More senior retailers at RetailExpo 2019

RetailEXPO attracted record numbers of senior level retail decision makers to the 2019 event, with 81% of attendees authorising or influencing buying decisions for retail solutions, according to figures released this week.

Figures from RetailEXPO’s post show report which analyse data from the 12,676 attendees across the two day show, held at London’s Olympia on 1st and 2nd May 2019, show that 75% of attendees came from Tier 1 or 2 sized retailers*.  Similarly, almost a third (32%) of retail visitors had store estates of 500 stores or more.

With a growing international audience, the show attracted visitors from 78 different countries, and across key retail sectors.  A fifth of the show’s audience (19%) was comprised of fashion, footwear and jewellery retailers, while one in eight (12%) of the retail businesses visiting the show were from the grocery sector. 

A reinvigorated conference programme proved a key draw for audiences, with over a third (34%) saying their primary reason for visiting was to gain industry knowledge though talks and presentations.  The conference programme saw six streams of content, presented by leading retailers including Lego, Virgin Holidays, Naked Wines, Mamas and Papas and Asda, with keynote sessions from Justin King, CBE and ex-CEO of Sainsbury’s, and Helen Dickinson, CEO at the British Retail Consortium.

Commenting on RetailEXPO, Justin King said: “[It is an opportunity for] real people to meet with real people to discuss the change that's taking place.  I think that's fantastic.  We spend a lot of time talking about how everyone's going to go online and only use technology, and yet when we want to get together to discuss change, we do it real time, face-to-face. This is where you're going to find the ideas, the opportunities, to cope with whatever the particular change is that's facing your retail business.”

The LEGO Group vice president of retail development Simone Sweeney said: “I’m here to see the latest technologies, solutions, and meet the people who are driving them.  The speeches, whether it's a keynote speaker or it's the panels, is a great way to get the temperature of the industry and what's happening. That’s exciting, inspiring as it gets the juices flowing, and is thought provoking.  It's a fantastic way to see and learn what's new, and also address some of niggling questions or challenges that we as retailers are facing.”

Asda chief customer officer Andy Murray added: “RetailEXPO is where a lot of innovations happen, it's at the forefront of change. You can see it by walking the floors.  The technology's happening, the digital screens and all the new stuff that's happening.  Technology is the name of the game.  And it's the highest level of that at this show that you get to see.”

“We’re delighted with the success of RetailEXPO in its new unified show format,” said event director Matt Bradley. “We set out to deliver a retail trade event that delivered a single source of ideas and holistic solutions to energise retailers now and in the future – and we feel we’ve done just this, from the breadth of innovation on display to the new conference stream and other show features.  Exhibitor satisfaction scores have risen 16% year-on-year, which is testament to our commitment to delivering a show that truly matches the needs of the retail industry.”