Owner of Arcadia Group Sir Philip Green is backing the team from the London College, Fashion Retail Academy who are competing in a worldwide student challenge. The challenge, which is part of the World Retail Congress, will start in Paris next week.
The four students taking part are from the Fashion Retail Academy that is supported by Sir Philips Arcadia and other retail giants such as Marks & Spencer, Next and Tesco. The students will be expected to present their vision for a Samsung store of the future. It will need to meet all the demands of today’s customers taking into account physical stores, online, mobile and social media. The store must demonstrate how technology can impact customers;’ home lives, helping with comfort, productivity and entertaining. They will have to present their blueprint to over 1,000 retail executives who will gather in the French capital.
The World Retail Congress is part of the i21 Events Group portfolio which is headed up by Mark Shashoua. The group delivers world-class exhibitions and large scale events in key sectors such as technology, environment, education, gift, healthcare, fashion, energy, media and retail. They aim to bring together more than 250,000 decision makers to network, source, test and buy. They pride themselves in opening up opportunities and the World Retail Congress challenge is another way they can offer platforms to their customers and visitors. The World Retail congress was launched in 2007 in order to give retail executives the chances to meet and discuss topics affecting the retail industry across the globe. The meetings have been held in cities such as Barcelona, Berlin and London and had up to 1,000 industry leaders present from over 60 countries.
The students representing London this year for the competition are 18 year-old Peter Jones from Milton Keynes, Josie Reeve who is 19 and had just started working for fashion retailer Oasis, former air stewardess Yasmine Alom and 23 year-old Dan Swanepoel who has ambitions to be a store designer. They will all take on rival teams from Hong Kong, New York and Ancona.
The judging panel this year will consist of: Gerald Retimayar- Samsung’s head of retail Europe, Robert Thiemann- Founder and editor-in-chief of Fame, Bernie Brookes- Myer Holdings Ltd CEO, Nora Fehlbaum- Vitra CEO and Alexander Salzer, COO, Liganova from the BrandRetail Company.
Sir Philip Green wished the students good luck and urged them to make sure they had done their research. He added “They need to make sure that they have thought of everything that would make shopping the store a great experience but it also needs to be commercial.
“These are big purchases so they need to have done their homework so that they can talk confidently about the products and educate the customer. If they win, it could be the springboard to bright futures in retail.”
Ian McGarrigle, Chairman of the World Retail Congress said: “We are very pleased that London is going to be represented again at the Retail Futures Challenge. The competition has grown to become one of the high points of the WRC and it is fantastic to see these future leaders of retailing setting out their ideas in front of an audience of retail professionals. I wish them the best of luck for the final.”
As well as support from Arcadia the official co-sponsors for the 2014 World Retail Congress are MasterCard, Samsung and Deloitte.