Our sixth annual Retail Study Tour was recently held on 27th and& 28th of September where London’s top retailers opened up their doors to deliver an inspiring and insightful experience for our attendees. The focus this year was on ‘Digital Innovation in Retail’, with an aim to shed light on how the most modern retails in London have adapted their business models to stay ahead:

The digital economy has disrupted traditional retailing, causing rapid shifts in consumer behavior and expectations, forcing retailers to constantly rethink their strategy so they remain relevant and competitive.

 

Day one kicked off with a tour of Marks and Spencer‘s flagship store at Marble Arch. Our host, Commercial Manager  Emily Padgett shared some insights into how this iconic, yet traditional retail giant has remained competitive despite the many challenges of the digital economy

 

 

That afternoon, we were treated to a masterclass on ‘The Future of Shopping’ with global management consultancy company Accenture who shared with us some insights on the future of retail and the impact of technology.

We ended Day 1 with a store visit To Oliver Bonas on Tottenham Court Road – a ‘quirky’ retailer with over 42 stores across the UK boasting an eclectic mix of everything from homeware to clothes, furniture and cards. Our guide and speaker – Katharine Saralis is the company’s omnichannel project manager within its e-commerce department, shared how the retailer’s online sales have become such a success story, mainly due to how the company builds its brand awareness.

  

Day two started with a visit to the famous luxury department store – Harrods. The name speaks for itself here as people flock from all over the globe to shop at this renowned retail destination. After being given the rare opportunity to explore the store before it opened, attendees were then given a masterclass on how this traditional retailer has embraced digital innovation in store.

Next stop was the London Fashion Academy who delivered a powerful masterclass on innovation in visual merchandising and the impact that technology is having on the in store and online creative experience.

 

The London Retail Safari was the final visit of the trip for tour attendees where Tony Morgan, Course leader at the Fashion Retail Academy lead the tour through some up and coming areas of London to explore firsthand how both small and larger retailers were using forward thinking visual merchandising strategies.

A fantastic retail experience for all – we already look forward to next year’s Retail Study Tour and what insights and innovation may be ‘in store’!