Ex-Sainsbury’s CEO, Justin King, announced as keynote speaker at RetailEXPO

Justin King, ex-CEO of Sainsbury’s and recently appointed NED at M&S, has been announced as the keynote speaker for RetailEXPO, Europe’s leading retail solutions show.

King’s keynote session, ‘Cutting through the hype: Is this really a retailpocalypse?’, will examine the macroeconomic factors and trends impacting retailers – from consumer spending figures and the rise of internet shopping, to the implications of the current economic climate and the fallout from Brexit.  He will provide insight into navigating market turbulence and look ahead to retail in 2020 and beyond.   

Industry stalwart King is no stranger to driving business performance in challenging trading conditions; under his leadership as CEO at Sainsbury’s between 2004 – 2014, he led the big four grocer through a major turnaround which achieved nine years of profit growth, weathering the storm – and the ongoing ripple effect – of the credit crunch in 2008.  Before joining Sainsbury’s, Justin was Head of Food at M&S, where he was instrumental in developing its Simply Food business.  He recently re-joined the board at M&S as a NED in January.

King commented: “It seems that there has never been more change or greater pressures heaped upon the High Street.  From online growth to business rates, CVAs and Brexit – and all at a time of low consumer confidence – has meant many have claimed a “retail apocalypse” may be upon us.  We will take a look at some of the facts behind the headlines at the RetailEXPO this year and perhaps paint a somewhat different view of what the future might hold for retail.”

Matt Bradley, event director at RetailEXPO, said: “The trials and tribulations facing retail have been well-documented as it shifts from the store-based days of yesteryear to the digitally-influenced, complex, experience-led, ‘everywhere-anywhere’ industry of now.  And this seismic shift is made even more complex by a convergence of changing consumer behaviours and unprecedented technology advancement, all set in the backdrop of economic uncertainty.” 

“We’re thrilled to have a formidable industry figurehead, such as Justin, leading our keynote session and discussing these business-critical challenges, and giving our show audiences insight on how to navigate market turbulence and drive long-term business performance,” he concluded.

Other industry heavyweights speaking on the Headline stage at RetailEXPO as part of the show’s new conference programme include Helen Dickinson, CEO at the BRC; Andy Murray, Chief Customer Officer at Asda; Nickyl Raithatha, Managing Director at Moonpig and Giorgina Waltier, UK & IE Sustainability Manager at H&M.