BRC to host event exploring impact of technology on retail workforce

Following its successful Retail 2020 conference last year which focused on the recruitment challenges facing retailers, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) is running an event on 10 May looking at the impact of technology on retail and the wider workforce.

Dubbed The 4th Industrial Revolution and its Effect on Retail, this one-day conference will consider the effects, challenges and opportunities that technology presents to the retail workforce of the future. Increasing digitalisation, the advancement of artificial intelligence, and growing automation are changing the way the business world operates, and they are threatening traditional retail employment models.

The event will investigate how retailers should respond.

Big retailers speak

A host of representatives from big retailers make up the conference programme, which will be chaired by Ben Fletcher, president UK & Europe of prominent shoe retail brand C&J Clark International.

Asda’s senior vice president for people, Hayley Tatum, and Asos’s people experience director, Peter Collyer, are among the speakers at the event, scheduled to take place at etc.venues County Hall, in London.

Future gazing

The conference will contain its fair share of future-gazing, with Dean van Leeuwen, chief exploration officer at leadership development group Tomorrow Today Global, providing the opening keynote.

In his presentation, van Leeuwen will explore what shoppers might expect from retailers in 2030, whether drones will fill our city skies with goods ordered just one hour before, and the general impact of technology on retail. He’ll also look at what all this means for traditional retailers, the changing role of the store, and what organisations need to do to stay ahead of the curve.

Big retail debates

One of the panel debates to take place on the day is entitled Digital by Default – is Retail Ready for a New Skillset?, while Andrew Jennings, a veteran retail executive and now chairman of Hema International and global industry adviser, will be interviewed live on stage on the subject of developing retail leaders in a tech world.

Breakout sessions will also run throughout the day, enabling delegates to tailor the event to their needs and understand in more detail what the impact of technology on retail will be.

Retail Connections is pleased to be a media partner of this latest event in the BRC Retail 2020 series, and we look forward to seeing many familiar and new retail industry faces in London on 10 May.

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