The Agenda

08:00 – 09:00:

Registration

09:00 – 09:10:

Welcome

Panos Linardos,Founder, Retail Leaders Circle

Nisreen Shocair, President, Virgin Megastore MENA

09:10 – 09:50:

Disruption & Innovation in the Retailing World: How to Compete?

The retail industry is going through massive changes largely in response to changes in technology and the rise of new retailing models, such as Amazon, Wal-Mart and Jet.com. In this talk Barbara Kahn will lay out a framework that will help explain these changes and how they will affect the Middle East industry in the future, and suggest competitive strategies that retailers can use to meet changing customer expectations. This framework allows retailers to think strategically about what can work or not and provides a mechanism for measuring results over time.

Barbara Kahn,Patty and Jay H. Baker, Professor of Marketing, Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

09:50 – 10:30:

Lean and Growing

In the ‘new normal’, characterized by slower growth and heightened profit pressure, cost optimization seems more needed than ever. Yet, the impact of such programs amongst European retailers has often been negative as stiff cost reduction led to a deterioration of customer experience, sales intensity and ultimately profit. So, how to avoid this doom loop? How to optimize cost while preserving or even improving the customer experience? What can we learn from leading retailers or even hard discounters who manage to be leaner while selling more.

Cyrille Fabre, Partner, Bain & CompanyPanelists to be announced soon

10:30 – 11:00:

Networking Break

11:00 – 11:40:

The Future of Shopping… is service

FITCH is launching exclusively at RLC MENA the findings of a proprietary global research study analyzing the consumer attitudes to service and experience in the 21st century.

Tim Greenhalgh, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, FITCH

11:40 – 12:30:

Omnichannel Retail Transformation Case: an international retailer telling the journey toward omnichannel retail

Today’s retail customers are a formidable force with shifting expectations, demanding a seamless experience – whether in stores or online – that is on their terms. Digital has reinvented the way customers experience and buy, and leading retailers ensure they are making smart investment choices to create distinctive but consistent customer journeys across their stores, several channels and touch points. In this context, what are the “ no Regrets” capabilities to have in place? Where to differentiate vs. pure players? And, in which areas to be inspired by them?

Alexis Lecanuet, Managing Director Retail, Consumer Goods, Travel & Automotive, Accenture
Retail Speaker to be announced

12:30 – 14:00:

Networking Lunch

14:00 – 14:40: Breakout Sessions 1
Stream A:

Winning the traffic generation battle in Middle East (invite only)

Spurred by customer experience standards set by Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (GAFA), retailers are challenged to rethink how they reach and service their customer. To stay competitive and relevant, they must define clear digital agendas, allocate the right investments, and prioritize which new digital business initiatives to launch. Winners will be the ones creating digital intimacy with customers via personalized, geolocalised and real time interactions. In this session, retail leaders will explore how to avoid disintermediation on traffic generation by GAFA and will be exposed for first time on a Middle East specific context on tourists and residents influence

Speakers to be announced soon

Stream B:

Winning the traffic generation battle in Middle East (invite only)

As the Food and Beverage businesses are challenged to achieve like-for-like growth in the face of ample supply and stiff competition, F&B operators striving to stay relevant by re-examining their business models, brand strategies and cost structures, while maintaining high standards of quality for the customer. In this session, you will hear from an elite group of operators whose companies are seizing opportunity with new concepts and not only surviving but spectacularly overcoming economic uncertainty, an abundance of competition, all while further distinguishing their brands and building their legacies.

Speakers to be announced soon

Stream C:

Real Estate Roundtable

14:40 – 15:30: Breakout Sessions 2
Stream A:

Re-imagining Retail Destinations

Stores are introducing innovative ways to get customers in the door, from interactive experiences to live concerts, and from spas to limited run, theme-based setups. What are the tactics that engage customers, increase brand affinity and eventually sell more products and services, whether in-store or online. We’ll examine how stores are transforming themselves from a place to transact into a place for cultural and lifestyle experiences

Stream B:

Culture & Leadership

In a world where the customer rules, business success depends greatly on how retailers set up their organizations to not only survive but thrive. Through shared market data and best practices we will focus on these key factors and practices that ensure high performance. Attendees will work through organization
evaluations, challenges and options to arrive at directional and actionable takeaways.

