Taking place from 7 – 9 October 2019 at the wonderful Powerscourt Hotel Resort and Spa in Wicklow, Ireland, the European edition of our NG Retail Summit will bring together Directors, VPs & Chiefs of Retail, Technology, Marketing & Operations 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, AI, data & analytics, the new consumer, retail employees & what happened to omnichannel?

From case studies that lift the lid on operations inside best-in-class organisations, to workshops, panels and oxford style debates that focus on real challenges and future 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.
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Attendees Include

The upcoming summit will welcome executives from some of the world's biggest and most recognisable firms - as well as the most forward-thinking - as they look to address their project challenges.
Image of Seth Ellison
Logo of Levi Strauss and Co.
Seth Ellison
President & EVP
Levi Strauss and Co.
Image of Rien Jansen
Logo of bonprix
Rien Jansen
MD
bonprix
Image of Marcin Jasiak
Logo of L’Occitane En Provence
Marcin Jasiak
President Europe & Russia
L’Occitane En Provence
Image of Katharina Sutch
Logo of LEGO Group
Katharina Sutch
Director Shopper & Omnichannel Activation
LEGO Group
Image of Chris Lamontagne
Logo of Teespring
Chris Lamontagne
CEO
Teespring
Image of Thomas Rasmussen
Logo of Intersport
Thomas Rasmussen
COO
Intersport
Image of Maria Murphy
Logo of FeelUnique
Maria Murphy
Head of UX
FeelUnique
Image of James McGhee
Logo of Footasylum
James McGhee
Head of Customer Experience
Footasylum
Image of Kai Herzberger
Logo of Facebook
Kai Herzberger
Group Director DACH & EMEA, eCommerce & Transformational Retail
Facebook
Image of Stuart Hill
Logo of Farfetch
Stuart Hill
VP Logistics
Farfetch
Image of Stefan Hesse
Logo of GS1
Stefan Hesse
Board Member
GS1
Image of Will Weightman
Logo of eBay
Will Weightman
GM Italy & Spain
eBay

6 Challenges in Retail

Our summit is focused on solving your strategic challenges
  • Personalisation: providing truly relevant experiences in an age of privacy
  • Omnichannel: bringing physical and digital together, seamlessly
  • Retail employees: maximising your number one asset in 2020 and beyond
  • The new consumer: understanding principles, wants, behaviours, lifestyle, expectations
  • The future store: determining its role in the experience economy
  • Emerging tech: recognising the right use case for your business
Apply to attend

Summit Schedule

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Monday October 7, 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 remarks and briefings
2:30pm - 2:45pm

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.

Panel Discussion
2:45pm - 3:30pm
The perspectives of 3 - 5 industry experts into one of the key challenges we're all facing today. This will be moderated to create a session of different perspectives, opinions and tangible takeaways of how our panelists are tackling them.
The end of the world [as we know it]
headshot of Kai Herzberger
Kai Herzberger
Group Director DACH & EMEA, eCommerce & Transformational Retail - Facebook
headshot of Dragan Radojevic
Dragan Radojevic
Retail Innovation Director - Euronics
headshot of Thomas Marzano
Thomas Marzano
Global Head of Brand Experience - Philips

The pace of change has never been this fast. Retailers need to constantly be innovating to stay abreast of competition. Consumers expect more than ever before. Technology is progressing faster than ever before. How do we innovate & keep up with the increasing pressures of this new world?

Interview
3:30pm - 3:50pm
A one on one interview diving into the details of how to prepare yourself for the realities of one of the industry's top challengers.
Do you know your data?
headshot of Nick Hough-Robbins
Nick Hough-Robbins
Chief Data Officer - Shell

Big data, thick data, think data – we’ve been talking about data for years but do you know what it means? How do you truly understand the challenges & opportunities data creates?

