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Welcome to the Future Retail Challenge portal, which is a vital part for organising your participation at the event. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Megan Cotton


Monday 26th February

Confirm your team names
Please send the full names and email addresses of your team members to  Megan Cotton by Monday 26th February.

Monday 4th March

College Logo
Please submit your college logo in high resolution PNG and EPS format to  Megan Cotton by Monday 4th March.

Team Photograph
Please submit a high resolution photograph of your team to  Megan Cotton by Monday 4th March.

Friday 29th March

10-page Report 
Please submit the below documents to Megan Cotton by Friday 29th March.

  • 10 page report

Friday 12th April

Please submit the below documents to Megan Cotton by Friday 12th April.

  • Presentation for onsite (this must be submitted in PPT format, not PDF)

Wednesday 3rd April

Stand Artwork
Please submit your stand artwork to Megan Cotton Wednesday 3rd April 

The Challenge

The Retail Sustainability Challenge: tackling Scope 3 emissions

Against this background, the 2024 Future Retail Challenge will focus on the challenge of scope 3 emissions in the retail sector and seeks your ideas and creativity in how to address these.
The senior leadership team of a major retailer has asked you and your team to reinvent and transform their company’s ability to meaningfully reduce Scope 3 emissions.
To begin your challenge, each team will select either a grocery or apparel retailer. If you select a grocery retailer, you will focus on its “upstream” challenges and if you select an apparel retailer, you will focus on its “downstream” challenges. Research and understand the retailer you have selected, and specifically its current policies and strategies to tackle sustainability. Then develop a disruptive and scalable solution to address one key area of that company’s value chain emissions challenges. Solutions must not reduce the retailer’s competitive edge and should enable the company to at least maintain, and ideally grow, its sales, margins, profits and market share.

Typical upstream challenges in grocery retail:
The majority (>50%) of scope 3 emissions for a typical grocery retailer are generated by upstream activities in the supply chain before the finished product reaches the shelves. Some of the biggest challenges that need addressing include:
    Agriculture: improvements in agricultural efficiency and technologies that make lower impact alternatives to existing mainstream food scalable and affordable.
    Waste: development of circular systems through the food supply chain to enable major sources of food waste to be re-used as a resource in the production of alternative products or repurposed to address food insecurity challenges.
    Packaging: development and adoption of innovative and lower impact packaging alternatives.

Typical downstream challenges in apparel retail:

  • Consumer education: how to inform consumers about the products, the raw materials and the garment care required that will make for better consumer choices. By improving this, the industry could help direct consumers towards more sustainable products.
  • Extending life of products: development and promotion of tools to help consumers locate repair shops or local tailors.
  • Transitioning to alternative models of consumption: educate and encourage consumers ultimately removing barriers that currently prevent mass adoption of resell and rental business models.
  • Circularity of materials: how to develop technologies and systems that enable garments at the end of their use to be broken down into their different components in order that raw materials can be regenerated and reused to deliver true circularity back to the upstream manufacturing and production.

Key Considerations:
Below are some questions/thoughts you should consider as you develop your ideas/solutions. Note: You do not need to answer/address all of these, but rather use them to enhance and challenge your thinking.

Data Challenges:
    o How can retailers better measure the emissions of the goods they carry and know whether they are making changes that have a meaningful impact? With changing assortments and fast timelines for reporting, how can retailers improve data integrity and reporting?
    o What issues do you see in measuring Scope 3 emissions in the grocery or apparel retail industry and what are your ideas to solve them?
    o What role could technology can play in helping to more accurately measure Scope 3 emissions?

Reduction Strategy Challenges:
    o What upstream innovations and technologies can enable the retail industry to reduce value chain emissions, while allowing stores to maintain broad offerings and not impeding the shopping experience?
    o How can retail best participate or drive and influence suppliers to reduce emissions?
    o What issues do you see in reducing Scope 3 emissions in the retail industry and what are your ideas to solve them?. 

What the judges will be looking for:

An overview of the retailer that you have chosen as it is today and the particular challenges you believe it faces regarding the need to transition to net zero and reduce scope 3 emissions accordingly.

  • One innovative idea and solution that can be implemented to meaningfully reduce emissions in your chosen retailer’s upstream or downstream emissions. These should build on your own experiences and perspectives to develop bold and radical ideas that can start to take action immediately.
  • How will you be able to develop your idea to operate at scale without negative commercial implications for the business.
  • How you will communicate the new idea to your existing customers / suppliers and secure their buy-in
  • Identification of the the risks associated with such a change and how you would mitigate those risks
  • The financial implications of your solution

What you will need to do:

Produce a 10-page report that sets out your plans to meet the challenge. This should be submitted 10 days before the World Retail Congress which takes place on 16 April 2024.
The final of the Future Retail Challenge will be held at the World Retail Congress in Paris on 16 April 2024 and each team will give a presentation covering their ideas about how they will achieve the targets and goals set in the brief. The presentations will be given to a panel of judges and an audience of Congress retail delegates.
The role of innovation and technology
As outlined above, your responses to this challenge should include details on relevant and impactful emerging technology and/or innovative models. To help with this True, a consumer-focused investment and advisory business, will be able to help provide some insight on the innovation landscape once you have decided area you are focusing on and shared initial insight with WRC

The presentations will be no longer than 8 minutes with 3 minutes for questions from the panel of 4 senior retail industry judges. All four members of the team should be involved in giving the presentation.

