Inaugural retail research conference attracts international speakers

Posted On Thursday, 17 February 2011 02:00 Published by
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The science of shopping will come under the spotlight at the first-ever Research Conference being launched by the SA Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) in March

“The Research Conference is being introduced as a way to give retailers, shopping centre owners, developers, managers and marketers the competitive edge,” says Amanda Stops, general manager of the SACSC.

“This interactive and focused conference is an opportunity to learn about and discuss the very latest in sound retail strategies in the context of both macro and micro sector dynamics.”

Providing new ways to analyse the potential for new shopping centres, new retail stores and expansions, SACSC Research Committee Chairman and Research Conference Chairman Dr Dirk Prinsloo explains that conference topics will focus on trends in retail development and marketing, the economic impact on the consumer and what could be expected for the retail sector during the medium term.

He adds that marketing positioning of shopping centres, new methods of research and marketing, like crowd-sourcing and smart phone communication, will be discussed. New technologies – like geographic information systems (GIS) as a tool not only to select specific sites for new stores but for better retail decisions making- will be a main topic on the programme. The retail industry’s expanding uses of GIS will open up new applications to understand each market area much better.

A highlight of the one-day Research Conference includes two hard-hitting presentations by international retail experts, aimed at bringing delegates up to speed with international best practice.

Jillian Elder of Walgreens, the largest drugstore chain in the US with sales of $67 billion in 2010, heads up the Geographic Information Services team as part of Walgreen’s Planning and Research division and will be speaking on Evolution through Revolution – An Enterprise-Wide GIS Solution.

With a background in geographic information systems and location analysis, Elder is uniquely positioned to describe how spatial analysis can be used as an aid in strategic decision-making - and explain why Walgreens has adopted this approach as a critical resource for executive leadership.

Strategist and scenario planner Richard Watson will tackle the question of the retail future, gazing into his crystal ball as he has done for blue-chip retailers such as IBM, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, P&G and Nestle.
His presentation will look at emerging trends, strategic foresight and scenario planning, and the impact of these on long-term retail strategy.

The bottom-line, says Prinsloo, is for the Research Conference to highlight how even the most simple decisions – from choosing a store location to advertising a promotion – can make or break a retailer or impact on a shopping centre’s performance. “The presentations will enable conference-goers to better understand the market in which shopping centres operate,” says Prinsloo.

“We’ll be learning from the best,” he adds.

The SACSC’s inaugural Research Conference is scheduled to take place on the 16th of March 2011 at Summerplace in Sandton, Johannesburg.
For more information go to:

Publisher: eProp
Source: SACSC

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