Bernardine Wu, CEO, FitForCommerce

Stream C:

To be announced soon

15:30 – 16:00:

Networking Break

16:00 – 16:50:

The Evolving Role of the Mall in the Future


How consumer habits and digitization of the shopping mall is changing today’s more operator model? How mall developers are serving customer needs and connecting retailers with shoppers by acting as a hub of experience and convenience? Hear how operators are combining the power of physical spaces to enrich consumers’ experiences with retailers and venues through digital innovation.
Speakers to be announced

16:50 – 17:30:

Retail Gamechangers: A View from the Boardroom – CEO Panel Discussion


In today’s fast-paced environment, retailers are working harder than ever before to keep pace with the consumer, requiring the CEO to define the strategy, get the right team on board, create a winning culture and inspire the organization to deliver its goals, staying focused on what matters most. Retail Chiefs will provide unique insight into how they have led change, both in challenging times
Speakers to be announced

09:00 – 09:10:

Recap from Day 1

09:10 – 09:40:

The State of the Retail Industry (CEO Keynote)

It’s no secret that the retail landscape has changed. Clearly, what has worked in the past is no longer relevant and industry leaders must transform in order to not only survive, but thrive.

Speakers to be announced soon

09:40 – 10:15:

Stores are Power: Leverage your Footprint with Current Platforms to Boost your eCommerce Business

It’s no secret the retail landscape has changed. To survive, indeed succeed today, retailers must embrace disruption and adapt, adopt or acquire new models. In this session, Vijay Talwar will discuss how bricks and mortar retailers can successfully leverage locations, technology, people and processes to lead their digital transformation, capture the new wave of consumers, and create significant competitive advantage over their rival eCommerce platforms. From deepening consumer connections to gathering hyper local insights, Vijay will present an easy to implement approach to change management, digital prioritization and strategic partnerships.

Vijay Talwar, President, Digital, Footlocker

10:15 – 10:45:

State of the Union: eCommerce in MENA 2.0 – Exclusive with Google

With the advent of Amazon, launch of Noon.com and other online stores, eCommerce is becoming increasingly dynamic and competitive in the MENA region. Having played a significant role in enabling the online retail ecosystem in the region over the past decade, Google shares exclusively at RLC MENA 2018 a detailed point of view on the current state of eCommerce, the challenges it faces and the opportunities it presents.

Charbel Sarkis, MENA Head of Retail, E-Commerce, Telecom and Technology, Google

10:45 – 11:15:

Networking Break

11:15 – 11:45:

Customer Centricity

Customers today want choice, price transparency and personal recommendations – preferably all at the same time and immediately. The session will deep dive into the importance of a fully integrated 360 view of the customer across 3 main areas…The business, The Customer and The Process.

Vincent Giborees, Director, Regional Data Architect, PwC
Speakers to be announced soon

11:45 – 12:30:

How the Tech Industry is Changing Retail

Retail is undergoing through a profound transformation that has not only forced retailers to re-evaluate long-standing practices, but more importantly, it has forever changed consumer behaviour, habits, and expectations. What technologies are set to have the biggest impact on retail and how tech will continue to change the face of retail

Speakers to be announced soon

12:30 – 14:00:

Networking Lunch

14:00 – 14:45: Breakout Sessions 2
Stream A:

Have ME consumers fully adopted online shopping or is there a silver lining on the horizon for brick and mortar?

PwC Middle East launches the 2018 Total Retail findings exclusively at RLC MENA and outlines how local consumers have responded to new online players coming into the Middle East market and if Gen Z is helping brick and mortar make a come back. She will also be sharing how certain shopping habits and trends across all channels have shifted in the ME. The Survey is based on over 1000 interviews carried out with consumers in the UAE, KSA and Egypt.

Norma Taki, Partner, Retail & Consumer, PwC

Stream B:

Disrupting in the Retailing World: Examples of Successful Strategies

In this session Barbara Kahn will build on the framework that discussed in her keynote session and use it to explain why she thinks some retailing strategies are successful. She will discuss the strategic decisions that are being made by “digitally native vertical brands” such as Warby Parker and Bonobos and the decisions that are being made by old and new luxury brand retailers. She will also share customer loyalty strategies such as those used by Sephora and Ulta, and “treasure hunt” strategies favored by Costco and TJ Maxx., and will show how all of these help define strategies that can be successful in the changing world of retailing.

Barbara E. Kahn, Patty and Jay H. Baker Professor of Marketing, Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

Stream C:

To be announced soon

14:45 – 15:30:

Networking Break

15:30 – 16:00

Fireside Chat with Retail CEO

16:00 – 16:30

Session to be announced soon

16:30

Finale

+ Tuesday 27th March
08:00 – 09:00:

Registration

09:00 – 09:10:

Welcome

Panos Linardos,Founder, Retail Leaders Circle

Nisreen Shocair, President, Virgin Megastore MENA

09:10 – 09:50:

Disruption & Innovation in the Retailing World: How to Compete?

