The great and the good of the retail industry descended on London this week to share their views on the current climate, industry trends and thoughts on what the future holds for the British retail industry. Here are a selection of quotes from the annual Retail Week Live conference. 

“None of us in the industry want to wake up again and find out in a factory we are working with making $3-$4 T-shirts, that 1,100 people have died. These are disasters we can prevent and there is a tremendous amount of passion from retailers to get this right and Bangladesh is the start" - Rick Darling, executive director of government and public affairs at Li & Fung USA.

"Not only is it scary [being CEO], it's a bloody lonely place as well" - Mark Newton-Jones, interim CEO of Mothercare

"This past year, seeing the collapse of the [Rana Plaza] building has really awakened the corporate sector as well as consumers that we need to do something. This raises the level for us to work more collaboratively" - Julia Kilbourne, apparel and textiles category leader, Ethical Trading Initiative. 

"The whole [retail] sector is becoming internationalised so rapidly. What is driving growth is the fact manufacturers operate in the online space. They no longer think in national boundaries" - Vince Cable, Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. 

"Supply chains are shortening in the minds of consumers as well because of social media and the ability to communicate. Customers are becoming more aware...if you shut your eye to that you will be caught out" - Giles Bolton, Tesco ethical trade director.   

"Things are changing from a general buying and merchandise perspective. It has made us focus more on the business. We want to know where the product is coming from" - Andy York, ethical trading director for N Brown.

"China is a fantastic opportunity for anyone, but you can't go in there and think it's a given. You have to ensure you have flexibility in your international expansion plans" - Susanne Given, COO of SuperGroup.

“One of the big gaps in the single markets arrangement is around digital trade. We need a single digital transaction to make digital trade easier and more beneficial" - Vince Cable, Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. 

"What I would like to use to describe the new retail world is multi-channel. It is about putting the customer back at the heart of the business. It encompasses digital and non-digital" - Philip Clarke, CEO of Tesco. 

“Let's be clear about this, I don't think brands and retailers were ever really constituted to actually do structural inspections of the buildings they were working in. They just don't have the capacity" - Rick Darling, executive director of government and public affairs at Li & Fung USA.