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Autumn Fair 2019 outlines its educational Theatre line-up

Autumn Fair 2019 will play host to three unique Theatres at its September outing as part of its educational track that will better inform visitors and encourage innovation at retail.

With import and export skills a central driver for growth for many retailers, a new and dedicated Sourcing Theatre will aim to provide an international picture of the retail industry.

Across every day of the show, each theatre will deliver on trend information, retail inspiration and practical advice to help drive sales, with industry speakers as a key feature. This year’s show will also offer a focus on the viewpoints of retailers, with insider perspectives.

The Inspiring Retail Theatre

The stage is set to challenge visitors’ assumptions about the retail sector, how best to serve consumers and how to create a responsible and sustainable retail business.

Embracing a retail sector in transition, the theatre will give a platform to speakers who analyse the mind-set of the contemporary consumer in 2019. It will tackle the biggest challenges faced by retailers, and embolden buyers as they absorb trends that will define their brand’s success in the coming years.

Highlights on the Inspiring Retail Stage include retail Expert and broadcaster, Mary Portas, Retail Entrepreneur Theo Paphitis, and organisations like the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and IBM will also be hosted on this stage alongside influential specialists, heads of buying and retail leaders.

Sourcing Theatre

Located in hall 10, the dedicated offering will help visitors to understand and visualise the most important global retail trends, with forecasts up to autumn-winter 2020/2021 being presented at the show. For multi buyers, the addition of the Sourcing Theatre will provide a robust overview of how best to extend their supply chain to encompass the best products international markets can offer.

Brands sharing their insight on this stage include Mama’s and Papa’s, Kingfisher, Charlotte Tilbury, and Lush amongst many others.

Retail Skills Theatre

The Retail Skills Theatre will maintain its place at Autumn Fair for 2019 and offer practical advice for fledgling online businesses and ambitious indies. The theatre programme has been curated to help visitors improve skillsets and provide advice on everything from SEO and social media strategy, to digital transformation and export management.

Julie Driscoll, Autumn Fair managing director, said: “The retail sector will continue to change at a rapid pace well into 2020. In many ways retail has been one of the last industries to have to face up to digital disruption and it’s coming at a time when the sector also faces challenges around the sustainability of its manufacturing processes and packaging.

“We may be coming accustomed to change, but with change comes new skills and expertise we have to master. This is why it’s more important than ever for retailers to listen to each other, and experts on the sector, at a forum such as Autumn Fair – drawing on shared knowledge and expertise to ensure that we have the know-how to overcome and adapt.

“This means looking beyond our own borders too. That’s why for 2019 we’re introducing the Sourcing Theatre; to help retailers move into the growing revenue source that is private label, or offer something a little different, to bring the best of the world to our doorsteps. Speakers here will be well-versed in what it takes to find the best products from further afield and expand business horizons.

“The speaker programme for 2019 across all three theatres is on track to be one of our biggest and best ever, with all the headliners still to be announced, watch this space.”

Autumn Fair runs from September 1 to 4 at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre.

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