Retail & Distribution

Retail Summit 2019: Compelling and motivational

15 February 2019

4 min

With this year’s Retail Summit behind us (13thand 14thFebruary 2019) the Cegid team have shared their thoughts and experiences of the event for this review article. As a strategic partner of The Retail Summit, we learnt a huge amount, and hope this article reflects the compelling and motivational nature of the well-attended event.

Held in the Palm Jumeirah’s iconic Atlantis Hotel in Dubai, The Retail Summit featured a thought-provoking agenda of conference presentations and debates. With more than 80 speakers and 900 participants, it fully succeeded in its aim to bring together disruptive brands and legacy retailers to discuss the future of retail in the digital age.


A passion for success

On the opening day Jo Malone CBE, Founder of Jo Loves, talked about how her battle with breast cancer has helped make her a more passionate business leader. She cited passion, resilience and respect for the ‘currency of creativity’ as the three most important values in developing a new brand.

“Don’t be afraid of the hard times, because they will come and they’re on our doorstep,” she said.

“Invest in creativity. That will be our future. And ask, how do we change the world with our products? How can you change the world? I created a paintbrush that paints your body with fragrance. That one single product has opened a global market for me. Walk towards your goals and make them happen. Stick to your guns.”

Legendary business leader Sir. Richard Branson took to the stage and discussed conflict resolution and climate change as what he felt to be the world’s most pressing issues. He also described how his team at Virgin Group use entrepreneurial skills to tackle issues within the business and to push forward new ideas.

Patrick Chalhoub, CEO of Chalhoub Group joined Sir Richard and Fahad Kazim of the Meydan Group for an excellent ‘Sustainability Panel Discussion’. There was a strong message to the audience that sustainability cannot be compromised when it comes to future-planning, and that “companies have to look at the long-term cost effectiveness” to shape their sustainability strategies.


Ground-breaking use of technology

Held in partnership with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Meydan One, The Retail Summit brought together a new generation of retailers. These players are delivering a winning combination of outstanding service and ground-breaking use of technology to deliver memorable shopping experiences – a vision of retail that Cegid fully advocates and supports.

Taking part in the lively debates during the two days were high profile speakers including Huda Kattan, CEO and Co-Founder, Huda Beauty, Julia Goldin, CMO of Lego, John Veichmanis, CMO of Farfetch, and Faraz Khalid, CEO of Noon. Developments in luxury retail was a hot topic – particularly pertinent in the glamorous Dubai retail landscape – and there was progressive discussion about the need for more women in retail boardrooms in the years ahead, where today they are largely absent.

Workshop streams at the show were busy and productive. Cegid customer Whittard of Chelsea took part in a fascinating workshop on 14th February, exploring the power of in-store entertainment as a differentiator. Whittard’s CEO Mark Dunhill described the company’s journey to build customer interest and loyalty with Tea Clubs and tasting areas. The panel of CEOs discussed the growing interest from consumers in these kinds of immersive, more interactive experiences. Keeping stores fresh and engaging with brand-specific events and features will be vital in the years ahead, they concluded.

The Cegid team enjoyed networking and discussing these industry innovations and challenges with the wider retail and retail property communities.


Focus on frictionless shopping

Many of the presentations at the Retail Summit explored the concept of ‘frictionless shopping’ particularly in the luxury sphere, where on-going relationships with customers are so important. The Cegid team were able to share a wealth of knowledge on how to truly delight customers, and never miss a sale.

As a leading retail technology provider, our mission is perfectly in tune with the central themes that underpinned the agenda at The Retail Summit event this year. Helping retailers plan for future growth and customer excellence at all potential touchpoints is in our DNA, and conversations we had with peers at the show gave us the opportunity to convey exactly that. Our unified commerce platform allows retailers to capture new growth opportunities and never miss a sale by delivering a unified, personalised shopping experience in-store, online, anytime, everywhere.

Retail brands we’ve worked with in this way include Gant, Lacoste, Barbour, Quiksilver, Longchamp and Yves Rocher, and we enjoyed bringing these compelling client stories to life at the show.

Now fully-charged and inspired by The Retail Summit, we’re taking our valuable learnings back to Cegid HQ, confident these will inform exciting new ideas and connections in the coming months and years.


Cegid was a strategic partner of The Retail Summit 2019 in Dubai, 13thand 14thFebruary.

To find out more about the journey to unified commerce, contact us today.

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