Blog: Retail crowd awaits 2010 recovery

Joe Ayling | 19 March 2009

It's the second day of the Retail Week Conference in London, and Marks & Spencer boss Sir Stuart Rose will be looking to steal the show later on.

A new innovation at this year's event allows delegates to make electronic votes on key issues during presentations. The findings are indicative of the caution and lack of visibility in retail at the moment.

For example, when asked yesterday what date the earliest signs of economic recovery would be, 11% of people said the second half of 2009, with 41% predicting the first half 2010, 41% the second half 2010, and the remaining 7% saying even later.

Later on when asked about business priorities, 32% said it would be their supply chain, with 22% saying store design, 19% international expansion and the rest focusing on technology.

Before lunch there is a panel discussion on international retail strategy starring Ben Gordon, the chief executive of children's wear chain Mothercare.

Mothercare has over 1,000 stores worldwide and latest sales data showed international revenues leaped 49.1% during the third quarter. The company operates in 50 countries and it will be interesting to hear where Gordon is targeting next.

Other speakers today include Michael Ross, co-founder of ethical clothing firm Figleaves, and Nick Robertson, the chief executive of Asos who just-style interviewed last year.

Along with Sir Stuart they will be awaiting the seal of approval from delegates, and just-style looks forward to making its verdict too.

Joe Ayling, news editor.



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