Taking place from 8 – 10 May 2019 at the wonderful Fairmont in St. Andrews, Scotland, the European edition of our NG Retail Summit will bring together senior retail decision-makers and business leaders from across the continent to share experiences, discuss current challenges – and find pragmatic solutions to help deliver meaningful results.

The summit will look at a number of key themes, including: personalisation: the art of customer customisation; unified commerce: retail connected in real time; and delivery and fulfilment.

From case studies that lift the lid on operations inside best-in-class organisations, to workshops and collaborative sessions that focus on real challenges and future technology innovations, to one-to-one meetings with industry peers offering practical advice tailored to your specific needs, the summit provides you with everything you need to implement your key projects more effectively.

Our Approach

Every GDS Summit has one stated aim: to help attending executives implement their key projects more effectively. We do this by developing an in-depth understanding of those executives' project needs, the business outcomes they want to achieve, and the challenges they face in terms of hitting those goals.

Who Attends

Our summits are designed for executives looking to take their business to the next level – from market-leading brands to disruptive new entrants. As such, we’ve worked with some of the world’s best-loved and most forward-thinking businesses.
Apply to attend

Past Attendees

At previous events we've helped executives from some the world's most significant firms - as well as the most forward-thinking - to address their project challenges.
Image of Katharina Sutch
Katharina Sutch
Director Shopper & Omnichannel Activation
LEGO Group
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Laura Gutowski
Director of Strategy & Innovation
Pret A Manger
Image of David Boyle
David Boyle
Customer Insights Director
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Olivier Luxon
IT Director eCommerce & Digital
Image of Mark Stevens
Mark Stevens
Head of Retail Operations
Image of Pascal Duval Slothower
Pascal Duval Slothower
Head of Creative
Image of Luis Casacuberta
Luis Casacuberta
MD Mango Woman and Member of the Group Management Committee
Image of Edwin Van Der Meerendonk
Edwin Van Der Meerendonk
VP European Supply Chain
The Walt Disney Company
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David Miller
VP Customer Experience & Omni Channel
Foot Locker
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Thomas Hebbert
Space Range and Display - Strategy and Operations Director
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Sven Beine
Store Development Director EMEA
Image of Will O'Connor
Will O'Connor
Commercial Director EMEA + NA
The Body Shop

6 Challenges in Retail

Our summit is focused on solving your strategic challenges
  • Rethinking the role of stores in order to create new shopping experiences that can’t be found online
  • Gathering customer data and using it to develop truly customer-first approaches for long-term loyalty
  • Balancing the need to hit short-term sales targets whilst also driving long-term innovation
  • Harnessing emerging tools such as AI, automation, AR and others to drive productivity and growth
  • Developing a strategy to either compete or collaborate with the likes of Amazon and Alibaba
  • Transforming ways of working and bringing employees with you on the transformation journey
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Summit Schedule

3 Days - 3 Summit Themes - 15 Workshops
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Wednesday May 8, 2019
Summit registration
1:00pm - 6:00pm

Grab your name badge, say hello, activate the onsite app and prepare to leave the office behind for two-and-a-half days of networking, learning and intelligence gathering.

Welcome address
3:25pm - 3:30pm

What? When? How? Where? Join our Master of Ceremonies for a brief welcome and orientation session, where we’ll explain your itinerary for the next few days.

Opening panel: Is the traditional retail business model dead?
3:30pm - 4:30pm
headshot of Paul Martin
Paul Martin
Head of UK Retail - KPMG

Over the last 10 years the retail business model that has been operating for hundreds of years has been severely disrupted and this is set to continue. We are likely only just experiencing the end of the beginning of this change and many retail businesses need to assess what to do to survive in the future.

4:30pm - 6:00pm
Track 1: Next Generation Stores: Digitised, Experiential, Human
4:30pm - 6:00pm
Track 2: Next Generation Customer Experience: Experimental, Data-driven, Personal
4:30pm - 6:00pm
Track 3: Next Generation Way of Working: Transformed, Efficient, Predictive
Solution provider briefing
6:00pm - 6:30pm

Details To Follow.

