Drapers Next Generation Academy 2013

This post was written by Natalie Wardle, our marketing assistant.

Last Thursday both myself and Poq’s fashion tech whizz (and Founder of Personal Stylist in London) Mr Suds Singh, were lucky enough to be chosen as one of the ‘320 rising stars’ at Drapers Next Generation Academy 2013, in association with Success Appointments (and partners Arcadia, Aurora and Matalan). It was a pretty damn awe inspiring day, and we would like to thank Draper’s event organisers for making this possible – as well as all the speakers for their enlightening and motivational input during the day.


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Some really great insights emerged from the various expert panel’s discussions and Q + A’s, of most notable merit being Pentland Brands CEO Andy Rubin’s (Speedo, Boxfresh etc.) fantastic Keynote presentation – on economic and global mass growth (with more stats then we could shake a stick at). The main points can be broken into the following subject headed summary (be warned it makes for pretty daunting Monday reading!):


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The Decline of Britain’s ‘Bricks & Mortar’ Retail Trade

  • 15% of UK retail outlets have already closed down with more set to follow.
  • Inflation rises above 3% this will put more pressure on UK household’s income.
  • 24% of UK consumers now use a mobile device for shopping.
  • Chains currently engulf the UK retail market by 30%.
  • Supermarkets dominate by currently 7.5%, and are reportedly keen to develop their shares in clothing brand diffusion lines.
  • Store locations set to polarise between event locations.


The Global Economic Reign of China in 2030

  • In 1870 Great Britain ruled the planet’s economy, however times are rapidly changing – by 2030 it is estimated that China will take it’s place, followed by America and India.
  • China will have a whopping 700 million active online users by 2030.
  • There is an estimated 200 million active Twitter users globally – however in China there’s 400 million daily users of Sina Weibo (Chinese: 新浪微博: Xīnlàng Wēibó; ‘New-wave Microblog’) a Chinese microblogging (weibo) website described by many as advanced form of Twitter.
  • By 2022 China is expected to account for 1/4 of world sales.


BRIC Markets

Countries with an increase of people with incomes above £30,000, areas of rising economic growth include China, Brazil and Russia- also referred to as ‘fast growth markets’.


How The Global Retail Market is Evolving

  • ”Consumers are increasingly aware of the impact consumption is having on the environment” ADIDAS
  • There is now an overwhelming demand for sustainable products from brands, and therefore they now have to answer to this call – to – action.
  • ‘Waterless’ is a new rising trend in designer jeans, as the issue of Carbon now moves to the reduction of water use in product engineering, as a viable way of maintaining global water reservoirs.
  • By 2030 the main consensus of the world’s population will be mobile users.
  • Virtual shopping mediums will include the ability to ‘reach out through your TV/tablet/mobile using QR codes’.
  • Organisations now need to look at the world as if they were ‘on the moon’ –  this means fluent bilingual skills are also a must.

Aside from Andy Rubin’s jaw dropping revelations – we also heard from some of the most influential leaders in retail today, revealing their views on the fashion industry, their business strategies, their future plans, and the advice they would give to the younger generation. We also heard rags to riches success stories such as that of Julie Dean, Founder of the Cambridge Satchel Co. She was recently selected to have her phenomenal life story on +Google Chrome’s home page, charting how she began her business with just £600, and four years on now has a turnover of 15 million a year: the video can be viewed here.

Further key speakers included;
Dan Lumb, Ecommerce Director, REISS.
Simon Burstein CEO, Browns.
Michael Sharp, CEO, Debenhams

Panel guests included;

Scott Morrison, Commercial and Marketing Director, Diesel
Stephanie Phair, MD, The Outnet
Liz Evans, CEO, Oasis and Warehouse
Kat Maconie, Founder, Kat Maconie

The main lesson of the day – after listening to all the wise words on stage, was that above all else being passionate in all areas of business is the driving factor of long term success, and was definitely the motivating message on everyone’s lips. Here at Poq we could not agree more.

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