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Fujitsu hosts European ‘Responsive Retailing’ event

The future of the customer experience

September 29, 2006

Fujitsu Services, one of Europe’s leading IT services companies, hosted its ‘Responsive Retailing’ event at The Cumberland Hotel in London, on Wednesday 27 September 2006. The event, attended by over 100 leading retailers throughout Europe, provided an industry forum to hear what some of the top names in retail are doing to meet the challenges of today’s customers.

The keynote speech was delivered by Kjell A. Nordström, author and associate professor at the Stockholm School of Economics. Kjell themed his presentation on how retailers can make their companies attractive to the consumer. He demonstrated that differentiation and individuality lie at the heart of the modern enterprise. Applying socio-economic principles to the retail industry, Kjell explained that the winners will follow the survival of the fittest theory and that technology will enable success in our rapidly changing customer and business environment.

Other speakers and topics included:

  • Dr. Christian Plenge, division manager research & innovation, MGI METRO Group Information Technology GmbH – The METRO Group’s Future Store Initiative is a groundbreaking programme designed to drive innovation in retailing on an international scale. Christian presented METRO’s Future Store, a pilot store which acts as a testing ground for new technologies and forward-looking initiatives such as RFID, self-checkouts and store layout – all designed to improve the in-store customer experience.
  • Eric Broussard, vice-president, Amazon Services Europe – Amazon has established itself as a market leader in the intelligent capture and use of customer data. Eric explored how Amazon has not only created a unique and profitable online customer experience for itself, but also discussed how it is using its expertise to help optimise online channels on behalf of other major retailers.
  • Mike Hedgecox, customer & store director, UK Electricals, Currys (part of DSG International) – Mike discussed how Currys has raised the profile of the customer experience, realigning its organisational structure to focus on delivering exceptional customer service. Mike explained how Currys has changed the way employees are managed and incentivised, redesigned its stores and created a closer link between in-store and web-based channels, all as part of a drive to improve the customer experience.
  • Jonathan Dryland, head of retail development, Vodafone UK – re-defining the telecommunication high street experience, Jonathan discussed evolving the store environment to differentiate the customer journey and deliver an experience that meets the expectations of each unique customer. With the focus increasingly moving away from acquisition to retention in the mobile market, Jonathan explained how Vodafone is responding, using analytics, to redesign its multi-channel experience based on customer need.
  • Dr Mark Dorgan, European retail partner, Fujitsu Services – Mark explored the customer experience in 2015 and built a picture of how consumers will source and buy products and services from retailers in the future, all of which impact on the way retailers manage their strategy, people, business processes and information technology. Mark highlighted what retailers need to start doing differently now in order to compete in the future.

Following the presentations, delegates attended a panel discussion on new retailing models and the future of the high-street as well as workshops on supply chain optimisation, dynamic data centres and surveillance solutions.

Bill Waterson, UK head of retail, Fujitsu Services, comments: “This event was a great opportunity for retailers from across Europe to meet and discuss the current retailing climate. From the presentations, delivered by leading industry commentators, it was clear that understanding the customer experience is key. It was interesting to note that although the audience comprised retail IT directors, the discussions mainly focused on the business challenges and solutions, and technology was referred to as the ‘enabler’ to achieve strategic business goals.”

Ref: 16/06

About Fujitsu Services

Fujitsu Services is one of the leading IT services companies in Europe, Middle East and Africa . It has an annual turnover of £1.74 billion, (€2.58 billion) employs 14,500 people and operates in over 20 countries. It designs, builds and operates IT systems and services for customers in the financial services, telecom, retail, utilities and government markets. Its core strength is the delivery of IT infrastructure management and outsourcing across desktop, networking and data centre environments, together with a full range of related services, from consulting through integration and deployment. Headquartered in London , Fujitsu Services is the European-centred IT services arm of the Fujitsu Group. The Fujitsu Group is a US$45 billion (€37 billion) leader in customer-focused IT systems and services for the global marketplace.

Graham Goulden

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Company:Fujitsu Services

Nikki Cope / Sarah Townsend

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Date: 29 September, 2006