From omnichannel to international to property, Retail Week Live 2013 will cover the key issues in retail, with contributions from some of the industry’s biggest names.

These are fast-changing times for the retail sector. With a vast array of issues affecting retailers in many different ways, businesses face a more complex environment than ever – and Retail Week Live has evolved to reflect that.

Whether your interest lies in the shift to omnichannel, engaging consumers through m-commerce, the need to find new growth in international markets or how to refine a property strategy in the digital age, the new Retail Week Live will set the agenda for debate across the industry in 2013 and beyond.

Taking place on March 13 and 14  next year, the Retail Week Live format has been completely reorganised to allow each delegate to tailor the event to their own areas of interest.

Divided into six themed stages covering omnichannel, the consumer, the store, technology and the consumer, international growth and property, the programme will feature the industry’s most influential leaders and experts on the hottest topics, issues and challenges.

This year we have split the programme into a number of key sessions that reflect the coverage that you are used to seeing in Retail Week. The Big Story will cover the agenda-setting sessions on the serious issues facing the retail industry today; Need To Know will offer practical studies designed to answer questions on the key developments and trends in retail; and the interactive Retail Surgery sessions will be expert-led talks offering solutions on some of the most challenging issues in the sector.

Expert insight

Asda boss Andy Clarke will give his take on the state of the industry in a keynote speech that will examine the landscape as we enter 2013 and the sector’s future.

Further insight will come from leading industry experts such as high street campaigner Mary Portas and from exclusive access to Retail Week’s Retail 2020 report.

Get to grips with the realities of the multichannel future with John Walden, the new managing director of Argos and the architect of its bold new digital vision, as he outlines how to adapt to the multichannel retail world.

In addition to hearing from multi­channel leaders, you’ll also be able to debate and discuss the exclusive findings of Retail Week’s third annual Multichannel Now report.

And you can ensure that you are getting the most out of your bricks-and-mortar stores at a panel discussion with Martyn Hulme, managing director of Co-operative Estates at The Co-operative Group, and Ian Dudley, group property director of Aurora Fashions and Karen Millen, who will consider trading locations and store profitability.

International development remains a key growth opportunity for UK-based retailers and a high-profile line-up of speakers including Alex Gourlay, chief executive of the health and beauty division at Alliance Boots, Kingfisher chief operating officer Euan Sutherland and Debenhams international director Francis McAuley will outline the key considerations when looking at international countries, as well as which markets offer the best opportunities.

It might be a challenging time for retail but, as the programme reflects, it’s an exciting time too. Some of retail’s biggest names are lining up to discuss their ideas and the future of retail – anyone interested in where the industry is heading should be there too.

Book the package of your choice

To ensure you get the most out of the Retail Week Live conference, three new delegate packages have been created. All include the presentations, VIP networking drinks, access to all speaker sessions, the new Retail Week Live app and favourable rates at local hotels.

The limited Premium Plus package offers an exclusive digital version of Retail Week’s Multichannel Now 2013 report (£799 RRP) and a lunchtime briefing, six weeks before general release, plus access to the new VIP Lounge. You will receive priority booking for the pre-event Breakfast Briefing and exclusive retailer-only round-table discussions. Pre-reserved prime location seating will also be available in the sessions. Hurry – we have only 50 spaces left.

Retail Week subscribers are eligible for special rates. Please call 020 3033 2777 or email retailweeklive@emap.com to enquire about rates and quote VIP code RWA06. Click here for more details.

Our line-up of must-hear speakers

A host of retail chiefs are lined up to speak at Retail Week Live 2013. Here are just a few of the speakers who will share their knowledge and insight.

Seb James

Seb James

Seb James, group chief executive, Dixons Group

As consumers increasingly buy technology such as tablets, Seb James is at the forefront of the changing retail landscape. Dixons is now the last big specialist bricks-and-mortar retailer in the cut-throat electricals market, and all eyes are on James to see if he can maintain the momentum behind improvements made so far.

An architect of the group’s turnaround programme, James is at the front line of change in the sector as he competes against the pure-plays, and ensures efficiency while maintaining service, and will seek to mop up market share from the collapse of Comet.

Mary Portas

Mary Portas

Mary Portas - retail expert

Government adviser and TV star Mary Portas has been one of the most outspoken advocates of the high street and retail divisions. Her high profile has done much to raise awareness of the plight of the country’s declining town centres.

With 12 Portas Pilot towns now implementing various schemes, many in the industry are watching to see whether a viable model for the future can be developed from what they learn.

Hear first-hand from Portas about her vision for the industry in an exclusive interview on day one.

Jacqueline Gold

Jacqueline Gold

Jacqueline Gold, chief executive, Ann Summers

Blindfolds, whips and restraints flew off the shelves at Ann Summers as the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon swept the nation during the summer. Jacqueline Gold was quick to see the potential for her business and to take advantage of the opportunities it presented.

Good communication and a flexible structure allowed Ann Summers to keep pace, but Gold believes everyone from carpet shops to grocers can benefit.

She will share the lessons of how she turned a sales phenomenon into a long-term advantage.

Andy Clarke

Andy Clarke

Andy Clarke, chief executive, Asda

Having spent 2012 focused on delivering Asda’s goal of offering attainable quality, Andy Clarke has a keen understanding of shoppers today. His keynote ‘State of the Nation’ address on the retail landscape for 2013 will open day one.

Asda’s positioning as a low-priced supermarket for hard-pressed families may be a strategy shared by its parent Walmart, but Clarke and his team have delivered it by carefully studying consumer habits – through its Income Tracker and Mumdex initiatives – and aligning product accordingly.

John Walden

John Walden

John Walden, managing director, Argos

Having outlined an ambitious new vision for Argos in October that will include catalogues and pencils taking a back seat in favour of a positioning as a digital leader, Argos managing director John Walden is particularly well placed to offer insight into the realities of adapting to a multichannel retail world.

A former Sears and Best Buy executive, Walden is a veteran of internet retail, starting his retail career in the 1990s at a pioneering online grocer in the US. He will oversee a £300m investment in IT, product and fulfilment over the next five years to take Argos into the future.

Other key speakers

Jon Wragg Director of multichannel strategy, Asda

Matthew Stead Multichannel director, Pets at Home

Simon Holder Multichannel director, Wickes Building Supplies

Paul Coby Chief information officer, John Lewis

Simon Forster Executive director of multichannel, Selfridges

Mike McNamara Chief information officer, Tesco

Hash Ladha Deputy managing director, Oasis

John Cleland Chief executive, Maplin Electronics

Paul Sweetenham Chief executive, Republic

Dermot Boyd Chief executive, QVC UK

Nick Wilkinson Chief executive, Evans Cycles

Scott Weavers-Wright Chief executive, Kiddicare and managing director, non-food online, Morrisons

Darcy Willson-Rymer Chief executive, Costcutter

Rob Templeman Deputy chairman, British Retail Consortium and chairman, RAC and Gala Coral

Alex Gourlay Chief executive of the health and beauty division, Alliance Boots

Euan Sutherland Chief operating officer, Kingfisher

Francis McAuley International director, Debenhams

Stuart Machin Store development and operations director, Coles Supermarkets