Roundtable Track 1
Session 1 - Challenges
3:50pm - 5:00pm
It’s all about identifying your challenges. What are the key questions that keep you up at night? What solutions are you looking for? Find common ground.
Personalisation: providing truly relevant experiences in an age of privacy
headshot of Elena Golubeva
Elena Golubeva
Omnichannel Customer Communications Director - Leroy Merlin
  • How is personalisation impacting the customer journey?
  • Should we build out our channels to allow customers to engage directly 1-1 using chat/tools?
  • What are the personalisation tools we should strongly consider?
  • Is personalisation getting too personal?
Roundtable Track 2
Session 1 - Challenges
3:50pm - 5:00pm
It’s all about identifying your challenges. What are the key questions that keep you up at night? What solutions are you looking for? Find common ground.
Omnichannel: bringing physical and digital together, seamlessly
headshot of Stefan Hesse
Stefan Hesse
Board Member - GS1
  • Where do you start investing first?
  • Do you think that you are prepared today to deliver seamless experiences no matter when, where or how your customers are expecting to interact with you?
  • Online & offline power play – how can these two channels work best together?
  • How do you bring together physical and digital technology along with data and systems?
  • The move from Omnichannel to New Retail – what does that mean?
Roundtable Track 3
Session 1 - Challenges
3:50pm - 5:00pm
It’s all about identifying your challenges. What are the key questions that keep you up at night? What solutions are you looking for? Find common ground.
The future store: determining its role in the experience economy
  • What does Brick & Mortar 2.0 look like to you?
    • Technology?
    • Products?
    • Employees?
  • What is the actual, practical role of the store of the future?
  • What are the best technologies to leverage instore experience?
    • Is facial recognition & shopper tracking a step too far?
    • What is too intrusive?
  • Is there a future in pop-up stores?
Roundtable Track 4
Session 1 - Challenges
3:50pm - 5:00pm
It’s all about identifying your challenges. What are the key questions that keep you up at night? What solutions are you looking for? Find common ground.
Retail employees: maximising your number one asset in 2020 and beyond
headshot of Niko Kontoyannis
Niko Kontoyannis
Head of Retail - Breitling
  • What is the role of employees going forward?
    • How do they add value to the customer experience?
    • How can technology can make it easier for store employees?
  • Driving task efficiency so that staff spend more time with the customer
  • How to ensure staff are true product experts & brand advocates?
Roundtable Track 5
Session 1 - Challenges
3:50pm - 5:00pm
It’s all about identifying your challenges. What are the key questions that keep you up at night? What solutions are you looking for? Find common ground.
The new consumer: understanding principles, wants, behaviours, lifestyle, expectations
headshot of Katharina Sutch
Katharina Sutch
Director Shopper & Omnichannel Activation - LEGO Group
  • How to identify your new customer?
    • How have their needs changed?
    • How do you respond to this change?
  • How to best reward the consumer to build & cement that relationship?
    • How to drive loyalty out of these newer generations?
  • How to form habits and engagement that doesn’t mean burning cash on paid search or other marketing
  • How do you serve a customer that has got so much choice in front of them? How do you keep up with what the consumer is actually looking for?
    • If a customer is given so much choice, then how can you truly compete with providing a consumer with what they want?
  • What does the consumer of the future look like?
Networking drinks
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
7:00pm - 10:00pm

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

Keynote
8:00pm - 8:30pm
Our Keynote speaker will be addressing the entirety of Summit attendees during our Gala Dinner. They will be going beyond the 'brand story' and sharing their experience and the real truths of tackling a challenge that is shaping the industry.
Levi Strauss & Co; How a 160-year old startup succeeds in the new world order
headshot of Seth Ellison
Seth Ellison
President & EVP - Levi Strauss and Co.

Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world’s largest brand-name apparel companies and a global leader in jeanswear. Its products are sold in more than 110 countries worldwide through a combination of chain retailers, department stores, online sites, and a global footprint of approximately 3,000 retail stores and shop-in-shops. The company reported fiscal 2018 net revenues of $5.6 billion. But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing.

Seth will share some of the ups and downs LS&Co. has experienced over it’s more than 160 years in operation, and how the company has turned its business around in the last decade leveraging a consistent strategy to “grow the core” and “expand for more,” including a strong commitment to expanding its direct-to-consumer channels and elevating the experience for consumers, customers and employees.

Tuesday October 8, 2019
Breakfast
7:00am - 7:50am

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

Welcome remarks
7:50am - 8:00am
Panel Discussion
8:00am - 8:20am
The perspectives of 4-5 industry experts into one of the key challenges we're all facing today. This will be moderated to create a session of different perspectives, opinions and tangible takeaways of how our panelists are tackling them.
The welcome stranger – how do you make the most of a first impression?
headshot of Maria Murphy
Maria Murphy
Head of UX - FeelUnique
headshot of James McGhee
James McGhee
Head of Customer Experience - Footasylum
headshot of Jens-Ole Boelsen
Jens-Ole Boelsen
Head of UX - Otto Group
headshot of Jakob Mølgaard Holm
Jakob Mølgaard Holm
Director Consumer Insight EMEA - PANDORA

Consumers now expect you to know who they are and respond accordingly but how do you personalise the experience to a complete stranger?

