Close this search box.

IR 2012 PREVIEW The mantle of leadership

This is an archived article - we have removed images and other assets but have left the text unchanged for your reference

With five weeks until our annual Internet Retailing Conference, we’re starting this year’s series of previews of the event with an overview of the event. Over the coming weeks we’ll be looking in more detail at each channel, while also running a series of IR interviews with our keynote speakers.

Veteran retailers will be taking to the podium as keynote speakers at this year’s Internet Retailing Conference.

Alison Lancaster, marketing director of and CMO at Kiddicare, Andrew Harrison, chief executive of Best Buy Europe and Jonathan Wall, ecommerce director at Shop Direct Group, who all have a long track record in retail and ecommerce, are speaking at the seventh annual conference in a year that the event reflects on the need for etailers to take the lead in restoring the fortunes of UK retail. The day-long event, titled The Mantle of Leadership, will be held at the Novotel, Hammersmith on October 9.

“Now is the time for ecommerce professionals to take up the mantle of leadership, turn the retail industry from the brink of recession and reshape the sector for the promised, seamless future where all channels meet at the customer,” said Ian Jindal, editor-in-chief of Internet Retailing. “The keynote speakers are all innovators who have shaped the ecommerce and cross-channel retail industry moving from a time when ecommerce was as an innovation in retail, moving through the challenges of growth to a mature market that is now progressing towards a customer promise of omni-retailing: anytime, anywhere, anyhow.”

The keynote session will start with Alison Lancaster’s presentation. Lancaster was a pioneer in the ecommerce field. She has more than 25 years of experience, spent in marketing and multichannel retailing at retailers as diverse as White Stuff, Harrods Direct, Charles Tyrwhitt, Innovations Mail Order, Burton Home Shopping (Arcadia), and John Now she is in charge of marketing at, the supermarket’s non-food retail offer which is set to launch before the end of this year.

Next to speak will be Andrew Harrison, who joined Carphone Warehouse in 1995, becoming chief executive of Carphone Warehouse Ltd in 2001, with responsibility for UK operations and adding responsibility for European operations in 2009. A year later he became chief executive for Best Buy Europe, a role in which he has responsibility for Best Buy Europe’s Connected World strategy.

Our final keynote speaker is Jonathan Wall who has worked in ecommerce since 1999 when he played a key part in taking catalogue mail order business Dabs online. He moved on to as chief executive, before in 2010 joining Shop Direct Group as group ecommerce director, with responsibility for sites including Very, isme and Littlewoods.

All three will share experiences and insights from their years within a changing industry, before the event splits into three conference streams, with presentations running alongside each other.

Stream one focuses on the customer, with speakers from retailers including House of Fraser, 02, Jessops and Nokia and industry experts from Forrester Research, Autonomy, Emailcenter looking at how the industry can best gather information about customers and use it to improve the customer experience across all sales channels.

Stream two looks at connection, from connecting with customers and encouraging customer-to-customer connections, through to attributing budgets and keeping campaigns consistent. Speakers hail from’s mobile division, Internet Retailing 2012 sponsor Silverpop, Lovehoney, Premier Farnell, IMRG, Domino’s Pizza and WorldPay, among others.

Meanwhile, in stream three the emphasis is on the commercials, with a look at business challenges from strategy and operations to technology. Here we have speakers representing retailers including Mothercare, M&S, Schuh,, Kiddicare, Topman, and Isabella Oliver.

Alongside the conference stream, there are also eight free-to-enter workshops, featuring leading suppliers to the industry who take an in-depth look at subjects from mobile payments to personalised merchandising and the story of’s fast growth. A packed exhibition hall will feature the latest technology and ecommerce developments from some 45 leading suppliers in the field.

The event closes at 5pm, when delegates are invited to post-conference cocktails and a post-event party.

Internet Retailing 2012 will be held at the Novotel in Hammersmith on October 9. Registrations for the event open at 8am, and the day’s programme starts at 9am with the keynote speakers. Click here for more information and to register.

Read More

Register for Newsletter

Group 4 Copy 3Created with Sketch.

Receive 3 newsletters per week

Group 3Created with Sketch.

Gain access to all Top500 research

Group 4Created with Sketch.

Personalise your experience on