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Customer-Centricity Through a Retail Lens

May 15th 2019

17:30 - 21:30

Venue and Agenda

 BMA House 

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This year, the 7th Annual Retail and Luxury Goods Conference will be hosted at BMA House in central London.

Steeped in history and architectural beauty, the BMA House in Tavistock Square was home to Charles Dickens in 1851. Since 1925, it has been home to the British Medical Association. BMA House now hosts both private occasions and corporate event hires on its magnificent site.


Arrival & Registration

Opening Remarks

Importance of Customer-Centricity in Retail

Nick Blunden – Chief Commercial Officer, The Business of Fashion       

Utilising Data to Attract the Customer

David Boyle – Customer Insights Director, Harrods

Jenny Cossons – Chief Partnership Officer, Lyst

Charlotte Keesing – COO, Walpole (Moderator)

A New Dawn of Customer Focus in Luxury

Coffee/Tea Break

Customising the Store and Customer Experience

Networking Reception and Emerging Brands Fair

Ambika Patni – Executive Director Global Strategy & Business Initiatives, Jo Malone

Andrew Robb – COO, Farfetch

Gavin Williams – Director of Product, Store of the Future, Farfetch

Nader Tavassoli – Professor, London Business School (Moderator)









Angelo Zegna - Head of Stores, Appear Here

Jeff Hu - Regional Director, WeChat Pay Europe

Our 2019 Speakers

Ambika Patni
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Executive Director, Global Strategy & Business Initiatives, Jo Malone London

With over a decade of marketing and strategy experience in the beauty industry, Ambika Patni develops the overall brand strategy and drives growth initiatives for Jo Malone. Ambika has been with Jo Malone London for eight years, starting in Consumer Marketing. Prior to moving to London, Ambika worked in Travel Retail Marketing at M.A.C Cosmetics and Global Makeup Marketing at Estee Lauder, all based in New York. Ambika holds an MBA from London Business School (where she was a Co-Chair of the Retail & Luxury Goods Club) and a BA from Harvard University.

David Boyle
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Customer Insights Director, Harrods

David is passionate about helping businesses to build analytics-driven decision making to help them make quicker, smarter and bolder decisions. He leads customer strategy and insights at Harrods and has previously built global analytics and insight capabilities for a number of leading global entertainment businesses covering television (the BBC), book publishing (HarperCollins Publishers) and the music industry (EMI Music). He builds on experiences working to build analytics for global retailers as well as political campaigns in the US and UK, in philanthropy and in strategy consulting. 

Nader Tavassoli
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Professor, London Business School and Non-Executive Chairman, The Brand Inside

Professor Nader Tavassoli received his PhD from Columbia Business School. He was on the faculty of the MIT Sloan School of Management until 2002, as faculty director of the Entrepreneurship Programme and founding faculty director of the e-Business Programme. At LBS, he founded the Walpole Luxury Management Programme, launched Coursera’s first massive open online course on brand management, and is a recipient of their prestigious Excellence in Teaching Award. For the past 25 years, Nader has advised and taught executives from internet and high-tech start-ups to over 30 Global Fortune 500 companies. He has been non-executive chairman of The Brand Inside since 2006.

Andrew Robb
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COO, Farfetch

Executive board member Andrew Robb is responsible for the smooth running of the marketing, operations, international and VIP teams at Farfetch. An online specialist with over 20 years’ experience in e-commerce businesses, he started his career with Gemini Consulting before joining a digital music start-up, as Business Development Director. Andrew then worked in the category development team of eBay Australia before spending several years as Managing Director of Andrew holds a B.A. from the University of Oxford and an M.B.A. from INSEAD.

Angelo Zegna
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Head of Stores, Appear Here

Angelo Zegna is the Head of Stores at Appear Here, the leading online marketplace for short-term leases. Having launched over 10,000 stores globally and with a community of over 200,000 brands, Appear Here has become “the Airbnb of retail” by powering flexible retail. After starting his career at Bain & Company in India, Angelo led Luxottica's online business in Brazil. Angelo is a Georgetown University and Harvard Business School alumnus and is currently a board member at Thom Browne.

