Disruptive brands come into sharp focus at The Retail
Summit in Dubai
Dubai, UAE, 26 February 2019: Being innovative does not simply mean embracing the latest technology, adopting AI, utilising AR and replacing humans with robots.
That was a recurring message delivered to the 900
senior executives at The Retail Summit held in Dubai in mid-February. The event
featured 80 speakers and saw hundreds of brands from around the world come
together to examine the latest thinking around the future of retail and what it
means to truly connect with today’s ultra-demanding consumer.
region is not one size fits all,” said Khaliq Khan, MD at Accenture, who issued
a stark warning for retailers in the Middle East in a panel session Managing
Disruption like an Innovation Champion.
is not just about technology. It is about delighting customers at a price
and pace acceptable to everybody. Sometimes we must step back and
reassess, but we must not change direction.”
was a theme reiterated throughout panel and keynote sessions of the new two-day
event, which ran from 13-14 February at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai.
Callede, Co-Founder of online furniture retailer Made.com, contributed to the Embedding
Innovation into your Organisation’s DNA discussion and said: “People
associate innovation with technology. The simple innovative measure that
we adopt is to speak to the customer and rely on data.”
alongside Callede on the panel was Richard Flint, COO of Hema who added: “We
are focused on a customer-centric approach to innovation. It is about
combining sustainability and scalability to provide customers with innovation
the hundreds of globally recognisable, successful and popular brands present at
The Retail Summit this year, two of the most innovative and disruptive
sportswear labels stood out.
Propulsion Labs (APL) and Hummel were both lauded as successful case studies of
how to create new spaces in established industries. Christian Stadil, CEO
of the Thornico Group which owns Hummel kicked off the second day of the Summit
with an energetic keynote session where he spoke passionately about the brand’s
core principles: flexibility, agility and curiosity.
room for a small Danish sneaker brand is difficult,” said Stadil. “We
adopted the underdog strategy which was our way to steal market share from the
bigger players. Our ‘big hairy audacious goal’ (BHAG) is to change the
world through sport and we work in mass mattering instead of mass marketing.”
twin brothers Adam and Ryan Goldston created a luxury training shoe which would
ultimately be banned by the USA’s National Basketball Association (NBA) because
of its disruptive use of technology – the load-n-launch that enables the wearer
to jump higher than traditional training shoes developed by their rivals – the
co-founders used this to their advantage.
one can just enter the industry with a good-looking product alone,” said Ryan
during their discussion. “If you are trying to create a new category in a
given industry, it needs to be something that is new and special. We have
integrated luxury and performance and created our own category.”
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh
Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minster of the UAE and
Ruler of Dubai, and in partnership with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce &
Industry and Meydan One, The Retail Summit brought together a new generation of
retailers delivering a winning combination of outstanding service and
ground-breaking use of technology to deliver memorable shopping experiences.
The Summit was packed with thought provoking content
and lively debate from industry heavyweight speakers including:
- Sir Richard
Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group
- Mona Kattan,
Global President & Co-Founder, Huda Beauty
- Jo Malone
CBE, Founder of Jo Loves
- HE Hamad
Buamim, President & CEO, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry
- Beth Horn,
Industry Head, Retail, Facebook
Abdulrahim Kazim, VP, Meydan Malls, Meydan Group
Guenez, CEO & Founder, The Modist
- Julia Goldin,
Veichmanis, CMO, Farfetch
The Retail Summit was supported by event partners
Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Meydan One; Innovation partner: Accenture;
Silver partners: Black Jack, CBRE, CEGID, KPMG, SAP, Umdasch and Xpandretail;
Strategic partners: Al Futtaim Malls, Arvind Internet, Bentley, BJSS, Content
Square, Department of International Trade, Gate Avenue, Lava Moments, Mcube,
Nook, Openbravo, Parcelly, Ponant, Presso, Samsung and Sensemi.