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IRX 2014 PREVIEW: International retailing conference

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Over coming weeks we’ll be previewing the highlights of IRX 2014. Today we focus on the International Retailing Conference.

What does a successful multichannel international expansion strategy look like? That’s the question to be addressed by keynote speaker Professor Dr Jonathan Reynolds, academic director of the Oxford Institute of Retail Management at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, in his opening address in the International Retailing Conference. He’ll discuss the opportunities for UK retailers to expand both at home and abroad, and evaluate business models and approaches to new markets, going on to look at ways of scaling up existing international operations. Reynolds’ presentation will be at 10.35am, following the conference opening and chair’s introduction at 10.30am.

Then Dave Elston, head of ecommerce, Europe, Clarks International, takes a practical approach to the theme of new markets in an interview, Key questions for expanding your ecommerce business into new countries, at 11.10am. The interviewer will be asking questions on subjects from how local an international ecommerce website should be, to handling logistics and the tax and the legal aspects of trading overseas.

At 11.35am, Aaron Chatterley, co-founder and chief executive of, takes to the stage in Implementing localisation strategies to increase the success of your international strategy. Chatterley will share best practice approaches to localising ecommerce operations overseas, understanding how products and prices function in the market and how local partners can help overcome cultural barriers in his case study presentation, the last before the 12.05pm lunchbreak.

The conference resumes at 12.45pm, with a welcome from the chair and when a leading retailer will share lessons learned from trading overseas.

Then, at 1.25pm, keynote speaker Philip Smith, UK country manager of stream sponsor Trusted Shops, will be joined by his colleague Naveen Aricatt, auditor and legal counsel UK for Trusted Shops, and Andrew Watson, head of online marketing at Connect Distribution for a keynote session that considers ways of Overcoming the three main stumbling blocks when crossing borders. The session will look at issues including legal compliance and building brand awareness as well as localisation.

Understanding how a premium brand can effectively plan for global expansion is the subject taken by Bugaboo global director, ecommerce Ronald van Drunen at 2.25pm. He will look at the best ways to decide which countries are ripe for expansion, weigh offline and online approaches as well as considering the complexities of international supply chains.

Bugaboo’s van Drunen will also be a speaker in the closing panel discussion of the conference, which will focus on Choosing the right business model(s) for international expansion. He’ll be joined for the 45-minute discussion, starting at 3pm, by Gracia Amico, director of ecommerce at Hobbs, Dean Maskell, head of online marketing at and Donna Chen, group strategy – international online development, at Alliance Boots.

The International Retailing Conference takes place on Wednesday March 26, from 10.30am to 4pm. It is one of six conferences that form part of IRX 2014, which runs at the NEC in Birmingham on March 26 and 27. Find out about the other conferences and other highlights of the event at

In coming weeks we’ll be focusing in more depth on different aspects of IRX 2014, and interviewing key speakers from the conference for a taste of what they will be sharing with our visitors.

In the meantime, find out more about the event and register for free at

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