Conference Agenda-2015

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Connect, Share, Evolve


In the connected consumer universe of today, traditional and existing business strategies need to keep reinventing, evolving.Sharing of information and insights can enable retailers to actively influence and manage shoppers’ motivations, inclinations and paths-to-purchase with peers and channel partners. In an age where consumers are outpacing brands and retailers, regardless of size or capability, growth cannot be created in isolation. More than ever before, retailers must connect, not compete, on insights to create a whole new change of management system that benefits all The consumer is really who you have to outsmart, not the competitor. The MRF 2015 theme of ‘Connect, Share, Evolve’ is therefore, designed to promote knowledge collaboration among retail businesses because collective wisdom is collective power.

Day 1 Tuesday, October 27, 2015

9:30 Retail Business Owners and CEOs breakfast, networking & introduction

Retail Business Owners and CEOs Conclave: Learnings of 2015

  • Be smart, move beyond the price game. Make customers feel special by developing customised incentives.
  • Make shopping a fun experience. Leverage different channels to connect with consumers.
  • Take care of your people. They’re your biggest asset.
  • Keep the legacy alive but make retail rock! Implement new, quirky ideas.
  • Business is all about return on investment but consumers like brands that are ethical in approach. Create a balance between sustainability and profitability.


11:30 Tea and networking

11:45 Second half of Retail Business Owners and CEOs Conclave

13:00 Lunch

LOGISTICS CONCLAVE: Is digitising supply chain the way ahead?

Stock out isn’t an option anymore! The UAE logistics market alone is valued at $27 billion in 2015, up 15% from 2013. With regional retail sales set to grow 7.3% annually to reach $284.5 billion by 2020, the importance of logistics gets heightened further. Hence, product availability and demand-supply integration will play a key role in the success of retail logistics.

Product availability anytime, anywhere: The green hand bag will be available in the shop. The Apple Watch will reach me this evening. That’s the kind of expectations retailers have to meet.
Consumer beliefs and needs have altered. Their willingness to wait has reduced, requiring retailers to ensure instant product availability and gratification, requiring the latter to have in place an effective logistics and supply chain system.

Integrating demand and supply: From inventory to transportation, packaging to delivering, storage facilities to stocking as well as communication at the retail touch points – every aspect is critical, playing a crucial role in integrating demand and supply. It, after all, isn’t such a difficult thing to do if technology is leveraged correctly. Through widespread use of IT, retailers can provide better service to consumers. Reaction time to demand spurts can be radically improved through the use of information transmission and dissemination technologies, thereby reducing costs and improving service.


15:30 Tea and networking

15:45 TECHNOLOGY CONCLAVE: Building new horizons in retail

Technology has transformed the way retailers and consumers interact with each other, thereby creating new business models. Shopping behaviour too has undergone rapid changes with the growth of online and mobile, opening up a new avenue to reposition brick-and-mortar at the centre of this new customer experience. Retailers now have to think of ways to reap rewards from this retail convergence.

  • How are retailers adjusting strategies and technology to optimise customer engagement and drive sales, creating a mechanism for sustainable growth?
  • How can they use technology to create a balance between e-tail and store experience? How can they engage shoppers on their digital terms?
  • How can they smoothly navigate a customer through the shopping journey by creating new paths of purchase and collection?
  • How can they analyse user behaviour on social media to communicate the right offers to the right customers?
  • How can they empower staff by offering them the right technology?
  • What will retail look like in 2020?


19:00 Cocktails followed by Images RetailME Awards

Day 2 Wednesday, October 28, 2015

9:30 Recap from Day One

9:45 MARKETING CONCLAVE: Customer is, and always will be, king!

What is the new customer experience all about? How do they want to be treated? Do they look forward to being surprised when they walk into their favourite stores? Do they want store staff to speak in their language? Are they looking for product-related suggestions or freedom to browse at their own pace? What should the commerce channel be in the current age of flux?

Get your answers to devise a game changing experience for your customers, gaining their loyalty.


11:30 Tea and networking

11:45 RETAIL DESIGN CONCLAVE: The art of store’telling

Today consumers don’t shop for products alone. They look for an experience while shopping at a luxury store or a value fashion store or even a consumer electronics outlet, while eating out at restaurants and cafés or even while doing grocery shopping, making it crucial for retailers to design stores that are fun and functional. It could be playfulness, creativity and colourful graphics or even straight shelves and wide alleys. So on one hand, there’s experiential retail and on the other simplistic designs. There’s a need for plush, futuristic interiors. There’s also need to ensure broad walkways to move trolleys and strollers around. The need of the hour, therefore, is to integrate merchandise, people and technology in sync with the brand ethos to ensure a wow experience


13:00 Lunch

14:00 SHOPPING MALL CONCLAVE: Mall of the Future

Components are as crucial as the construction itself, making it imperative for mall developers to work in tandem with food service and leisure and entertainment concepts – two of the mainstays in retail today. That’s the recipe to attract more footfalls to the mall – be it a super-regional mall or a community-centric shopping centre. Add to that in-mall entertainment, free Wi-Fi, interesting shopping and lounge areas making the shopping experience highly fulfilling.