A Review of FT Future of Retail conference by Financial Times Live, 2019

Posted by Thomas Andersson on

FT Future of Retail Conference, 18 Sep, 2019

Where else can you share a table with the Group CEO at Tesco, chit chat with the CFO of Ocado, pose difficult questions re the competition to the Group CEO of Ahold Delhaize and share your love for Propercorn with its founder?

Not many.

However, the FT Future of Retail conference is one of these. While it may not be the cheapest conference to attend, it is almost guaranteed you will bump in to a C-level executive at a retailer (if you care to talk to people).

..Keynote by Dave Lewis,Tesco Group CEO

We have visited the annual FT Future of Retail event twice. This year was the best thus far and our verdict of the 2018 event was five stars.

As with most conferences, this event is packed with various suppliers and consultants. However, the difference is the access to retailer’s C-level management team members. For example, the author spoke to Tesco's Group CEO, Dave Lewis, whom sat down and shared the table pre- and post- his keynote address. Later, when getting a refreshing drink, the author bumped into the CFO at Ocado and discussed their competitors (perhaps not the most positive conversation starter).

The one-day event, normally held in West London in a five-star hotel, is simply the best for access to top retailer’s C-level management team members in the UK. There is no other event that the writer know of with a similar calibre of visitors.

This years’ topic of choice was sustainability – a trendy topic. Some interesting learnings, especially around the relationship between packaging and food waste.

Oh, and by the way, the author discussed the Booker acquisition rationale with Dave and pushed on the relationship with Just-Eat (Booker and Just-Eat has a strategic partnership for grocery deliveries to Just-Eat connected restaurants).

Highly recommended!


Oh... we also learned that AWS will be launching an on-premise solution in a few weeks time.

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