There is no denying that British retail is in trouble. On the high street, one in every six shops is boarded up and footfall has fallen by 10 percent in the last three years. Across the sector, consumer demand is down and every week there is news of another household name in trouble.
The publication of the UK Government response to the Portas Review has returned our high street to the top of the political agenda and in order to capture the mood of the UK’s businesses and individuals, Squire Sanders is hosting a high profile event The Retail Debate: Fight or Flight on the afternoon of 25th June 2012.
The Retail Debate is run in partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University’s Faraday Centre for Retail Excellence, Retail Trust, British Property Federation, and Leeds, York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. It is set to be the biggest and most informative discussion around the future of retail outside of London.
A panel of leading UK high street, online and out of town retailers will gather to consider the shape of the retail industry in the current economic climate and what the future may hold in the ever-changing retail landscape. The debate will drive discussion around these central themes but will also enable delegates to learn more about the latest trends in the sector including branding and copycat marketing, identifying growth opportunities and harnessing the power of employees, and includes a series of breakout sessions.
Speakers include directors and senior management from Greggs, Pets at Home, T.M. Lewin, Mamas & Papas, Kingfisher plc, as well as British Brands Group, Dunnhumby, Deloitte and Hammerson. The Retail Debate will be held at Leeds Metropolitan’s Rose Bowl; the home of the Faraday Centre for Retail Excellence.
Commenting on the event, Matthew Lewis, Squire Sanders’ head of retail, said "Yorkshire is an important base for retailers. New shopping developments such as Trinity Leeds and Hammerson’s Eastgate will bring new impetus to the region and the Faraday Centre for Retail Excellence in Leeds lends an added dimension to the expertise we have to offer advising a number of the biggest retailers."
"Modern consumers are embracing new technologies and for retailers to survive in this difficult economic climate many need to adapt their current model. The Retail Debate will help individuals to learn from leading names within the industry and hopefully walk away with a clearer picture of the future of retail."
Retail Trust Chief Executive and keynote speaker, Nigel J L Rothband, added "I am thrilled to be involved in Squire Sanders’ Retail Debate. The industry is currently in the media spotlight due to Mary Portas’ Review on the future of the high street and as this complex picture unfolds it will be interesting to hear the views of some influential retailers."
Cathy Barnes, Professor of Retail Innovation at Leeds Metropolitan University and director of the Faraday Centre concluded "We all know that retail is a very dynamic sector with many challenges. The Retail Debate will provide a forum for setting the agenda for the future success of the industry and we are delighted to be supporting this event."