  • What does personalisation look like to me?
  • Can we personalise the experience in real-time without the user realising that is it personalised?
  • What can we do with our profile data to build a direct link with the customer?
  • How do you meet expectations without being too intrusive?
Keynote
8:20am - 8:50am
A brand exec takes you behind the scenes, providing insight into a successful project implementation – what worked, what didn’t and which pitfalls to avoid.
Digital adpocalypse: The new advent of social commerce
headshot of Chris Lamontagne
Chris Lamontagne
CEO - Teespring

84% of shoppers review at least one social media post before purchasing. Chris will share first-hand insights on how the changing ad’s eco-system is shaping a new era for social commerce, something that could make or break brands in the next 3-5 years.

  • How are social platforms competing with marketplaces?
  • What effect will this have on commerce in the future?
  • How can you safeguard your business for the new era of social commerce?
Panel Discussion
8:50am - 9:20am
The perspectives of 3-5 industry experts into one of the key challenges we're all facing today. This will be moderated to create a session of different perspectives, opinions and tangible takeaways of how our panelists are tackling them.
Retail tech: gimmick or game-changer?
headshot of Thomas Rasmussen
Thomas Rasmussen
COO - Intersport
headshot of Scott Otte
Scott Otte
Marketing Director - Via Outlets
headshot of Mario Janschitz
Mario Janschitz
Chief Product Officer - Simplicity Trade

As new technologies continue to disrupt the retail industry, how do you identify meaningful solutions?

  • Evaluating what emerging technologies will help retailers stay relevant & competitive
    •  AI & Machine Learning
    •  AR/VR
    • Voice
  • How can we best utilise the technology we invest in?
  • How can we minimise the risk of adopting new technologies?
  • How will technology change retail in the next 20 years?
Oxford Style Debate and Live Polling
9:20am - 10:00am
One Topic. Two experts. Two opinions. You'll get the chance to vote on where you stand before the session starts. We'll then hear from our two experts, to see if they can sway your opinion when you participate in the closing vote.
A level playing field: Bricks vs. clicks
Bricks
headshot of Simon Calvert
Simon Calvert
MD - MenKind
Clicks
headshot of Daniel Infanger
Daniel Infanger
MD VP Online & Mailorder - Conrad Electronic International

Traditional retailers are weighed down with superior taxes, rent & rates however nearly 20% of all retail sales in the UK last year were done online. Consumer preferences are changing, more & more money is being spent online. Does pureplay have an unfair advantage?

Coffee & networking
10:00am - 10:15am

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

Workshop
10:15am - 10:55am
An industry expert will lead an interactive workshop tackling common challenges and scenarios, engaging the audience to confront the issues and discuss ideas. What will your proposed solutions be?
Retail reboot.
headshot of Luca Calcamucchio
Luca Calcamucchio
Global Director of Store Design and VM - Charlotte Tilbury

A good product is no longer enough. According to Doug Stephens, “The Retail Prophet”, there are 5 elements required to create the perfect experience: Surprise, uniqueness, personalisation, engagement and repeatability.

  • Thinking from this perspective, if you started now, what would you do differently?
  • Which channels would you prioritise?
  • What can digital achieve in a physical environment?
Case Study
11:00am - 11:40am
A brand exec takes you behind the scenes, providing insight into a successful project implementation – what worked, what didn’t and which pitfalls to avoid.
Case Study with Otty Sleep: Incremental and emerging shopping channels for retail innovators.
headshot of Jon Lord
Jon Lord
Vice President, Business Development, Europe - Connexity
headshot of Andrew Jacobs
Andrew Jacobs
Digital Marketing Manager - OTTY Sleep

The historical landscape of paid digital media channels has changed for retailers over the years; as preferences change, we will discuss the trends noted in the new retail environment.

