Essential Retail and RBTE parent company Legend Exhibitions has launched The Buying & Merchandising Summit, which will take place for the first time on 22 September this year.

Speakers from Adidas, Cath Kidston, Levi's, Net-a-Porter, Tesco and Topps Tiles have already confirmed to speak at the one-day event, designed to inspire and educate retailers as they manage their buying, merchandising and assortment planning projects in an increasingly complex marketplace.

Brian Kilcourse, managing partner at US-based RSR Research, will chair the summit, which will include interactive presentations, a detailed focus on seasonal and general merchandising and panels featuring leading merchandising experts. There will also be plenty of networking opportunities for the buying, merchandising and retail marketing professionals in attendance.

Kilcourse said: "The retail industry is going through a fundamental shift as it reacts to information-empowered consumers.

"Consumers use web-enabled technologies to find relevant solutions to their lifestyle needs anytime and anywhere, and retailers must respond with targeted and relevant products and services delivered when and how consumers want them. At the Buying & Merchandising Summit, you will meet with your peers for an exchange of viewpoints about how to address the challenges and opportunities created by this shift."

Retail merchandising professionals already confirmed to speak at the summit, include:

  • Rajesh Kumar, vice president, merchandising - concept to consumer, Adidas Group
  • Simon Dawes, merchandising director, Cath Kidston
  • Ben Hawksley, director of merchandise & planning, Hunkemöller International
  • Amit Agarwal, head of buying & merchandising, The Jewellery Channel
  • Fabio Brunello, director retail planning & allocation, Levi's
  • Paul Brennan, group merchandising & retail director, Net-a-Porter
  • Louise Baker, head of inventory management, Sally Beauty UK & Ireland
  • Sarah Cannon, merchandise director, international omnichannel clothing, Tesco Stores
  • Morgan Fowles, global executive merchandise director, Thomas Pink
  • Phil D'Souza, head of merchandising, Topps Tiles

The conference aims to reflect retailers' modern-day challenges, where the focus has typically shifted from underperforming inventories – arguably driven by continued unstable economic conditions – to issues of understanding consumer preferences, innovating quickly and the dawning realisation that a reliance on promotions may ultimately be eroding their brands.

London's Cavendish Centre is the venue for the inaugural Buying & Merchandising Summit. 

For further information and to find out how to book your space at the event on Tuesday 22 September 2015, please visit the official Buying & Merchandising Summit website.