Last Tuesday, the ‘Future Ready Retail’ event took place to address the challenges that the retail industry is facing. The event explained how changing consumer needs, the impact of digital technology, demand for convenience, sustainability, and health and wellness will transform retail and provided compelling solutions to help reimagine the high street and town centres.
Attendees were made aware that high streets and shopping malls no longer attract the crowds needed to sustain successful commercial spaces. Due to the effects of online shopping, changing consumer attitudes and expectations, there was a sense of urgency and a need to address the decline in physical retail. Future-Ready Retail provided in-depth analysis of how consumers, data, and new technologies will continue to irreversibly shake up physical shops and permanently shape the future of high streets.
Retail futurist and designer Ibrahim Ibrahim argued that to be future-ready, retail needs to be driven by people and places, not solely real estate. The book explained how to develop strategies to create shops whose purpose is to recruit, retain and delight customers. The event also featured case studies from around the world, highlighting key cultural and consumer trends and why it’s important to make high streets smarter, more connected, more programmable, and less dependent on transactional retail.
The program for the evening was well-structured, with attendees arriving at Portcullis House – The Wilson Room at 7.00 pm. Mark Faithfull provided welcome and introductions to the evening’s proceedings at 7.15 pm, followed by a book reading by Ibrahim at 7.20 pm. Then, there were introductions to the panel and discussion at 7.30 pm.
The event wrapped up at 8.30 pm, with attendees heading to St. Stephens Tavern, 10 Bridge St, London SW1A 2JJ for drinks, light nibbles, and conversations about the future of retail and town centres. Overall, the ‘Future Ready Retail’ event provided valuable insights and solutions to address the challenges faced by the retail industry.