World Retail Congress 2019

 

Future Retail Challenge

Future Retail Challenge

The Future Retail Challenge student competition has become an established and popular part of the World Retail Congress. In 2019 it will enter its 10th year and seeks to promote future talent in the retail industry across the world.

The World Retail Congress partners with universities around the globe that are in turn supported by the industry. The Future Retail Challenge aims to promote tomorrow’s retailers, the work that these colleges do, the range of talented students they are preparing for careers in the industry and to bring the students’ fresh thinking and new ideas on retail into the Congress itself.

Up to six universities participate annually. An industry-relevant challenge is crafted by our judges and content team, and students present their ideas to the judging panel and Congress audience. The winners are then announced at the World Retail Awards.

2019 CHALLENGE

"Rebel Retail"

Today’s world is in the hands of the Millennial and Generation Z consumer but is being shaped by new, digital technologies. Retailing is struggling to adapt. For many, the established retail formats leave the impression that retailing, put simply, is “boring”. Faced with the perfect storm of how and where to invest in the new technologies to compete with online retailers whilst continuing to attract customers has left many retail brands looking dull, slow to react and out-of-step with today’s world.

Not so many years ago, the future was still being shaped by the Baby Boomers – the post war generation. Although now ageing and often dismissed, it should not be forgotten that this was also the most radical, creative, rebellious and transformational generation ever witnessed. In a few short years, the iconic figures of the 1960s and early 1970s found their voice to lead change across society, culture, music, fashion and retail. Harnessing and leading youth culture they challenged the long-established rules in all areas to do things the way they wanted to do it because they believed that they had the power to change things. Technology didn’t exist in any way that could have helped them create what they did.

Retail, brands, fashion and culture became exciting, shocking, rebellious and with it the foundation of modern retailing.

If retailing is going to be reinvented and re-invigorated, it has to rediscover the spirit of rebelliousness, excitement, irreverence and desire to create brands that would appeal to the younger generations that was shown by those iconic leaders from the Baby Boom generation.

We have therefore challenged the student teams to immerse themselves in the spirit of those leaders from popular culture, music, fashion and retail to fully understand the motivation behind their creative output.

Then, to choose an iconic figure – or group if selecting a band - from that period of the 1960s and early 1970s and then apply all that they understand about their values and goals from that time to create a new brand that will appeal to today’s Generation Z or Millennial consumers.

They are tasked with combining all of that rebellious, can-do approach that defines those Baby Boom cultural and business leaders, with the technologies and digital channels of today to create a “Rebel Retail” concept that is fresh, challenging, exciting and new in a way that the founders of those game-changing retail formats and brands from the 1960s would recognise and admire.

2019 Judges

Bernie Brookes
Former CEO |
Edcon

Dame Twiggy Lawson, DBE
 

Antonis Kyprianou
General Manager, Franchising |
Tendam

Catherine Mahuga
Founder |
Chiswara

2019 Team

Fashion Institute of Technology

New York

Fashion Retail Academy

London

Avans University of Applied Sciences

Amsterdam

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Hong Kong

ESC Europe

Turin

MGIMO

Moscow

CSDMM-UPM

Madrid

2018 Winning Team

Hong Kong Polytechnic won with their inspiring project that turned abandoned buildings into vertical farms interspersed with farm to table dining options, learning facilities and green retailers.

"“I was very honoured to join the World Retail Congress this year. It is really a precious experience for a university student to widen their horizon by joining the Future Retail Challenge, attend different talks and meet a lot of different successful retailers during the Congress." -  Megan Ko, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

2018 Teams

Avans University of Applied Sciences, 's-Hertogenbosch

The Netherlands

Fashion Retail Academy

London, UK

Fashion Institute of Technology

New York, USA

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Madrid, Spain

2019 BROCHURE

2019 BROCHURE

The World Retail Congress 2019 brochure has arrived: take a look at what's new, exciting and unmissable at the event.

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2018 EVENT GUIDE

2018 EVENT GUIDE

Download the 2018 guide and see what happened at the 12th edition of World Retail Congress in Madrid, Spain.

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BOOK NOW FOR 2019

BOOK NOW FOR 2019

Join global retail leaders and experts in Amsterdam at the World Retail Congress, taking place on the 14-16 May 2019.

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