MELBOURNE, MCEC Feb 28 – Mar 2, 2018

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Main Stage Program

Wednesday, Feb 28

Join us at the first session of the event to hear industry experts as they provide an industry insight into the current state of play in the Australasian retail market and abroad.


  • Megatrends
  • Disruptors
  • Changing consumer behaviours
  • Macro/micro influences
  • The evolution of retail

    Many established retailers are adopting new strategies to cater to evolving customer needs, primarily focusing on omnichannel retail, resulting in a different business model that doesn’t place a preference on any single shopping channel.


    • Wholesale marketplaces - friend or foe?
    • Scaling up - How to avoid awkward channel conflicts
    • Business models disrupting retail on the global stage.
    • Suitable for c-suite and senior management.

      Innovation has emerged as a central theme of good retail practice as macroeconomic conditions, the competitive landscape and customer expectations have changed in recent years.

      Capital expenditure among large retail companies is spiking to meet these requirements, with retail leaders trying very hard to find new ways to sell to customers that haven’t been done before.


      • How can we reinvent retail in an age of digital disruption?
      • How can leaders successfully build a culture of innovation that sees results?
      • How can retailers maximise relationships to maximise profits. Three key lessons from a US retailer.
      • Suitable for all departments.

        Good leadership needs to be learned and can be practiced. Without it, many organisations crumble. So how do you develop, as well as stay focused as a leader?


        • Emotional intelligence and leadership qualities
        • Design thinking
        • The importance of failure
        • Using cognitive science in your management
        • Suitable for marketing, sales, management

          Thursday, March 1

          Retailers have been placing much more emphasis on digital marketing over the last several years as customers migrate to social media platforms.

          Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have emerged as important organic marketing tools, while digital videos and brand campaigns that leverage influencers are now commonplace in the industry.

          As marketing has adopted a more organic focus branding has also become more important, with even mundane customer service errors now having the potential to go viral on the internet, becoming public relations challenges.


          • The what, why, and how of experience
          • Building cultural capital
          • Converting followers to dollars
          • Pricing science and discounting.
          • Suitable for marketing, sales, management.

            With enterprise bargaining agreements within the retail industry at an all-time low and employment within the industry more broadly decreasing rapidly, the retail workforce has become challenged.

            A Fair Work Commission decision from May to reduce Sunday Penalty rates has further contributed to tensions in the industry, with renewed union presence creating a new environment within which large employers have had to adapt.

            This has coincided with an increasing need to have engaged and knowledgeable sales staff within retail stores, as customer expectations around service continue to increase.


            • What is a customer-centred culture and how do you actually make it happen?
            • Gender diversity – It’s more than hiring 'enough' women.
            • Suitable for HR, C-suite, management.

              Retailers are investing heavily in faster, more transparent cheaper delivery options for customers.

              Increasing online penetration is driving interest from retailers in ensuring that they are able to compete for customers who are expecting more from the digital experience.

              Many retailers are trailing in-store fulfilment to lower barriers to entry. Others have invested heavily in click-and-collect, which is comparatively cheaper to facilitate in many cases.


              • Same day delivery - what's next? How customer demand is reshaping delivery.
              • Why supply chain may be retail's biggest game changer.
              • Suitable for all departments.

                Customer expectations are increasing as time goes on, but are also evolving, which is forcing retailers and industry stakeholders to adapt quickly.

                Online shopping, contactless payments and digitally integrated experiences have emerged as important competitive imperatives for many large brands, eliciting heavy investment into technologies that are able to provide what’s become known as the “modern retail experience”.

                Consumers are also being hampered by low wage growth and increasing cost pressures, which has subdued discretionary spend growth, putting pressure on margins and forcing retailers to work harder for consumer dollars.


                • Consumers - the other side of retail
                • Reinventing retail convenience: Caltex
                • The future shopping centre experience – what you need to know.
                • Suitable for all departments.

                  Friday, March 2

                  Demand for Australian consumer goods in China is very high, a fact that has become a lucrative opportunity for companies like Chemist Warehouse, who have been very successful selling into China with local partner Alibaba.

                  Now other companies, including Priceline, are planning for expansion into what has become the world’s largest consumer market with a rapidly growing middle class.


                  • This session will look at three different approaches of companies selling through China's online market.
                  • Suitable for all departments

                    Retailers are busy preparing for the impending arrival of Amazon into Australia, a development that many analysts say will shape the future of Australian retail.

                    A consensus has emerged that unique products, solid pricing strategies, instore experience and developed digital capabilities will be important features of retail in the future.

                    Over the next twelve months consumer confidence is also expected to be subdued while competition is set to increase, creating what some have called a ‘perfect storm’ that may see more retailers go out of business.


                    • The retail / supplier relationship and how technology is changing the way business transactions are done and money flows.
                    • The next generation, who, what, where, why.
                    • Future of payments.
                    • Suitable for all departments

                      The purpose driven brand – why does it matter more now than ever before? Here we discuss balancing purpose and profit, as well as ways retailers can harness business potential as a force for good.


                      • Social giving and sustainability – how to create profits and good
                      • How to create a meaningful brand
                      • Suitable for marketing, sales, c-suite, management

                        Hosted by entrepreneur, investor and Shark Tank judge Steve Baxter, this year’s Pitchfest will showcase the latest in retail disruption. Help support the up-and-comers in the retail space, and have your say on the winning pitch for IRL2018.

                        This will be followed by a presentation on the technologies of tomorrow, most of which are already live today.

                        Suitable for all departments


                        An unconventional mix of leaders, rebels and changemakers

                        Full Lineup

                        Winston Cheng

                        President of International,

                        Erica Berchtold

                        Managing Director, Rebel

                        Michael Ford

                        Chief Executive Officer, Steinhoff Asia Pacific

                        Dipendra Goenka

                        CEO, Forever New

                        Nikki Price

                        Head Of Marketing, Sushi Sushi

                        Bernie Brookes

                        Former CEO, Edcon and Myer

                        Anna Lee

                        COO, The Iconic

                        Jack Gance

                        Chairman, Chemist Warehouse

                        Radek led Swisse to be named the ‘Most Successful Business of the Year’ in the 2012 BRW Private Business Awards.

                        Radek Sali

                        Former Chief Executive, Swisse

                        A retail sage not to be missed. Current Non-Executive Director JB Hi-Fi and former founder at Happy Lab and Group Operations Director for Just Group from 1999.

                        Wai Tang

                        Non-Exec Director for Vicinity Centers Ltd, JB HiFi Ltd , PMP Ltd, Visit Victoria Ltd.

                        Philip Dalidakis

                        Minister for Trade and Investment, State Government of Victoria

                        Leads global strategy for brands including Samsonite, American Tourister, Hartmann, Gregory, High Sierra and more.

                        Charlie Cole

                        Chief Digital Officer, Tumi & Global Chief eCommerce Officer, Samsonite

                        It proved to be an outstanding format for retailers to meet and network, discuss issues of mutual interest and learn from industry leaders.

                        The sessions, the panels, the speakers, the expo, were all top notch, and I am looking forward to 2018.

                        The 3 day Inside Retail event was very informative and a great way to network with fellow QSR retailers. The panellists were interesting and insightful focusing on the future of the retail world.

                        Inside Retail Live was a great way to share ideas and meet exhibitors, this was topped off with a great night as one of the Top 50 People in eCommerce!

                        Extremely well organised event, great integration of interactive media. Fantastic mix of presenters for traditional retailers and just the right amount of aspirational content.

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                        Presented By


                        IRL 2018