  • Identifying the most recent evolutions & opportunities
  •  Where could we go from here?
  • How have OTTY Sleep updated their strategy & what impact has this had for their business?
Workshop
11:45am - 12:25pm
An industry expert will lead an interactive workshop tackling common challenges and scenarios, engaging the audience to confront the issues and discuss ideas. What will your proposed solutions be?
Mobile - the link between online & offline

We spend on average 24 hours a week online, with traffic from mobiles reaching 66% it is time for retailers to adopt a mobile first approach. Mobile is now being used in all areas of retail from browsing to check out; so how do you create a superlative mobile experience?
– Exploring the pros & cons of native apps vs. PWA’s
– How to utilise mobile in every step of the journey?

Panel Discussion
12:30pm - 1:00pm
The perspectives of 3-5 industry experts into one of the key challenges we're all facing today. This will be moderated to create a session of different perspectives, opinions and tangible takeaways of how our panelists are tackling them.
The alliance of retail & technology
headshot of Will Weightman
Will Weightman
GM Italy & Spain - eBay
headshot of Florent Courau
Florent Courau
MD France - JD.com
headshot of Keng Ng
Keng Ng
Digital eCommerce Director - Mars

Carrefour & Tencent. Harrods & Farfetch. M&S & Ocado. The leaders in this modern world are tech companies. New partnerships between tech giants & retailers are becoming increasingly common but should retailers try to become tech companies themselves?

Networking lunch
1:00pm - 1:45pm

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

Roundtable
Session 2 - Discovery
1:45pm - 2:30pm
Learning and sharing with your group. What are the solutions? Are they readily available? What path are you going to take?
Roundtables

a. Personalisation: No longer an option

b. Omnichannel – what happened?

c. AI, data & analytics

d. Retail employees

e. The new consumer: Principles, wants, spending habits, lifestyle, expectations

Workshop
2:35pm - 3:15pm
An industry expert will lead an interactive workshop tackling common challenges and scenarios, engaging the audience to confront the issues and discuss ideas. What will your proposed solutions be?
Taking away the pain of paying
headshot of Pascal Mauzé
Pascal Mauzé
SVP Sales & Marketing - Worldline
headshot of Stijn Gasthuys
Stijn Gasthuys
Global Sales Director Merchant Services - Worldline

New regulations; PSD2 & 3DS 2.0 have forced retailers to reassess their payments process. With cart abandonment rate at 75% how do you maximise the good transactions?

  • How do you streamline the payment process?
  • What technology can you offer in-store & online to ease checkout?
  • What implications does PSD2 have on customer experience?
Case Study
3:20pm - 4:00pm
A brand exec takes you behind the scenes, providing insight into a successful project implementation – what worked, what didn’t and which pitfalls to avoid.
Case study: The holistic in-store retail experience
headshot of Rien Jansen
Rien Jansen
MD - bonprix

Retailers are finding new ways to offer customers something unique or special in order to encourage traffic to physical stores. Consumers want to be inspired, to have a good time, to touch, to feel, to smell, to try. Digital interfaces are enhanced by the physical presence of merchandise, environment & store associates.

  • Identifying which technologies will improve in-store experience
    • How do you create that digital experience in-store?
  • How to leverage data to benefit customer experience?
  • Evaluating the ways to improve the emotional power of your brand through a multi-sensory experience
  • Should we move to experience instead of product?
Panel Discussion
4:05pm - 4:45pm
The perspectives of 4-5 industry experts into one of the key challenges we're all facing today. This will be moderated to create a session of different perspectives, opinions and tangible takeaways of how our panelists are tackling them.
Winning the market share battle
headshot of Massimo Martini
Massimo Martini
Marketing Director - VF Corporation
headshot of Jodie Tate
Jodie Tate
VP Retail Operations - Asda
headshot of Stefan Hesse
Stefan Hesse
Board Member - GS1

The online share of retail is still growing but not as rapidly as in previous years. With bricks & mortar retailers taking up more of the ‘pie’.

  • Evaluating different ways to improve market share
  • How do you maintain & grow share online when brick & mortar retailers are penetrating the market?
  • How do you compete when companies are disrupting the market with an unprofitable business model?
  • How do you protect existing market share?
Oxford Style Debate and Live Polling
4:45pm - 5:35pm
One Topic. Two experts. Two opinions. You'll get the chance to vote on where you stand before the session starts. We'll then hear from our two experts, to see if they can sway your opinion when you participate in the closing vote.
Discounts - a necessary evil?
Against
headshot of András Szőcs
András Szőcs
Head of Customer Program - Salling Group
For
headshot of Paul Martin
Paul Martin
Head of UK Retail - KPMG

Discounting in retail is at an all-time high & can cost retailers millions. Is it time to quit discouting?

