Blog: Dean BestFainting and falling in London...

Dean Best | 18 March 2009

The leading lights of UK retail have gathered in central London today (18 March) to hear the latest on how the sector is navigating the recession – and it has been, quite literally, an up-and-down day.

Executives from Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Spar – as well as a clutch of non-food retailers – have converged on the Hilton London Metropole on London's Edgware Road to discuss the prognosis for the industry.

And, aside, from the usual presentations on the consumer search for value, there have been one or two out-of-the-ordinary interruptions.

First, during a presentation from Justin “I'm an optimist' King, the Sainsbury's CEO, a cameraman was taken ill and, rather unfortunately, fainted. Thankfully, all was well with the cameraman but, as one wag commented, he obviously seemed rather unimpressed with King's upbeat message.

Later, Dr Gordon Campbell, the CEO of Spar International, stumbled into the screen as he partially fell off the back of the stage while giving his presentation. Dr Campbell quickly recovered his composure, ensuring his audience that he “didn't rehearse that last night”.

He ended his presentation with a series of conclusions on Spar's strategy (international expansion and so on) and quipped: “There are great pitfalls out there so you need to look where you're going.” Cue much laughter from the assembled throng.

Aside from the fainting and the falling over, the first day of this year's Retail Week Conference has thrown up some interesting insight on how retailers are navigating the downturn, why some have fallen by the wayside, how consumer behaviour is changing and how the dynamic between supplier and retailer is changing.

Take a look at our Hot Topic section for more...


HOT ISSUE

The prognosis for UK retail

UK retail's top executives are meeting in London over the next two days to discuss how the sector is performing amid the most turbulent economic conditions for a generation. Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morris...

BLOG

Plenty of hot air as UK politicians grill Asda, Sainsbury's over merger

UK Parliamentary select committees at their best are meant to bring light rather than generate heat but this wasn't a select committee at its best....

BLOG

Asda and Sainsbury's - deal or no deal?

The proposed merger between Asda and Sainsbury's - two of the UK's 'big four' supermarkets - is, as expected, getting people hot under the collar....

BLOG

Carrefour, Google team up as France's online grocery shake-up continues

France's largest food retailers have made a number of moves in recent quarters to try to tap into the growth of the country's online grocery market - and this week another notable venture has been ann...



Forgot your password?