Cocktail reception
6:00pm - 7:00pm

Time to kick off your heels, loosen those ties and get to know your fellow summit attendees. Relax, drinks are on us.

Keynote Speech
7:00pm - 10:00pm
Gala dinner & keynote: Almost is not good enough: how to win or lose in retail
Thursday May 9, 2019
7:00am - 8:00am

The most important meal of the day. Get yourself set for a productive day by joining us for coffee, croissants and more.

Keynote Speech
8:05am - 8:35am
Keynote address: What does Brexit mean for retailers in 2019
8:40am - 9:20am
Session 1: Building an effective omnichannel retail strategy to create seamless customer experiences across bricks and clicks.
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Lee Haslett
VP of Product - Virgin Holidays
9:25am - 10:05am
Session 2: Supply Chain Innovation at the heart of the Omni Channel Journey
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Jose Manrique
Omnichannel Supply Chain Innovation Director - L’OREAL
10:10am - 10:50am
Session 3: How to create work that fuels growth not silos
headshot of Lee Woodward
Lee Woodward
Chief Experience Officer - Crabtree & Evelyn
Coffee & networking
10:50am - 11:05am

Take advantage of time to network with fellow summit attendees and further discuss your business transformation projects.

11:05am - 11:45am
Session 4: Retailing out of the box
headshot of Vi Patel
Vi Patel
COO - Hunkemöller International BV
11:50am - 12:30pm
Session 5: The conversational consumer/brand lifecycle
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Reuben White
VP Enterprise, NEMEA - Liveperson
Keynote Speech
12:35pm - 1:05pm
Lunch Keynote
Lunch & networking
1:05pm - 2:00pm

Worked up an appetite? Recharge those batteries with our buffet-style lunch, and prepare to meet the afternoon head-on.

2:00pm - 3:00pm
Roundtable Discussions
3:05pm - 3:45pm
Session 6: Rethinking Retail + connected commerce
3:50pm - 4:30pm
Session 7: Reach more buyers and drive higher conversion
4:35pm - 5:15pm
Session 8: Putting the AI in retail: operations and supply chain
5:20pm - 6:00pm
Session 9: We knew more about Sainsbury’s shoppers, than Sainsbury’s
Attendee downtime
6:00pm - 7:00pm

Time for a well-deserved break in your busy schedules.

Dinner & experience
7:00pm - 10:00pm

Time for some fun; you’ve earned it. Join us for our second night’s dinner and entertainment. Details to follow.

Friday May 10, 2019
7:00 am - 8:00 am

The most important meal of the day. Get yourself set for a productive day by joining us for coffee, croissants and more.

8:05 am - 8:45 am
Session 10: Navigating the path to frictionless retail. Or not
8:50 am - 9:30 am
Session 11: Tomorrow’s store pt. 3: the future is care
9:35 am - 10:15 am
Session 12: Mobile: it's everything
10:20 am - 11:00 am
Roundtable Discussions
11:05 am - 11:35 am
Session 13: Next generation chatbot
11:40 am - 12:10 pm
Session 14: Retail 2025
12:15 pm - 12:45 pm
Session 15
Closing panel
12:45 pm - 1:30 pm

What have been the most interesting discussion points over the last few days? What are the key takeaways? Are there any immediate actions to be implemented? And what further questions have emerged?

Lunch & farewells
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Worked up an appetite? Recharge those batteries with our buffet-style lunch for your journey home.

Summit Location

Fairmont, St Andrews, Scotland

Our events take place at some of the most prestigious venues in the world. Five-star accommodation, dining and amenities make attending one of our summits both business and pleasure. Being productive has never been so much fun.

Latest Case Study

Senior executives love our summits because of the unparalleled opportunity to meet people with ideas on how to move their key projects forward. But don’t just take our word for it…

To discuss how GDS Summits can help you solve your project challenges contact us on: 0117 921 4000 or email sayhello@gdsgroup.com.

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