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
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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
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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
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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
Apply to attend

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
3:30pm - 3:45pm

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.

Keynote Speech
3:45pm - 4:25pm
Keynote panel discussion: Tomorrow’s retail wins, today
headshot of Paul Martin
Paul Martin
Head of UK Retail - KPMG
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
4:30pm - 4:40pm

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.

Gala dinner & keynote: Almost is not good enough: how to win or lose in retail
7:00pm - 10:00pm

Retail has always been a dynamic industry but right now it is going through an unprecedented pace of change. Seismic economic shifts and breath-taking technological advances are changing the shopping experience faster than most retailers are able to react. Customers demand ever more exciting shopping experiences and have higher expectations of product, service, value and environment. And, as if that isn’t enough to contend with, there is the multi-channel reality to get to grips with too. Any retailer that wants to stay in the game, let alone ahead of it, has to think in an entirely different way. Get it wrong, or move too slowly, and the customer will be lost forever. They’ll already be onto the next big thing. In this fascinating and provocative keynote, Andrew Jennings, a global retail executive with four decades of leadership experience at some of the world’s top stores, shares his secrets on how retailers can thrive in this dynamic environment.

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 - 8:30am
Keynote address: What does Brexit mean for retailers in 2019
8:35am - 9:30am

Details To Follow.

9:35am - 10:15am
Session 1: Tomorrow’s store pt. 1: when physical met digital
10:20am - 11:00am
Session 2: Immersive digital and the shared brand experience
Coffee & networking
11:00am - 11:20am

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

11:20am - 12:00pm
Session 3: Putting the AI in retail: customer-facing
12:05pm - 12:45pm
Session 4: Test, learn, iterate, rinse and repeat: how we compete to win
12:50pm - 1:30pm
Session 5: The blockchain debate
Lunch & networking
1:30pm - 2:30pm

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

2:30pm - 3:10pm
Session 6: Making your customer-facing folk smarter and faster
3:15pm - 3:55pm
Session 7: Tomorrow’s store pt. 2: get them in, give them an experience they won’t forget
Coffee & networking
3:55pm - 4:05pm

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

4:05pm - 4:45pm
Session 8: Putting the AI in retail: operations and supply chain
4:50pm - 5:30pm
Session 9: We knew more about Sainsbury’s shoppers, than Sainsbury’s
Attendee downtime
5:30pm - 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
7:30 am - 8:30 am

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

8:30 am - 9:10 am
Session 10: Navigating the path to frictionless retail. Or not
9:15 am - 9:55 am
Session 11: Tomorrow’s store pt. 3: the future is care
10:00 am - 10:40 am
Session 12: Mobile: it's everything
Coffee & networking
10:40 am - 10:50 am

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

10:50 am - 11:30 am
Session 13: Next generation chatbot
11:35 am - 12:15 pm
Session 14: Retail 2025
12:20 pm - 1:00 pm
Session 15: Talking points and key takeaways
Lunch & farewells
1:00 pm - 2:00 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.