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IRC 2019 PREVIEW What’s in store at IRC 2019: focus on the plenary sessions

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Speakers from leading retailers and brands from Arcadia Group, Ocado, SpaceNK, Fortnum & Mason, Adidas, and will be taking part in the plenary sessions of this year’s InternetRetailing Conference. 

The morning plenary session

The event, to be held at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, on October 10, will start at 9am with an introduction and welcome from chairman Ian Jindal, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Internet Retailing, who will then lead a plenary panel discussion exploring issues from selling profitably to dealing with disruption, and working in partnerships that encompass retailers, brands, consumers and marketplaces. Speakers in the session, running from 9.15am to 10.55am,  will include Andy Lightfoot, UK and US chief executive of SpaceNK, Stephen Dowling, vice president, digital growth, at Adidas, Zia Zareem-Slade, customer experience director at Fortnum & Mason, and Jo Jackson, chief creative officer at

Conference streams

The conference then breaks for a coffee break, networking and meetings, followed by six conference streams. The customer expectations, omnichannel and customer experience streams run between 11.30am and 1.10pm, followed by lunch, networking and one-to-one meetings until 2.10pm.

The afternoon session features a further three conference streams, on customer engagement and loyalty, tech enablers and innovation, and growth and new markets. The streams run from 2.10pm to 3.50pm, before a break for networking and meetings. We’ll look at each of the conference streams in detail in future previews.

The afternoon plenary session

At 4.20pm the conference comes back into a single plenary session featuring interviews, presentations and panel sessions.

The first interview is with Suzanne Westlake, head of corporate responsibility and corporate affairs at Ocado, and will explore how a company’s value system works in practice. Ethical ecommerce: fast fashion, electric deliveries, social media and sourcing, is at 4.20pm. 

Andy Harding, interim chief digital officer at Arcadia Group, then takes to the stage for an interview focusing on growth. Where should retailers prioritise investment to drive growth is at 4.40pm and is followed by a closing keynote presentation.

The closing keynote panel features Henry Eccles, head of UK commerce, global partnerships EMEA, at Google, Adele Cooper, UK and Ireland country manager at Pinterest, and Ed Couchman, UK general manager at Snap Inc, owner of Snapchat. Assessing the real power of the customer, online retailer and media owner is at 5.15pm and runs for 30 minutes before closing remarks from chairman Ian Jindal at 5.45pm. The conference is then followed by the Top500 after show party, which runs from 6pm to 8pm.

Click here to find out more about the IRC 2019 conference programme, and here to find out more about the event, where exhibitors showcase the latest retail technologies, and where delegates can get practical advice on key technologies through a series of hands-on workshops.

Image courtesy of InternetRetailing Events

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