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IRC 2014 PREVIEW The stage is set for tales of transformation

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Retailers from across the multichannel and ecommerce industry are set to arrive at the Internet Retailing Conference next week to discuss how the industry and its members can best transform itself for the future.

Industry figures including keynote speakers Mark Lewis, online director at John Lewis, Jérome Cochet, senior vice president sales at Zalando and Andy Harding, executive director, multichannel at House of Fraser, will be sharing their experiences of taking businesses through change in order to equip them better to meet evolving customer demand.

More than 30 other retail leaders will join them at the Novotel Hammersmith to tell their stories of building multichannel businesses fit for 21st century retail, sharing the challenges tackled and lessons learned along the way. This all reflects the conference theme on refoundationing: the process by which retailers level the ground on which they are working and start over in building systems that will meet shoppers’ future needs. It’s a concept perhaps best summed up in the words of Austrian philosopher Otto Neurath: “We are like sailors who on the open seas must reconstruct their ship but are never able to start afresh from the bottom.”

“Internet Retailing Conference is where the best of the industry gather to learn, to inspire and to network,” said Internet Retailing editor-in-chief Ian Jindal. “We’re looking forward to seeing an exemplary turnout of senior people from great retailers giving up their time to share, network and be together on an intense packed day with three streams, wonderful speakers and of course, unveiling the Top500.”

On the publication of the Top500, Internet Retailing’s ranking of the leading British retailers, he added: “Five hundred is the easy bit, top is not: we need to eschew the simple ‘by revenue’, ‘by web traffic’ and look behind into the performance of retailers with a real focus on retail craft. What is it that makes these companies successful, how can we understand and emulate this success and how then do we build on it to be more successful in the future? That’s our objective and this is year one. Year one is all about drawing a baseline and getting that view of the market, year two is all about change, progress and growth and in year three onwards we’ll be looking at the lead indicators that drive performance.”

Alongside the conference, more than 50 exhibitors will showcase the latest technologies, while suppliers from Amplience and BT Expedite to Sustainly and Worldpay will advise retailers on how to get the most out of their solutions.

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