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IRX 2015 PREVIEW River Island, Wiggle, Ford Retail, QVC UK, McArthur Glen: what retailers are looking forward at IRX

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In recent months we’ve run a series of interviews with retailers who are speaking at next week’s Internet Retailing Expo. To each one, we put the question, what are you looking forward to at IRX – apart from your own presentation. Here’s what some of them had to say (together with a link to the original interview).

Why come to IRX? This week we’ve been asking our editors in a series of features what they’ll be looking out for at this jam-packed annual event. But we’ve also been asking retailers who are speaking at IRX where they’ll be heading once they’ve made their own presentations.

River Island’s Helen Colclough will be arriving early for her presentation (UX First: Design and usability for conversion, 1.50pm, March 26, Multichannel merchandising and selling conference). Stuart McMillan of Schuh is speaking at 1.05pm and she’s keen to hear what he has to say on responsive design. “As one of the first high street retail websites to move to a responsive design I’m interested in hearing other’ experiences especially Stuart [McMillan] from Schuh whose presentation on that very subject is right before mine,” says Colclough. “I’m also interested to hear about the rebirth of the High Street from M&S and John Lewis.” Click to read Helen Colclough’s interview in full.

Justin Lodge, head of developing markets at cycle-to-triathlon retailer, is also interested in catching other retailers’ conference presentations following his own (Merchandising to conquer international markets, 2.25pm on March 26, Multichannel merchandising and selling conference, Theatre 3. “Perhaps unsurprisingly,” he says, “I’m really interested in the international and cross border sessions on day one. Compared to some retailers, Wiggle already has quite well developed international markets, but there is always more we can learn from others, and I’m looking forward to picking up some more thinking points at IRX.” Read Justin Lodge’s interview in full here.

Celia Pronto, group marketing and ecommerce director and member of the board at Ford Retail, (Embracing the digital today by bringing the customer into the boardroom, 11.10am, March 26, Digitalsales and marketing conference, Theatre 2), will be catching up on how others are tackling multichannel problems.

“I always find it fascinating to really understand some of the challenges that other retailers, especially in other industries, might be facing,” she said. “By understanding how they’re approaching those challenges we get some shared learning around how they’re tackling it and how we can do better, and we can also share some of our experiences to the extent that it’s useful for other brands as well.” Read Celia Pronto’s interview in full here.

Eddie Woffinden, head of digital merchandising at QVC UK (Multichannel merchandising – challenges and learnings from a different type of retailer 12.30pm, March 26, Multichannel Merchandising and Selling Conference, Theatre 3) has his focus on good examples of technology use. “I’m really looking forward to hearing about mobile and personalisation, looking at what innovative ways other retailers are using these devices to complement their main channel or stores,” he said. “Previously there has been a lot of natural growth from mobile, in the upcoming years I think retailers are going to need to be a lot smarter to find that incremental revenue.” Read Eddie Woffinden’s interview in full.

For Alison Lancaster, of McArthur Glen, the whole event will be interesting. Asked what she was most looking forward to, she said: “All of it! Two days listening to some of the brightest and most exciting people in our industry, together with great networking opportunities and catching up with the latest innovations and thinking from leading suppliers and technology partners.” Alison herself will be speaking on day two of IRX, March 26, when her presentation, Bridging technology and customer experience, is at 2.25pm in the Omnichannel Store of the Future Conference in Theatre 1. Click to read Alison Lancaster’s interview in full.

IRX 2015 and EDX 2015 take place at the NEC in Birmingham next week. More than 7,000 members of the ecommerce multichannel industry are expected at the event, which boasts more than 300 exhibitors in the main Expo, where features include a Digital Payments Village, a Digital High Street, a Jiangsu Pavilion – marking the event’s international focus on China – and a Brand Marketplace. To find out more, visit the IRX/EDX 2015 site at

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