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AI CX E-commerce Fashion Fast fashion Podcast Retail trends Technology

Ikea Roblox, Walmart Drones & AI Update, Pretty Little Thing Charging for Returns

The interview from this episode originally aired on The Globalist from Monocle Radio. Natalie discusses the latest global retail stories with Georgina Godwin:

  • Ikea’s Roblox venture: the launch of a virtual store and how Ikea has become the first brand to offer paid work on the gaming platform.
  • Walmart’s tech update: innovation in delivery – drones and at-home delivery – and the beta launch of a generative AI-powered shopping assistant.
  • Pretty Little Thing becomes the latest UK retailer to start charging for returns.

You can listen to the original episode of The Globalist Episode 3352.

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CX E-commerce ESG loyalty Marketing Podcast Retail leadership Retail trends

Perpetual Innovation with ex-Pandora and The Body Shop Boss

Jeremy Schwartz was the turnaround CEO of Pandora, the world’s largest jewellery company with 2,500 stores and e-commerce sites in 90 countries. Prior to that, Jeremy was Chairman and CEO of The Body Shop from 2013 to 2017. He also previously spent time at Sainsbury’s and, as Brand Director, he was the architect of the grocer’s turnaround in 2005 which saw a decade of growth after years in decline. He is the former Managing Director of L’Oréal UK and, as Innovation Director for Coca-Cola Europe, he invented Coke Zero. Jeremy is currently the Chairman of Kantar’s Sustainability Transformation Practice.

In this episode, recorded live on stage at the Richmond Retail and E-commerce Directors’ Forum, Jeremy and Natalie discuss:

  • Why some retail businesses fail and how to avoid becoming a statistic.
  • How to embark on a successful turnaround strategy.
  • The importance of perpetual innovation and how Jeremy uncovered an opportunity to create Coke Zero.
  • ESG – addressing the intention-action gap and FMCG best practices. 
  • Customer loyalty and doubling down on your top 20% of customers.

You can watch in full on YouTube.

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Consumer CX High Streets Podcast Retail leadership Retail trends Store of the future

The Retail Leader’s Roadmap with Brian Librach

Brian Librach, former VP of Stores at Urban Outfitters, Pacific Sunwear and Old Navy, joins Natalie to discuss his new book: The Retail Leader’s Roadmap.

They explore the reasons why retail leaders get stuck, the evolution of bricks & mortar retail, and how retailers can ensure their staff are motivated and engaged.

Other topics include:

  • What is the future of stores and how should we be measuring success?
  • Which brands does Brian admire and what are they getting right?
  • Cultural shifts: digital transformation journeys and the importance of taking your people with you.
  • Upskilling and investing in digital competencies.
  • Squiggly careers: why the path to success isn’t always linear.
  • Natalie and Brian debate the key traits of winning retailers. 

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Consumer CX Podcast Retail leadership

The Real Reason Blockbuster Failed

James Keyes, Former 7-Eleven and Blockbuster CEO and author of Education is Freedom: The Future Is in Your Hands, joins Natalie on the podcast to dispel the myths behind Blockbuster’s demise. Learn why Jim believes it was fear – not Netflix – that killed Blockbuster.

They also explore whether we may see a revival of the Blockbuster brand and broader leadership lessons, including how to avoid being disrupted during periods of turbulence.

Other topics include:

  • Diversification – with Netflix opening restaurants, TikTok opening shops and Amazon opening hair salons, just how far could and should brands veer from their core?
  • How technology can empower staff and elevate the customer experience.
  • Lessons from Jim’s new book – understanding the importance of collaboration, cultural literacy, continual evolution and character.

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High Streets Podcast Retail trends

Hyper-Localism, Cinemas, High Street Regeneration

Have you been to Catford Mews or Peckham Levels? Then you’ll know what can be achieved by transforming disused car parks and empty retail units into vibrant, community-led, cultural hubs.

