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.

2018 CHALLENGE

Around the world, retailing is facing enormous change and major structural challenges as consumers migrate to online channels in preference to stores or malls. The effect of this is already being felt with increasing store closures and pressure on traditional shopping malls. This is leading to a growing number of retail commentators stating that the appeal of the physical retail space is declining irretrievably.

However, against this negative picture we are also seeing a very positive grass-roots level movement in cities around the world where entrepreneurial developers and businesses have taken over redundant spaces of different kinds to create exciting and fresh consumer destinations. New retail formats can form part of these new experiences as well as food and drink offers, cinema, night clubs and other entertainment. The effect has been to draw in consumers, which is then helping breathe new life back into urban areas.

The competing teams in this year’s Future Retail Challenge were tasked with finding a location or building (where their college is located) that is currently empty or no longer being fully utilised. Their task was to develop a strategy and creative approach to revive completely the chosen building so that it could become a new consumer experience. 

"“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 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.

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

2018 Judges

Bernie Brookes
Former CEO |
Edcon

Antonis Kyprianou
General Manager, Franchising |
Tendam

Gilbert Harrison,
Chairman | Harrison Group 
Chairman Emeritus | Financo

Jodie Fox
Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer |
Shoes of Prey

2019 CHALLENGE

2019 CHALLENGE

We will be announcing the 2019 challenge later in the year. If you’d like to sponsor or put forward a team for 2019, please contact us.

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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.

VIEW NOW

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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