Senior lecturer in Buying and Merchandising, James Clark recently discussed modern retailing and why merchandisers’ distinct niche role in a business with Essential Retail, ahead of this month’s Buying & Merchandising (B&M) Summit.
James is one of the delegates involved in the B&M Summit in London on 22 September by Essential Retail’s parent company Legend Exhibitions. In the exclusive Q&A interview, he also touched on what makes a good merchandising professional and how consumers – partly through the use of new technology – now have the power to make or break individual retailers.
He was also asked what he thought had been the biggest changes in retail in the last ten years, he replied by saying:
There are so many examples, but the empowerment of the consumer to buy what, when and how they like, and then comment about it has had huge implications on their relationship with retail brands. The consumer can make or break a retailer, and we have seen so many examples, both good and bad of this. The challenge is to find a way to build relationships that are meaningful and do not instill notions of spin and brand management in the mind of the consumer.
Many of the issues addressed by James in the interview will also be debated at the summit towards the end of September. There will also be speakers from Adidas, Boohoo.com, Levi’s and Topps Tiles for the one-day event.