The retail industry is going through massive changes largely in response to changes in technology and the rise of new retailing models, such as Amazon, Wal-Mart and Jet.com. In this talk Barbara Kahn will lay out a framework that will help explain these changes and how they will affect the Middle East industry in the future, and suggest competitive strategies that retailers can use to meet changing customer expectations. This framework allows retailers to think strategically about what can work or not and provides a mechanism for measuring results over time.

Barbara Kahn,Patty and Jay H. Baker, Professor of Marketing, Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

09:50 – 10:30:

Lean and Growing

In the ‘new normal’, characterized by slower growth and heightened profit pressure, cost optimization seems more needed than ever. Yet, the impact of such programs amongst European retailers has often been negative as stiff cost reduction led to a deterioration of customer experience, sales intensity and ultimately profit. So, how to avoid this doom loop? How to optimize cost while preserving or even improving the customer experience? What can we learn from leading retailers or even hard discounters who manage to be leaner while selling more.

Cyrille Fabre, Partner, Bain & CompanyPanelists to be announced soon

10:30 – 11:00:

Networking Break

11:00 – 11:40:

The Future of Shopping… is service

FITCH is launching exclusively at RLC MENA the findings of a proprietary global research study analyzing the consumer attitudes to service and experience in the 21st century.

Tim Greenhalgh, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, FITCH

11:40 – 12:30:

Omnichannel Retail Transformation Case: an international retailer telling the journey toward omnichannel retail

Today’s retail customers are a formidable force with shifting expectations, demanding a seamless experience – whether in stores or online – that is on their terms. Digital has reinvented the way customers experience and buy, and leading retailers ensure they are making smart investment choices to create distinctive but consistent customer journeys across their stores, several channels and touch points. In this context, what are the “ no Regrets” capabilities to have in place? Where to differentiate vs. pure players? And, in which areas to be inspired by them?

Alexis Lecanuet, Managing Director Retail, Consumer Goods, Travel & Automotive, Accenture
Retail Speaker to be announced

12:30 – 14:00:

Networking Lunch

14:00 – 14:40: Breakout Sessions 1
Stream A:

Winning the traffic generation battle in Middle East (invite only)

Spurred by customer experience standards set by Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (GAFA), retailers are challenged to rethink how they reach and service their customer. To stay competitive and relevant, they must define clear digital agendas, allocate the right investments, and prioritize which new digital business initiatives to launch. Winners will be the ones creating digital intimacy with customers via personalized, geolocalised and real time interactions. In this session, retail leaders will explore how to avoid disintermediation on traffic generation by GAFA and will be exposed for first time on a Middle East specific context on tourists and residents influence

Speakers to be announced soon

Stream B:

Winning the traffic generation battle in Middle East (invite only)

As the Food and Beverage businesses are challenged to achieve like-for-like growth in the face of ample supply and stiff competition, F&B operators striving to stay relevant by re-examining their business models, brand strategies and cost structures, while maintaining high standards of quality for the customer. In this session, you will hear from an elite group of operators whose companies are seizing opportunity with new concepts and not only surviving but spectacularly overcoming economic uncertainty, an abundance of competition, all while further distinguishing their brands and building their legacies.

Speakers to be announced soon

Stream C:

Real Estate Roundtable

14:40 – 15:30: Breakout Sessions 2
Stream A:

Re-imagining Retail Destinations

Stores are introducing innovative ways to get customers in the door, from interactive experiences to live concerts, and from spas to limited run, theme-based setups. What are the tactics that engage customers, increase brand affinity and eventually sell more products and services, whether in-store or online. We’ll examine how stores are transforming themselves from a place to transact into a place for cultural and lifestyle experiences

Stream B:

Culture & Leadership

In a world where the customer rules, business success depends greatly on how retailers set up their organizations to not only survive but thrive. Through shared market data and best practices we will focus on these key factors and practices that ensure high performance. Attendees will work through organization
evaluations, challenges and options to arrive at directional and actionable takeaways.

