Retail Week Live 2017 will give an insight into some of the biggest influencers in the industry – here’s a closer look at three unmissable speakers.
Bertrand Bodson, Sainsbury’s-Argos
Bertrand Bodson has played a pivotal role in transforming Argos from a catalogue business into a slick, multichannel operator.
He has turned Argos’s store portfolio, which many analysts thought was a major weakness, into an asset.
It has been used to create an exemplary fulfilment model, which enables Argos to offer Fast Track, its same-day delivery and collection service.
He has also helped former boss John Walden digitise the Argos business. From changing the little blue pen ordering system to iPads, to introducing interactive catalogues, digital is now at the heart of the Argos business.
Such initiatives caught the eye of Sainsbury’s, which snapped up the retailer last month.
Since the acquisition Bodson has had marketing responsibilities added to his remit, and will give an insight into what his new roles means for the business and its priorities going forward.
Angela Spindler, N Brown
Angela Spindler has invested heavily in helping to turn plus-size fashion retailer N Brown into a digitally led business.
N Brown is now focused on building and using consumer insight and data to improve the customer experience and boost sales.
This shift towards digital has required a big change in company culture and Spindler has done much to foster collaborative working at the company. She has introduced an innovation hub at head office that allows anyone to throw in ideas, with rewards handed out if they become reality.
In its last full-year results, N Brown reported a 15% jump in online sales, helped by online penetration jumping six percentage points year on year to 65%. However, Spindler’s transformation is far from over – pre-tax profits fell 7.8% to £72.2m over the year.
Spindler has emphasized digital and mobile as key drivers of N Brown’s future growth, so Retail Week Live will give a glimpse into how she plans to make that strategy bear fruit.
Jill McDonald, Halfords
When Jill McDonald took the reins at Halfords last March, chairman Dennis Millard told Retail Week: “She doesn’t come steeped in retail, but she does come steeped in dealing with consumers and that’s what it’s all about nowadays.”
Since taking the helm, McDonald has overseen the launch of an ecommerce website for its premium cycling fascia Cycle Republic and enjoyed the Olympic boost to sales bolstered by partnerships with gold medallists Bradley Wiggins and Laura Trott.
At Retail Week Live, McDonald will offer an insight into her plans to drive further growth in an increasingly crowded market and offer insight into how her previous experience, which spans fast-food giant McDonald’s, Colgate Palmolive and British Airways, has informed her retail ambitions.