Promoting from within benefits retailers and employees alike - Retail Week’s Emerging Leaders Forum helps develop upcoming retail talent.

Promoting from within benefits retailers and employees alike - Retail Week’s Emerging Leaders Forum helps develop upcoming retail talent.

Rarely has there been a more challenging time to be a retail leader. The industry is going through a period of unprecedented change at a time when economic recovery is only at an early stage.

But this is arguably the most exciting time to be a retail professional, bringing the opportunity to shape the future of the industry and position it to thrive in a digital world.

Blending learning, debate, interactive discussion and networking, Retail Week’s Emerging Leaders Forum is an opportunity for leaders-in-waiting to hear from industry chiefs about the skills needed to make the jump into a boardroom role. The event takes place at the Hilton London Metropole on March 11 and 12 and is aimed at emerging leaders who are eyeing a director role within the next three to five years.

Speakers will include Matt Birch, Sainsbury’s director of commercial operations, who is responsible for bringing together the grocer’s space, range and formats across the channels, and its price and promotions team; Lloydspharmacy managing director Cormac Tobin, who began his career with Irish retailer Superquinn at the age of 13; and Paralympian Talan Skeels-Piggins, a former Royal Navy fighter controller who was paralysed from the chest down following a motorcycle accident and now competes in alpine skiing.

Past attendees have valued how the Emerging Leaders Forum gave them the opportunity to explore the idea of leadership.

House of Fraser director of online trading Martin Francis says: “Understanding how respected leaders and retail entrepreneurs make it to the top has challenged my personal approach to management and how I can best lead my team.”

Most businesses would agree that the talent within their own workforce is their most important asset so it is vital that retailers invest in retaining and developing this talent so that, when the time comes, there are plenty of candidates with the skills and knowledge required to step into a top role.

There’s a strong financial benefit to employee development too. Nurturing and promoting talent from within spares the cost of searching for and hiring an external candidate. Employees, for their part, can see that there are opportunities open to them to progress in the organisation.

Establishing a vision

Those attending the Emerging Leaders Forum will learn how to motivate and develop their employees as well as how to influence upwards. They will take part in strategic knowledge-building sessions aimed at stimulating thinking on future market opportunities. They will discuss experiences with fellow aspiring leaders and explore the concepts of leadership and how respected leaders make it to the top.

“The forum allows you to experience inspiring leaders articulating their story, careers and vision in today’s market, empowering you to create a formula to establish yours in tomorrow’s,” says John Waldock, head of supply chain at Ann Summers and an Emerging Leaders Forum

2014 delegate. “The forum shares techniques and styles for you to expand your toolkit, giving you a vision for how you could evolve your leadership style to meet your businesses goals.”

The story of many top retailers’ rise from shelf-stacker to chief executive is well documented and retail, more than many other industries, enables employees to start from the bottom rung of the ladder and progress to the very top. The last rung can often be the hardest to climb but the Emerging Leaders Forum 2015 will give attendees the confidence and skills to make it.

Retail Week’s Emerging Leaders Forum

Join us at this elite training programme for successful senior retail professionals who are ready to move into higher level roles within their organisation. Learn how to develop the skills for true leadership and hear from inspiring retailers from Asda, Lloydspharmacy, Sainsbury’s and other major retailers.

Download the brochure and book your place at

Book today to receive over £200 off our standard delegate rate.

For more information, call Ryan Saunders on 020 3033 2606 or email