Attendee downtime
6:00pm - 7:00pm

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

Drinks, Gala Dinner & Entertainment
7:00pm - 10:00pm

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

Wednesday October 9, 2019
Breakfast
7:30 am - 8:20 am

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

Welcome remarks
8:20 am - 8:30 am
Panel Discussion
8:30 am - 8:50 am
The perspectives of 4-5 industry experts into one of the key challenges we're all facing today. This will be moderated to create a session of different perspectives, opinions and tangible takeaways of how our panelists are tackling them.
Gen Z: The true digital natives
headshot of Marcin Jasiak
Marcin Jasiak
President Europe & Russia - L’Occitane En Provence
headshot of Niko Kontoyannis
Niko Kontoyannis
Head of Retail - Breitling
  • How do you identify, attract & retain top talent?
  • In a saturated retail landscape, how do you become the employer of choice?
  • As Gen Z steps into the workforce how have their expectations evolved?
  • What attracts the new generation of staff?
Keynote
8:50 am - 9:20 am
A brand exec takes you behind the scenes, providing insight into a successful project implementation – what worked, what didn’t and which pitfalls to avoid.
What is next for AI?

Many retailers are already using AI for chat but what are the next applications for AI in retail?

  • What is artificial intelligence and what does it truly mean?
  • How do you get buy in from the board to implement AI solutions?
  • How do you use AI to make real-time recommendations to a customer?
  • Machine learning is relatively common but how can you prove a machine is learning & then know what AI can then be set up?
Roundtable
Session 3 - Outcomes
9:25 am - 10:05 am
What does it all mean. Tracing back through two days of work, where are we? What you are bringing back to the office with you.
Roundtables

a. Personalisation: No longer an option

b. Omnichannel – what happened?

c. AI, data & analytics

d. Retail employees

e. The new consumer: Principles, wants, spending habits, lifestyle, expectations

Coffee & networking
10:10 am - 10:25 am

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

Workshop
10:25 am - 11:05 am
An industry expert will lead an interactive workshop tackling common challenges and scenarios, engaging the audience to confront the issues and discuss ideas. What will your proposed solutions be?
Is the future of retail drop shipping?
headshot of Stuart Hill
Stuart Hill
VP Logistics - Farfetch
Workshop
11:10 am - 11:50 am
An industry expert will lead an interactive workshop tackling common challenges and scenarios, engaging the audience to confront the issues and discuss ideas. What will your proposed solutions be?
Self disruption: Navigating the continuous demand for novelty while maintaining brand heritage
headshot of Dale Davis
Dale Davis
Director Public Relations & Social Media - Coach

A constant demand for novelty—of newness, of communication, product, everything is a major challenge when reaching audiences particularly younger in age.

Technology advancements and social media are changing the game for established brands. Staying adept to digital technological advancements, social media and consumers’ preference for newness is forcing traditional brands to be more nimble to constant change with self-disruption. However, brands must self-disrupt in the right way or risk disrupting their own brand’s alignment.

Panel Discussion
11:50 am - 12:40 pm
The perspectives of 4-5 industry experts into one of the key challenges we're all facing today. This will be moderated to create a session of different perspectives, opinions and tangible takeaways of how our panelists are tackling them.
Closing panel & wrap up: So what's next…
headshot of Elena Golubeva
Elena Golubeva
Omnichannel Customer Communications Director - Leroy Merlin
headshot of Stefan Hesse
Stefan Hesse
Board Member - GS1
headshot of Niko Kontoyannis
Niko Kontoyannis
Head of Retail - Breitling
headshot of Katharina Sutch
Katharina Sutch
Director Shopper & Omnichannel Activation - LEGO Group

As we contextualise everything we have learnt over the last couple of days, what will we take back to the business? How do we implement what we have learnt? What steps should we be taking moving forward?

Lunch & farewells
12:45 pm - 1:30 pm

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

Summit Location

Powerscourt Hotel Resort and Spa, Wicklow, Ireland

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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