Gifts Today magazine

David Gandy to headline Retail Week Live

International supermodel, columnist and charity ambassador David Gandy will join the closing keynote at next month’s Retail Week Live, taking place in London on 7-8 March

Gandy will take to the event’s Flagship stage alongside BBC Dragon and Vitabiotics boss Tej Lalvani to be interviewed in the final Retail Week Live 2018 session: ‘What’s the value of a brand ambassador? How do you find the best possible advocate for your business? And how can you get on their radar?’

He will talk about his experience of working with brands over the years, what he looks for and how he aligns with business partners. Gandy has worked as a brand ambassador for the likes of Marks and Spencer (with a pair of David Gandy trunks being sold every minute, it became the brand’s fastest-ever selling menswear line in 2015), Dolce and Gabbana and Johnnie Walker. He is also the face of Vitabiotics’ Wellman vitamins and supplements. Vitabiotics is the largest vitamin company in the UK and CEO Tej Lalvani will share his views on the best ways of identifying, securing and managing relationships with ambassadors in the long-term during this session.

Gandy and Lalvani are just two of 150 world-class speakers appearing at Retail Week Live this year to discuss the future of retailing, with sessions on everything from Bitcoin, technology, leadership, attracting and retaining customers, engaging employees and, of course, how to success in the current trading environment, including Brexit.

Retail Week Live 2018 will be chaired by Channel Four News anchor Cathy Newman. Also taking to the podium are:

Jeremy Daroch, group CEO – Sky
John Rogers, CEO – Sainsbury’s Argos
Steve Rowe, CEO – Marks & Spencer
Elizabeth Fagan, MD - Boots UK
Emma Watkinson, founder & CEO – SilkFred
Moya Greene, CEO – Royal Mail
Shami Thakrar, co-founder – Dishoom
Richard Pennycook, former CEO The Cooperative Group and non-executive chairman - The Hut Group
Simone Sweeney, global VP of retail development – The LEGO Group
Lord Mark Price, former managing director – Waitrose – and former minister of state for trade and investment and member, The House of Lords
Anna Hill, CMO – The Walt Disney Company UK
Angel Maurer, head of Tesco Labs
Steve Hewitt, CEO – Gymshark

Chris Brook-Carter, managing director, Retail Week, commented: 'Celebrity ambassadors have been employed by businesses for decades, so this is something we should be well practised in by now. But actually, with our social feeds now being entirely dominated by celebrity promos, it’s much harder to cut through the noise. And if every brand has celebrity endorsement, how can you ensure yours stands out? It’s not enough for consumers to see a celebrity wear your clothes, they have to believe that - given the choice - they really would buy them.

'With David, what we have is what all great brands seek, which is genuine authenticity. And further, he actually gets stuck in with the proposition and creative process. He even invests – the ultimate endorsement. So, we’re thrilled David will be speaking alongside Tej at Retail Week Live. This is a fantastic opportunity for the industry to find out how to build a successful and authentic brand-ambassador relationship like theirs.'

Taking place 7-8 March at the Intercontinental London, O2, London, Retail Week Live whose headline sponsor is Yext, is the single largest gathering of retail leadership in the UK and the only place that retail's senior leaders meet to shape the industry.

It features 150 world-class speakers from across retail and beyond to create the opportunity for industry leaders to take stock, find inspiration and reconnect with the sector. The event also provides truly unique experiences, enabling delegates to see retail from an entirely new perspective, an experiential style exhibition and Live Late, a fabulous, new festival-style party for attendees at the end of day one with live music and entertainment, games, drinks, food including gourmet delights from 2016 MasterChef Champion Jane Devonshire who is appearing with TCC.

Tickets are on sale now

About Retail Week Live
Founded in 1995, formerly the Retail Week Conference, the two day event brings together over 150 world-class speakers from across retail and beyond to create the opportunity for industry's leaders to take stock, find inspiration and reconnect with the sector. Retail Week Live also provides truly unique experiences, which enables attendees to see retail from an entirely new perspective.

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