Bizimply will be attending the RetailEXPO (previously known as RBTE) this year on the 1st and 2nd of May in the Olympia, London. We will be at stand 2A80, showcasing our next-gen Retail Operations & People Management Platform.

The Retail Expo is set to bring together over 15,000 retailers, brands, retail design businesses and tech exhibitors to the 2019 show. Also, there will be a host of great speakers covering topics such as the innovation, customer experience, technology, and many more.

As the line-up is quite overwhelming, we have created a shortlist of some of the most interesting talks & discussions, so why not take a look if you are attending?


Day 1 – Wednesday, 1st May

  • 10.05 – 10.35 ‘Understanding the future role of stores for connecting with and engaging your customers @ Store Design & Experience Stage

David Dalziel, Creative Director @ Dalziel and Pow Design Consultants

As shopping habits change, so too do retailers need to change. With the growth of eCommerce, the shopping experience is becoming more digitally-focused, and the role of physical stores in engaging customers is evolving.

  • 10.10 – 10.40 ‘Omnichannel innovation at a global scale – Connecting retail, digital and customer care experiences in 20 markets @ Operations Stage

Sezin Tumer, Principal Retail Innovation Manager @ Vodafone

Creating and managing an end-to-end innovation portfolio that is in line with business KPIs. Filtering and prioritising innovations that will make an impact and get buy-in from senior management.

  • 10.20 – 11.10 ‘Keynote: Cutting through the hype – Is this really a retailpocalypse? @ Headline Stage

Justin King CBE, Former CEO, Sainsbury’s

This session will examine the macro-economic factors and mega-trends affecting the retail industry, and analyse the true facts and figures behind the news headlines. Are we really facing a retail apocalypse?

  • 10.45 – 11.15 ‘Stores are Dead. What can we expect in the new age of retail? @ Store Design & Experience Stage

Howard Saunders, Retail Futurist @ Twenty Second & Fifth

This session will examine the importance of a consumer’s environment in influencing buying decisions, and the key factors to consider when designing stores that stimulate and motivate different consumer actions. Learn how to use good store design to help sell products.

  • 10.20 – 11.50 ‘Defining the customer experience of the future through our love of pizza @ Headline Stage

Stephan CroixChief Sales and Brand Officer @ Pizza Hut Europe

Customers today demand more, better, faster than ever before in our history. At Pizza Hut, we’re responding to these demands by changing and enhancing the ways we do business, and how we communicate – by projectinga brand that is relevant and distinctive.

  • 12.00 – 12.50 Panel Discussion: Building an effective omnichannel retail strategy to create seamless customer experiences across bricks and clicks @ Headline Stage

David Lloyd, Managing Director UK & Nordics @ Alibaba Group
Lee Haslett, Vice President of Product & Distribution @ Virgin Holidays
Thomas Just Rasmussen, COO @ INTERSPORT Group Denmark

Moderator: Stephen Mader, Consulting Director – Global eCommerce Strategy @ Kantar Consulting

Consumers expect to shop wherever they want, whenever they want, and being omnichannel is a mounting necessity. But with the growing multitude of touchpoints, journeys and purchase options, delivering this vision seamlessly can be challenging. This panel of experts will examine how to overcome those challenges, and discuss best practice for building and implementing your omnichannel strategy.

  • 13.35 – 14.05 ‘Innovating the basics – Using data driven insights to improve the fundamentals of customer experience @ Marketing & Branding Stage

Georgina Nelson, Founder and CEO @ TruRating
Kevin Dowson, Head of Retail, UK & Ireland @ JD Sports

There is an increasing tendency, in our tech-oriented world, to conflate innovation with the newest and shiniest gadgets on the marketplace. Yet unless these technologies meet a genuine need or solve a real issue – are they anything more than a distraction?

  • 14.55 – 15.25 ‘Embracing technology to increase sales – How to make the most of all the digital channels available @ Operations Stage

Dan Houghton, Co-CEO @ Chilango
Joel Burgess, Founder and CEO @ Nutrifix
Nick Hucker, CEO @ Preoday

Chilango, a vibrant fast-growing UK-based Mexican restaurant group, recently took on the task of integrating numerous technologies including a new EPOS system, digital ordering and loyalty technologies. Hear about the practicalities of these technology integrations, the benefits of multiple digital ordering channels, and how this has helped strengthen customer engagement, increase loyalty and ultimately drive sales.

