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Top retailers rally behind Retail Design Expo

By Retail Technology | Friday March 7 2014

Organisers of Retail Technology Business Expo announce new, complimentary event to combine key components for building retail environments

Leading retailers and designers have welcomed a new venture from Legend Exhibitions that aims to bring together all parties involved in creating retail environments and raise the profile of as well as debate within retail design. 

Retail Design Expo, the first focused event of its kind in the UK, will feature a series of high-profile events and activities to fuel debate around retail issues in the run up to a major show consisting of an exhibition, an inspirational and forward-looking conference and seminar programme, theatres, workshops, store tours and special features. The show will be held at London’s Olympia on 10-11 March 2015, alongside Retail Technology Business Expo (RBTE). 

Ahead of the main event, Retail Design Expo will also run a competition for design students, the winners of which will be involved in next year’s inaugural show and be awarded placements in client and consultancy teams.

Distinguished panel of advisors

Peter Williams, former chief executive of Selfridges and non-executive director of ASOS; Paul Porral, head of brand creative and Kim Morris, head of retail design at John Lewis; Stephen Robertson, formerly of B&Q and director general of the British Retail Consortium (BRC); Teresa Clark, head of store design and international development at Marks & Spencer; Melda Bur, head of design at Selfridges; and Beverley Churchill of developer Capital & Counties are among leading retailers working with Legend on Retail Design Expo. 

This distinguished advisory group also includes design and store heads from Barclays, Ted Baker, The White Company, Dixons and Tesco. They are working with Legend to make the new show a rich and insightful experience for visitors and participants.

They are joined on the advisory panel by David Dalziel of Dalziel & Pow; Fitch’s London chairman Tim Greenhalgh; Sebastian Conran; Michael Sheridan, chairman and founder of Sheridan and Co; Peter Champion, co-founder of i-am Associates; and Callum Lumsden, who are also among the designers lending support to Retail Design Expo. 

Targeting key retail participants

Retail Design Expo’s target audience includes heads of retail design, creative directors and designers working in agencies and within retailers through to chief executives, heads of visual merchandising and store formats, store and marketing directors and brand managers. Participants in the exhibition will range from shopfitters, retail fittings suppliers, and flooring, furniture and lighting companies to architects and designers.

The organisers said that retailers perceive a void in this operational area within the sector. According to Stephen Robertson, former marketing director of B&Q and BRC director general: ‘Great retail design is not optional. It lies right at the heart of the economics of the retail offer. The Retail Design Expo puts maximum stimulation -- innovators, speakers, suppliers -- under one roof."

Hosted alongside next year’s RBTE, which is also staged by Legend, it is hoped the combination of the two shows will bring together all elements of omnichannel retailing under one roof.

Creating omnichannel environments

John Bednall, Legend founder, commented: “Customers don’t differentiate between different channels when dealing with a retail brand. The physical and online store, the catalogues, kiosks and call centres must offer the same seamless appealing customer service and any failure to satisfy in any channel can result in a lost customer. 

"All must deliver a fulfilling experience. But the physical store is uniquely powerful in this regard, with a 3D space enveloping the customer and offering human interaction. Stores are also increasingly incorporating more technological solutions as part of the customer experience. This makes the co-location of RBTE and Retail Design Expo a logical extension of the event to offer all customer engagement and retail operations solutions under one roof.” 

David Dalziel, group creative director of Dalziel & Pow, added: "The retail design industry has lacked a recognised forum for many years. The Retail Design Expo offers just such a forum -- a chance to share ideas, trends and opinions with our competitors and collaborators."

Retail Design Expo will be launched at Retail Business Technology Expo 2014, Earls Court, London, at 3.30-5.30pm on 11 March 2014, while the event itself will make its debut at Olympia, London on 10-11 March 2015.

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