With guest speaker Andy Higginson - Chairman of Wm Morrisons, N.Brown and McCurracks - our annual Northern Retail and Consumer Dinner took place to great acclaim on Thursday 2nd July, at the Radisson in Manchester.
With over one hundred northern based business leaders from the retail and consumer sectors, there was much interest in Andy’s thoughts on the ‘Fast Changing UK Retail Landscape’.
Introducing Andy to the audience, Paul Williams, of the Berwick Partners retail practice, made reference to Andy’s outstanding retail career that includes 15 years as Executive Director at Tesco, and more recently his experience of Chairing Poundland through its IPO. Paul said “Andy has one of the most impressive careers in UK retail, and without question has played an integral role in shaping the face of UK retail as we know it today”.
With a combination of wit and serious insight, Andy delivered his thoughts to the audience. Covering a wide range of topics Andy never strayed far away from the customer: “The future as I see it is that the Customer is going to win. Why?... because the UK has such a competitive retail scene. In this country, if somebody has got a good idea then they can act on it quickly”.
Andy reflected on the challenges to retailers of the internet, but maintained that “physical shops will remain busy due to the social element of shopping”, and although some successful retailers have not rushed to have an online presence, eventually they will all have to.
Concluding his speech, Andy made the point of how the general trend these days is that the Customer wants it all and quickly, “but being WOW is more difficult than ever”.
Andy left the audience with his key thoughts that “competition is fantastic”; “the customer will win in the future” and passed on his advice to retailers and suppliers to “Originate, Innovate, Simplify and Listen!”
For further information on similar events Berwick Partners and Odgers Berndtson will be holding in the future please contact our Events Executive Corin Gough – firstname.lastname@example.org