It’s nearly time for LIVE 2024: Retail Week x The Grocer – and here are our top speaker picks

Now with Retail Week and The Grocer, LIVE is always a chance to network with industry peers, and hear from retail’s most innovative leaders.

Retail Week Live, as it has been until now, has rightly been a highlight of our diary for the last few years – a chance to network with industry peers, and hear from some of retail’s most interesting and innovative leaders.

Now, with Retail Week and The Grocer coming together to co-host an even richer event, LIVE 2024 – taking place in London on 12 and 13 March – promises some of the best speakers and insights yet from across retail and the wider FMCG industry.

As we prepare for the event in less than a week’s time, here are five of the speakers we are most looking forward to.

John Boumphrey, UK Country Manager, Amazon

Last year’s event kicked off with the warm and interesting Greggs CEO Roisin Currie, and this year LIVE has pulled out all the stops again to open day one with John Boumphrey from Amazon.

The programme promises that “from drones to healthcare, from AI to sustainable packaging, Amazon is committed to being at the forefront of our retail future”. Whatever your view of Amazon, it’s always enlightening to hear from a business that has achieved, and continues to achieve, such success.

Julian Beer, Store Director, Liberty

LIVE is never badged as a specifically “high street” focused event, though there are always useful lessons and ideas to take away for those of us who work with bricks-and-mortar businesses on a regular basis.

Tuesday’s “Lessons from luxury: what can the UK high street learn?” session on the Consumer Stage promises to deliver many such insights, bringing together Julian Beer from department store Liberty – always an exemplar in the creation of memorable customer experiences – alongside speakers from two 21st century brands: Henrietta Rix of London-based designer retailer Rixo, and Alexis Maule, the former MD of sustainable fashion brand Reformation.

Matt Hood, Managing Director, Co-op Food

Tuesday’s closing keynote brings Matt Hood, the MD of Co-op Food, to LIVE’s Main Stage, to discuss “What I’ve learnt about how to reap the benefits of recognising what makes you special”.

The Coop’s 2016 rebrand, where it brought back the famous blue cloverleaf logo, arguably kicked off a golden age for the retailer, where it has rediscovered its purpose and heritage at the same time as reinventing itself as an agile and attractive convenience destination.

So, it will be fascinating to hear from Matt as he shares thoughts and lessons from his twelve-year journey (so far) through the Co-op hierarchy.

Jo Whitfield, CEO, Matalan

Jo is a regular friend of LIVE, and impressed me at 2022’s event when she appeared on a panel while still the boss of Co-op Food.

Having taken the role as CEO of Matalan a year ago, Jo once again joins the Main Stage for Wednesday’s “Inside the mind of a CEO” session.

With the CEOs of Pentland Brands, sofa retailer Loaf and lingerie specialist Bravissimo also taking part, we can surely look forward to some interesting and engaging insights into what makes some of the best retail leaders tick.

Paul Marchant, CEO, Primark

If Amazon is the leader when it comes to online, Primark is arguably the retailer to beat when it comes to creating an unbeatable experience in physical stores.

LIVE’s relaxed “fireside chat” format often delivers some fascinating and occasionally unguarded remarks, and with a potential focus on topics such as “range expansions, partnerships, tentative steps towards a multichannel offer, and global ambitions”, this closing session with Primark CEO Paul Marchant looks set to end LIVE 2024 on a high.

Get your tickets

If you are not registered for LIVE 2024 yet, there is still time to get your tickets.

Check out the full programme on the website, and use the code LIVE24CANNY10 to get a 10% discount on the price of retailer tickets.

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