The shopkeeping school backed by companies including Arcadia, Marks & Spencer and Tesco, won the Retail Futures Challenge at last week’s World Retail Congress. Their e-tail venture,, blends social networking with selling and beat rivals from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and the Hong Kong Polytechnic.

The contest was judged by retailers including New Look chairman Phil Wrigley, La Rinascente boss Vittorio Radice and Myer chief Bernie Brookes. Tesco clothing supremo Terry Green, who mentored the UK team – Lisa Storrier, Arianna Wright, Julia Shipton and Michelle Hammon – said: “Their ideas are innovative and exciting and have great commercial potential.”