Bernardine Wu, CEO, FitForCommerce

Stream C:

To be announced soon

15:30 – 16:00:

Networking Break

16:00 – 16:50:

The Evolving Role of the Mall in the Future


How consumer habits and digitization of the shopping mall is changing today’s more operator model? How mall developers are serving customer needs and connecting retailers with shoppers by acting as a hub of experience and convenience? Hear how operators are combining the power of physical spaces to enrich consumers’ experiences with retailers and venues through digital innovation.
Speakers to be announced

16:50 – 17:30:

Retail Gamechangers: A View from the Boardroom – CEO Panel Discussion


In today’s fast-paced environment, retailers are working harder than ever before to keep pace with the consumer, requiring the CEO to define the strategy, get the right team on board, create a winning culture and inspire the organization to deliver its goals, staying focused on what matters most. Retail Chiefs will provide unique insight into how they have led change, both in challenging times
Speakers to be announced

+ Wednesday 28th March
09:00 – 09:10:

Recap from Day 1

09:10 – 09:40:

The State of the Retail Industry (CEO Keynote)

It’s no secret that the retail landscape has changed. Clearly, what has worked in the past is no longer relevant and industry leaders must transform in order to not only survive, but thrive.

Speakers to be announced soon

09:40 – 10:15:

Stores are Power: Leverage your Footprint with Current Platforms to Boost your eCommerce Business

It’s no secret the retail landscape has changed. To survive, indeed succeed today, retailers must embrace disruption and adapt, adopt or acquire new models. In this session, Vijay Talwar will discuss how bricks and mortar retailers can successfully leverage locations, technology, people and processes to lead their digital transformation, capture the new wave of consumers, and create significant competitive advantage over their rival eCommerce platforms. From deepening consumer connections to gathering hyper local insights, Vijay will present an easy to implement approach to change management, digital prioritization and strategic partnerships.

Vijay Talwar, President, Digital, Footlocker

10:15 – 10:45:

State of the Union: eCommerce in MENA 2.0 – Exclusive with Google

With the advent of Amazon, launch of Noon.com and other online stores, eCommerce is becoming increasingly dynamic and competitive in the MENA region. Having played a significant role in enabling the online retail ecosystem in the region over the past decade, Google shares exclusively at RLC MENA 2018 a detailed point of view on the current state of eCommerce, the challenges it faces and the opportunities it presents.

Charbel Sarkis, MENA Head of Retail, E-Commerce, Telecom and Technology, Google

10:45 – 11:15:

Networking Break

11:15 – 11:45:

Customer Centricity

Customers today want choice, price transparency and personal recommendations – preferably all at the same time and immediately. The session will deep dive into the importance of a fully integrated 360 view of the customer across 3 main areas…The business, The Customer and The Process.

Vincent Giborees, Director, Regional Data Architect, PwC
Speakers to be announced soon

11:45 – 12:30:

How the Tech Industry is Changing Retail

Retail is undergoing through a profound transformation that has not only forced retailers to re-evaluate long-standing practices, but more importantly, it has forever changed consumer behaviour, habits, and expectations. What technologies are set to have the biggest impact on retail and how tech will continue to change the face of retail

Speakers to be announced soon

12:30 – 14:00:

Networking Lunch

14:00 – 14:45: Breakout Sessions 2
Stream A:

Have ME consumers fully adopted online shopping or is there a silver lining on the horizon for brick and mortar?

PwC Middle East launches the 2018 Total Retail findings exclusively at RLC MENA and outlines how local consumers have responded to new online players coming into the Middle East market and if Gen Z is helping brick and mortar make a come back. She will also be sharing how certain shopping habits and trends across all channels have shifted in the ME. The Survey is based on over 1000 interviews carried out with consumers in the UAE, KSA and Egypt.

Norma Taki, Partner, Retail & Consumer, PwC

Stream B:

Disrupting in the Retailing World: Examples of Successful Strategies

In this session Barbara Kahn will build on the framework that discussed in her keynote session and use it to explain why she thinks some retailing strategies are successful. She will discuss the strategic decisions that are being made by “digitally native vertical brands” such as Warby Parker and Bonobos and the decisions that are being made by old and new luxury brand retailers. She will also share customer loyalty strategies such as those used by Sephora and Ulta, and “treasure hunt” strategies favored by Costco and TJ Maxx., and will show how all of these help define strategies that can be successful in the changing world of retailing.

Barbara E. Kahn, Patty and Jay H. Baker Professor of Marketing, Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

Stream C:

To be announced soon

14:45 – 15:30:

Networking Break

15:30 – 16:00

Fireside Chat with Retail CEO

16:00 – 16:30

Session to be announced soon

16:30

Finale