  • 15.35 – 16.25 ‘RetailEXPO GREAT DEBATE: Will robots replace humans in retail? @ Operations Stage

Karen Harris, Managing Director @ intuDigital
Alec Sutherland, Automation Technical Lead @ John Lewis Partnership
Jonathan Boiria, Head of Sales EMEA @ SoftBank Robotics

Moderator: Catherine Erdly, Co-Founder @ Retail Collective

The fear that robotics, automation, and AI will replace human workers is growing across many industries, with retail no exception. Self-checkouts, warehouse automation, humanoid concierges, and the rise in eCommerce are just some examples of where the human element has been removed.


Day 2 – Thursday, 2nd May

  • 10.10 – 10.40 ‘Technology Trends – What really moves the needle? @ Operations Stage

Alex Sbardella, SVP Global Innovation @ GDR Creative Intelligence

Technology is now an intrinsic part of every aspect of retail. Whether online or offline, customers expect no less than a completely integrated experience, as the boundaries between channels disappear. But as the tech giants rush to become retailers, should retailers try to become tech companies?

  • 10.50 – 11.20 ‘The future of retail learning and development – New innovations for training staff in the digital era @ Operations Stage

Anthony Williams, Global Learning Design Manager @ Costa Coffee

From courses and programmes to resources and experiences, Training to engage and appeal to a new generation of staff. Experiences from using modern learning approaches and training tools…

  • 11.30 – 12.00 ‘How Halfords transformed their store visit process to support their store network more effectively @ Operations Stage

Louise O’Keeffe, Head of Retail Support @ Halfords

Many retailers are incorporating tech into the shopping experience to remove pain for their customers, but store operations are often neglected. If addressed correctly however, there is significant opportunity to remove pain for both customers and colleagues.

  • 12.10 – 13.00 ‘Panel Discussion: The in-store POS of the future @ Payments Stage

Jeremy Dunderdale, Head of Business Solution @ TGI Fridays UK
Cliff Austen, Senior Technical Manager, Retail IT @ Co-op
Richard E Price, EPOS Systems Manager @ Pret A Manger
Nick Popovici, CEO and Co-founder @ Vita Mojo

Moderator: Mark McMurtrie, Director, Payments Consultancy

With new shopping habits and demands for efficient and convenient payments, the traditional cash desk is poised to undergo significant transformation in the near future. From kiosks and self-checkout, to tablets and mobile POS, in-app payments, or removing the cashier altogether, retailers are increasingly trying to make bricks and mortar shopping closer to the one-click online experience.

  • 13.25 – 13.50 ‘Disruptive intelligent operations @ TrIED It Talks

Mike Callender, Chairman @ REPL Group

Whilst data science and Artificial Intelligence are key trends for 2019 within the retail space this talk won’t be the norm and is certainly one you won’t want to miss. Learn about AI driven mass decisions and the implication of data driven optimisations using reinforcement learning approaches, and gain insights on the impacts of AI and data science on the retail sector…

  • 13.30 – 14.00 ‘eCommerce innovation in the cloud @ Operations Stage

Carl Phillips, Director of Group IT @ AO World
Toby Knight, Manager, Solutions Architecture (Retail) @ Amazon Web Services

Many of the UK’s top retailers are embracing cloud technology to drive innovation and reduce costs. AO.com chose to partner with AWS to host its bespoke eCommerce platform in 2017. Two years after kicking off the project, some surprising changes were underway…

  • 14.50 – 15.30 ‘Panel Discussion: Leading the way to creating a sustainable retail business @ Headline Stage

Thomas Berry, Director of Sustainable Business @ Farfetch
Caroline Laurie, Head of Sustainability @ Kingfisher Plc
Giorgina Waltier, Sustainability Manager, UK & IE @ H&M
Peter Andrews, Head of Sustainability Policy @ British Retail Consortium

Moderator: Rebecca Saunders, Managing Director @ Saunders Retail

Ethical and sustainable retailing have long been critical issues, however recent UN warnings on climate change, emissions, waste, slavery, equality and more have brought this further to the forefront. Increasing regulatory and consumer pressure means that retailers are going to have to take radical action, and soon.

  • 14.50 – 15.30 ‘Panel Discussion: Utilising technology to improve the in-store experience @ Store Design & Experience Stage

Emma Jones, European Retail Operations Manager @ Mulberry
Mark Jessop, Global Deployment Director, Lead International Operated Markets @ McDonald’s
Duncan Clapman, Retail Technologist @ Esprit Digital

Moderator: Karen Bendell, Co-Founder @ Retail Collective

From virtual reality to facial recognition, RFID, beacons, digital signage and magic mirrors, IoT, tablets, wearables, and even customers own mobile phones, the list of emerging technologies being used in stores is growing exponentially. But what is actually having an impact on customer experience, and what should you implement in your stores?