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The D2C challenge – for both retailers and brands

Brands are increasingly looking to develop direct-to-consumer relationships with consumers. Retailers need to consider how such a scenario, in which brands can collect data direct from consumers and even take orders from them automatically, will change the overall retail landscape.

We have teamed up with PA Consulting and Clarks to explore how both brands and retailers might go about this in a way that puts customers at the centre of all they do. In doing so, we consider issues around data, company culture and technology.

This webinar will explore the following questions:

  • How will the relationship between retailers and brands change?
  • How will consumer behaviour change in the years ahead?
  • Who gets access to consumer data?
  • What kinds of new partnerships can retailers and brands build?


Karl Havard
Partner and Retail Expert
PA Consulting

Karl is a Partner at PA and leads the retail consulting team globally. He has spent over 20 years immersed in the world of digital consumer experience and digital innovation. His expertise spans consumer insights, customer journey mapping and data intelligence through to the strategic planning, prototyping and delivery of digital and physical products and solutions.

Karl has worked with global retail, consumer goods and travel and leisure brands to launch new products and services into existing and new territories, as well as formulate and deliver successful customer acquisition and retention programmes.

By helping businesses to understand their customers’ needs, wants and behavior, Karl has enabled them to build stronger, more fruitful, real-time relationships with consumers. He lectures on digital strategy and consumer insights for

Chris Towns
Consultant and Former Head of Global Innovation

From handcrafting bespoke furniture to harnessing the power of advanced technology, Chris Towns combines traditional skills and sensibilities with a unique understanding of what makes the 21st century tick. His approach is to challenge and question while discovering unique and dynamic directions to market, innovating to help build brands and business, consumer demand and loyalty. Chris’s combination of design and commercial awareness has fuelled his success.

 Many of the innovations masterminded by Chris have become industry benchmarks, but perhaps his greatest achievement was to conceive, develop and launch the iPad Fitting Gauge. Revolutionising Clarks’ measure and fit proposition, the gauge is a monumental step-change in the retail environment; a ‘connected’ device that succeeds in engaging with today’s consumers while also underpinning Clarks’ traditional values. Its design won the prestigious IF award for Outstanding Design and the Retail Week award for Consumer Engagement and Service. Just as important, perhaps, in a retail landscape that is forever moving forward, the gauge has proven to be a commercial success too. 

 In addition to developing his own product innovations (in partnership with a portfolio of investors), Chris’s global connections and contacts built over many years provide him with the perfect platform to consult and advise companies with an ambition to ‘make a real difference’.

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