Westminster Business Forum

The future for the UK retail industry - transforming high streets, adapting to changing consumer preferences and utilising latest technology

Morning, Thursday, 25th April 2019

Central London


This timely seminar takes place in the wake of the closure of many big high street stores and as the government establishes the Future High Streets Fund and a new High Streets Taskforce aiming to improve town centre infrastructure, support redevelopment around high streets and enable the creation of new housing and workspaces.

It is scheduled to take place following announcements in the budget that business rates will be cut for small businesses and a ‘digital services tax’ will be introduced. Delegates will discuss how far this goes to combat shuttered shops and help retailers with high rates and the rapid rise of online shopping, and what more can be done.

This seminar will provide opportunity to discuss the changing nature of the retail market and how retailers are responding to rising costs, new technology and changing shopping habits.

Delegates will consider the future of UK high streets and best uses for empty retail property, how streets can be redesigned to encourage lingering, promote more community space to encourage people to remain longer and therefore make use of the services around including shops, restaurants and cafes.

Those attending will also gain insight into the future of the store and what retail space might look like. It will be an opportunity to discuss evolving customer preferences, how new technologies are changing the nature of the shopping experience and how retailers can respond to these changes.

Guest of Honour

Sir John Timpson

Chair, Timpson and Chair, Town Centre Expert Panel

Guest of Honour

Sir John Timpson

Chair, Timpson and Chair, Town Centre Expert Panel

Keynote Speaker

Helen Dickinson

Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium


Michael Weedon

Portfolio Chair, Retail & High Street Policy Unit, Federation of Small Businesses

Sue Rissbrook

Head of Retail, PwC

Dr Diane Savory

Chair, GFirst

Professor Joshua Bamfield

Director, Centre for Retail Research

Dan Simms

Co-Head of Retail Agency, Colliers International

Dr Tim Denison

Director of Retail Intelligence, Ipsos Retail Performance