Charlotte Keesing
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Director, Public Affairs & International, Walpole

Charlotte Keesing is a Director at Walpole with responsibilities including Corporate Affairs, External Relations and International Development. In her 12 years at Walpole Charlotte has developed the programme of events and networking activities, developed the communications strategy, driven membership engagement, was instrumental in the development and launch of three highly successful mentorship programmes including Brands of Tomorrow, CRAFTED and our partnership with London Business School. Latterly developing Government relations stream of work on behalf of the sector and raising the profile for Walpole and our members internationally.

Gavin Williams
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Director of Product Development at Store Of The Future, Farfetch

As Director of Product Development for Store of the Future, Gavin leads his team in developing technologies for luxury brands and Farfetch retail partners to create an augmented omni-channel experience in-store, enhancing the customer journey by bridging the offline and online worlds. With over 20 years’ experience, Gavin’s previous roles include Head of Multichannel Transformation at Harvey Nichols and Head of E-commerce at Liberty.

Jeff Hu

Regional Director, WeChat Pay Europe

Jeff Hu is Regional Director of WeChat Pay Europe, a payment service incorporated into WeChat which is owned by Tencent Holdings Limited. He has a strong background in payment industry and is set to collaborate with local partners to build a thriving ecosystem where merchant are empowered with full WeChat capabilities and customers enjoy more seamless experience in EU.

Jenny Cossons
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Chief Partnerships Officer, Lyst

Jenny Cossons is responsible for defining the global fashion search platform’s product offering, leading on strategy to create the world’s best inventory and experience for customers and partners. Prior to joining Lyst, Jenny was Group Head of Brand Relations at the NET-A-PORTER Group, where she spent four years leading global brand liaison for NET-A-PORTER, THE OUTNET and MR PORTER. Before that she was Director of Fashion & Beauty Advertising at Condé Nast, where she played an integral part of the early development of the the company’s digital department, and launched the division’s first client-focused team.

Nick Blunden
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Chief Commercial Officer,

The Business of Fashion

Nick Blunden is the Chief Commercial Officer of The Business of Fashion. In this role he is responsible for growing the BoF audience and its membership, events, careers, education and partnerships businesses around the world. Before joining The Business of Fashion Nick held a variety of senior positions at The Economist Group and spent seven years at Profero, where he was UK CEO and worked with clients such as Apple, BMW, Channel 4, HSBC and Pepsi. Nick has a law degree from the London School of Economics and an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

Emerging Brands Fair

We are excited to invite several young and mature brands at our Emerging Brands Fair.  These Businesses will showcase their products and services that span across apparel, accessories, shoes, retail tech platforms or shopping services, and all integrated the value of customer-centricity at the heart of their proposition.

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Rooted in tradition, but designed for a modern lifestyle, Baudoin & Lange are forward-thinking shoemakers applying a modern sensibility to an age-old craft. Its founders, Allan Baudoin and Bo van Langeveld are blending the

dual disciplines of art and technology to create footwear, which strikes the optimum balance between comfort and impeccable style.


LetsBab is a marketplace where you can access your favourite brands website with a single click. Shop and browse for yourself or recommend products to your friends. The platform pays every person 5% of the retail price for their recommendations in cash. What you do with the cash is

up to you – keep it or donate

it in the app.

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The Endless Wardrobe allows you to wear more of the brands you love, spend less and be more sustainable, by renting clothes from your favourite brands at a fraction of the retail price.

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Sueted simplifies last mile delivery and returns for online fashion shoppers by aggregating customer deliveries from multiple retailers and providing premium mobile fitting rooms at the point of delivery, thereby eliminating shoppers' return journey and minimising retailer return windows. They also run pop-ups in high footfall areas, providing unmatched brand awareness to fashion, beauty and accessory brands.

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