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 2020 it will enter its 11th 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.

2020 CHALLENGE

Project Retail Phoenix: Making a retailer relevant again

Many long-established retail formats around the world with a large “brick and mortar” presence, are under increasing pressure. New and exciting online pure play operators, fast fashion retail, suppliers going direct to customer and a multitude of retail specialists are all providing better service and range to an ever-demanding customer.

Often weighed-down by very high rental deals coupled with legacy systems and infrastructure, it is becoming ever harder for these retailers to allocate the investment required to refresh their stores whilst delivering a profitable business. The loss of customers to a multitude of alternative offerings, together with ever increasing demand by owners for quick turnaround and faster returns has put some traditional retailers in a “no-win” position.

Many stores whether single stores or chains have changed ownership structure, many have suffered from the lowest enterprise value in their history and some have under gone ‘Buy outs’ and Private equity turnarounds

The dilemma for these legacy retailers is will they survive and how will they transform themselves into the modern retail?

Some flagship stores around the world still remain destinations and still have a ‘Reason for being”. Selfridges, Burberry in London and American Girl in New York, to name a few of the success stories. The future may be less more dominant stores, the future may be extinction or maybe they morph into a modern retail environment?

Project Retail Phoenix

The challenge:

Each team will select a store in their city which is in distress or suffering from the weights of competition and the on-line competitor offerings.

They will examine the current competitor set and financial pressures faced by the individual store or chain.

Once selected, they are given the job of transforming an initial pilot store to a robust future proof model.

All teams have similar constraints of demanding shareholders, limited capital and a large customer base who now have the power of the internet to target their range, price and promotional program.

They are tasked to develop a survival plan and strategy to not only halt the store or chain’s decline but to turn it into a “retail phoenix” that sees it emerging as highly relevant, exciting and sustainable in today’s retail world.

They will describe their new plan or concept for their selected retailer.

During the 2020 Congress they must demonstrate to the judges their space, pricing, promotional and range strategy. Showing how they would transform the brand and brands in the store to build a valued brand franchise.

Previous 2019 Judges

Bernie Brookes
Former CEO |
Edcon

Dame Twiggy Lawson, DBE
 

Antonis Kyprianou
General Manager, Franchising |
Tendam

Catherine Mahuga
Founder |
Chiswara

2019 Winning Team

Hong Kong Polytechnic won with their inspiring "Rebel Retail" project that was based on the iconic figure of Neil Amstrong. 

2019 Teams

Fashion Institute of Technology

New York

Fashion Retail Academy

London

Avans University of Applied Sciences

Amsterdam

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Hong Kong

MGIMO

Moscow

ESC Europe

Turin

2020 BROCHURE

2020 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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THE RETAIL WORLD 2019/2020

THE RETAIL WORLD 2019/2020

What lessons can we take from the last 12 months and how has retailing been responding to our High Velocity World?

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BOOK NOW FOR 2020

BOOK NOW FOR 2020

Get ahead of the curve on the latest innovations, trends and technology and what this means for you and secure your place today.

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CONNECTED SPONSORS

Sponsor

  • IRi

 

Sponsor

  • Tendam

 

Sponsor

  • Zebra | Profitect