ups and iconic global brands share their thoughts on the future of the shop and shopping.
  • Escape from the retail 'echo chamber' and hear from leaders outside retail that are transforming their businesses.
  • Learn how retailers from around the world are harnessing disruption for growth.
  • Discover how the next generation of young retailers is bringing the shopping experience even closer to the shopper.
  • Translate speaker insights and analysis into bottom-line impact for your business.
  • Grow your list of influential business contacts from across the retail eco-system.
  • Meet new strategic partners that could add competitive value and safeguard market share.
  • Mix with some of the brightest minds in retail.
  • Iconic retail brands and exciting new start-ups brought together under one roof.
  • Translate speaker and peer insights into more customers, higher sales & increased profits for your brand.

Attendance at the FT Future of Retail Summit is exclusively for senior UK and European retail executive and their partners


Who attends?

Senior representatives from Retail companies across the UK and Europe.

A selection of companies confirmed to attend the 2019 summit include:

Alpargatas (Havaianas) - Amazon - Apple - Asda - Backes&Strauss - Belstaff - Burberry - Capco Covent Garden - Cartier International - Champagne Laurent-Perrier - COS - Costcutter - Debenhams - El Corte Ingles - Farfetch - Fortnum & Mason - H&M - Harrods - House of Holland - Iceland Foods Limited - JD Sports - Jo Malone - John Lewis - Kingfisher - Lush - Marks and Spencer - Molton Brown - Mr Porter - Nike - Ocado -Parfois - Pizza Hut - Ralph Lauren - Sainsburys - Salesforce - Selfridges - Specsavers - Swarovski - Tesco - The Body Shop - The East India Company - Tiffany & Co. - Waitrose & Partners - Zara


Strategic partners (3)

MicroStrategy (Nasdaq: MSTR) is a leading worldwide provider of enterprise analytics and mobility software and services. Our mission is to make every enterprise a more Intelligent Enterprise™. MicroStrategy 2019™ delivers modern analytics on an open, comprehensive enterprise platform designed to drive business results with Federated Analytics, Transformational Mobility, and HyperIntelligence™.

To learn more, visit MicroStrategy online, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

AlixPartners is a results-driven global consulting firm that specializes in helping businesses respond quickly and decisively to their most critical challenges – from urgent performance improvement to complex restructuring, from risk mitigation to accelerated transformation. These are the moments when everything is on the line – a sudden shift in the market, an unexpected performance decline, a time-sensitive deal, a fork-in-the-road decision. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our clients until the job is done, and only measure our success in terms of the results we deliver. We partner with you to make the right decisions and take the right actions. And we are right by your side. When it really matters.

About Amazon Web Services 

For 14 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS offers over 175 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 76 Availability Zones (AZs) within 24 geographic regions, with announced plans for nine more Availability Zones and three more AWS Regions in Indonesia, Japan, and Spain. Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—trust AWS to power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit

Supporting partner (1)

DynamicAction is a retail analytics guidance system that leverages cloud software and a proven success program to catalyze the new customer-first operating mindset in retail.

DynamicAction empowers retailers with a clear path to navigate their transformational journeys with AI-powered metrics. It enables faster, better decisions to deliver profit, analytics and visualizations for immediate insights, prioritized opportunities and prescribed actions to take online and in-store.

Forward thinking retailers across the globe rely on DynamicAction’s advanced analytics and retail-built practices to holistically run more efficient organizations and formulate laser target strategies to uncover their most profitable customers.

Forrester Research recently recommended DynamicAction as the key prescriptive analytics technology to replace predictive analytics in retail, and the National Retail Federation named DynamicAction the 2017 Digital Commerce Startup of the Year for its ability to "significantly improve or radically alter how retailing is done." 

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, DynamicAction has offices in London, Sofia and Dallas.

Showcase Partner (2)

Poq is a Software-as-a-Service platform that empowers retailers to create highly effective and fully customised native apps in record time. New code is rolled out every week and major releases delivered every quarter. Clients include retailers such as Missguided, OKA, Oasis and Quiz. 

Catapult is the machine learning-powered solution to expensive and rigid staffing. Trusted by 1000s of businesses nationwide, their platform lets retail and hospitality employers inject agility into their rotas by allowing them to hand-pick a pool of staff from Catapult’s flexible workforce.


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