The high point of day 12 and the World Retail Congress to date was Sir Phillip Green (Owner Arcadia/Topshop) being interviewed with Millard Drexler (J Crew). These gents are recognised by all as the Titans of apparel retailing and they confirmed all the observations we had been making from 12 intense days of watching, listening and learning.
They talked about taking a long term approach and never being rushed … the absolute importance of a magnet brand, the owner leading and driving the vision and being across all the detail all the time, a myopic focus on customer and all
channel retailing – and finally, controlling the supply chain for margin and exclusivity.
The quote of the interview from Sir Phillip was ”anxiety is a great business additive”.
We also heard from Dan Cobley, MD Google UK talking about his vision for the store of the future. He called this period the ‘Renaissance of Retail’ and detailed a powerful argument for improvement through the usage of digital tools.
We finished the day with a store visit – and what a store – Burberry on Regent St. It is simply the best integrated experience of fashion and technology, it is the Apple store of apparel if you like!