Preston Benson, founder of Really Local Group and fellow American in London, joins Natalie on the podcast to discuss:

  • How Really Local Group is creating and restoring cultural infrastructure by regenerating disused high street locations.  
  • Homogenous high streets – how to inject character and make our high streets relevant for 21st century shopping.
  • Funflation – the Taylor Swift Effect and how cinemas will evolve in the future.
  • Hyper-localism, community and the importance of financial inclusivity.
  • Why Amazon has partnered with Odeon and what this means for smaller, community-led cinemas. 

Catford Mews was RLG’s first site and they’ve since expanded into a number of locations like Ealing, Peckham, Reading and Sidcup with more venues planned throughout 2024 and beyond.

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ESG Fashion Podcast

International Women’s Day with Dame Zandra Rhodes

It’s International Women’s Day this week and who better to speak to than the iconic and wonderfully inspirational fashion designer Dame Zandra Rhodes?

This conversation was recorded live on stage at Springfair in February 2024. Dame Zandra tells Natalie about:

  • The highs and lows of breaking into the US fashion scene in the 1960s.
  • How she has spent her life rallying against what was expected of her – both as a designer and a female.
  • How her personal image has led to the success of her brand and more recent collaborations with IKEA, Happy Socks and Poppy Lissiman.
  • What it was like to dress Freddie Mercury and which cultural icon she’d love to work with today.
  • Her rainbow penthouse and pandemic pivots.
  • Fashion retail trends – from the rise of digital to the need for circularity. 
  • What’s next for Dame Zandra?

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Consumer CX E-commerce Fashion High Streets Non-food retail Podcast Retail leadership Retail trends

Retail Veteran Nigel Oddy on Treating Shoppers as VIPs

Natalie speaks to Nigel Oddy, currently CEO of the UK and Europe’s leading golf retailer American Golf, and previously CEO of House of Fraser, New Look, Matalan and The Range.

The video version of this episode is available on YouTube and is part of a special collaboration with the Richmond Retail & E-commerce Directors’ Forum. Nigel will be speaking at the event alongside leaders from across the industry – Tesco, Charlotte Tilbury, TikTok, N Brown and more. 

In this episode, Nigel gives us a sneak preview of what we’ll be discussing at the event. He shares what it was like running New Look during the pandemic, his biggest successes, what motivates him, the importance of spending time on the shop floor and why you must treat your shoppers as VIPs.

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AI Consumer CX Fashion High Streets Podcast Retail leadership Retail trends Returns Technology

The Future of Retail with Chris Browne

Chris Browne, former Global Retail Director at Ted Baker, joins Natalie to discuss:

  • Visual AI and the opportunities for fashion retail  
  • How tech can enhance the shopping experience
  • Addressing the perennial problem of returns
  • What Western retailers can learn from Asia
  • Chris’ vision for the future of the high street

Prefer video? You can also watch Natalie and Chris’ conversation on YouTube.

This episode is part of a special collaboration with the Richmond Retail & E-commerce Directors’ Forum. Chris will be speaking at the event alongside leaders from across the industry – Tesco, Charlotte Tilbury, TikTok, N Brown and more.

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Consumer CX Economy High Streets Podcast Retail leadership Retail trends

TV Dragon Theo Paphitis on Successful Retailing

Natalie speaks to TV dragon, retail magnate and small business champion Theo Paphitis live on stage at Springfair. They discuss:

  • Digital transformation and the impact on retail
  • Why stores are assets in today’s digital era
  • High street struggles – business rates, rents and levelling the playing field
  • Failing fast in business
  • What will retail look like in 2034?

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Fashion High Streets Podcast Retail leadership

N Brown Retail CEO Sarah Welsh on Women in Retail

Sarah Welsh, CEO of Retail at N Brown, joins Natalie on the podcast to discuss:

  • What are the barriers to getting women in retail leadership positions?
  • The importance of representation – how should we nurture future female leaders?
  • Who has inspired Sarah throughout her career?
  • How has the shift to flexible and hybrid working impacted women?
  • How does N Brown drive the wider EDI&B agenda?

This episode is part of a collaboration with the Richmond Retail & E-commerce Directors’ Forum. It’s available on the usual channels (Apple and Spotify) or you can watch a video version on YouTube.

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