Presentations should seek to be informative and entertaining.

At the Congress, each team will be given a display area with panels setting out the key ideas that show how your chosen retailer can meet the targets set by the challenge. The Congress will produce the display panels and construct the display area but each team should provide us with the images and graphics that will be shown on the display panels.

The winners of the 2024 Future Retail Challenge will be announced on the afternoon of April 18th.

Judging Criteria

  • Submission of paper: 30% of the scores
  • Presentation at the Congress 50% of the score based on:
  • Content of presentation (Proposed ideas, Execution, originality, effectiveness and communication to target consumer) 20%
  • Quality of presentation (presentation AV, messaging, audience engagement and quality of delegate presentation) 10%
  • Relevance to brief (questions above) 10%
  • Response to Judges questions (on the day) 10%


  • All colleges to provide to the World Retail Congress the names of the maximum of 4 students in the team with team photograph, college logo by end of February, 2024
  • Submissions for the judges (10-page papers, additional pages of illustrations) to be received by World Retail Congress no later than March 29th, 2024
  • Teams should arrive at the Congress venue on the afternoon or evening of Monday April 15th for briefing and orientation and to rehearse for final presentations (times will be reconfirmed closer to the date)
  • April 16-18th: students able to attend all sessions of the World Retail Congress but should be in attendance at the Future Retail Challenge display area and the teams own display

Event Timings & Winner Announcement

Rehearsal Schedule 

Monday 15th April

16:00 - 16:30 : EDHEC Business School, France

16:30 - 17:00 : University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

17:00 - 17:15 : Break

17:15 - 17:45 : London College of Fashion, London

17:45 - 18:45 : Fashion Institute of Technology NYC, USA

Presentation Schedule

Tuesday 16th April
11:30-11:50 = University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

11:50-12:10 = EDHEC Business School, France

12:10-12:25 =Comfort Break

12:35-12:55 = London College of Fashion, London

1:55-13:15 = Fashion Institute of Technology NYC, USA

The winner will be announced 16th April on the Congress main stage at 16:00-16:30. This session will open with a representative from each team on the main stage talking about what they have taken from the competition and the key lessons. At the end of this discussion the chair of the judges will announce the winning team.


Tuesday 16th April 2024 
08.00 | Registration Open
12:00 - 13:30 | Future Retail Challenge
12.00 - 13:30 | Welcome Lunch
13.30 - 17:50 | World Retail Congress Main Stage
18.30 | World Retail Congress Open Party, La Samaritaine

Wednesday 17th April 2024
07.00 | Registration
08.00 | Congress Open
09.00 - 18:00 | World Retail Congress Main Stage & Breakout Stage

Thursday 18th April 2024
07:30 | Registration
09.00 - 15:50 | World Retail Congress Main Stage & Breakout
16.10 | Close World Retail Congress 


There will also be two sessions that Ian will be hosting with the students that enable them to speak to retailers. Further detail on this is getting confirmed ASAP. These session will be taken place on the 17th and 18th April 2024.


Submit your Presentation

Please send your 16:9 widescreen PowerPoint presentation to Megan Cotton by Friday 12 April

This must be submitted in a PowerPoint format, please do not submit as a PDF file.

Presentation Requirements

The presentation requirements below must be adhered to. Kindly note that you will need to make changes to your presentation if the requirements are not adhered to. Our AV team is not able to make any amendments to your presentation.

  • The presentation ratio must be 16:9 widescreen
  • Video format MP4 H264 Codec
  • Font size – 36Pts Bold for headings, 32 pts for content
  • Videos must be embedded in PowerPoint on automatic start. We also require the original video in the format mentioned above, as backup 

Key Points to Remember

  • All presentations should be Power Point.
  • Any videos embedded in the presentation should also be provided as separate files.
  • Any weblinks or online content contained in the presentation should be highlighted in advance to ensure a suitable internet connection is available. If an upgrade is required, this will need to be arranged directly with the venue
  • All content will be run from the technical desk, onstage presenter will be provided with a slide advance controller.
  • Please advise asap if any presenter is likely to want to use their own laptop, preference is that all presentations are included within one deck.
  • All presentations need to be 16:9 and 1920x1080
  • Images and graphics can maximize the impact of your presentation
  • Try to keep to 10 slides for a 20-minute presentation
  • Slides should be visual rather than text-heavy
  • If you are using Prezzi or Keynote, please let us know as soon as possible
  • If you are using your own Macbook or iPad you will need to provide individual adaptors for the DVIconnector
  • If you are using your own computer you will need to use this from the lectern so please let us know as soon as possible


All attendees of World Retail Congress must register their details ahead of arriving onsite. Please follow the instructions below to register.

  • Click here to register
  • Select your Non-Retailer Conference pass  
  • Create an account and Submit your details 
  • Validate your email address 
  • Fill in the attendee, personal and invoice details 
  • Apply voucher code WRC-FUTURE on Step 4  
  • Click COMPLETE registration 
  • You will shortly receive a confirmation email of your registration 

If you have any questions, please contact Megan Cotton.

Your Artwork

Your artwork this year is different as it is now on a window in the corridor of the walkway rather than a stand. 

The measurements:

Material: Vinyl

Width (mm): 1290

Height (mm): 420

Bleed (mm): 5

Scale: 100%

Please also see for photo below for reference of where your artwork will roughly be it will be placed on half the window:


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