Mary Portas to share retail wisdom at bira summit

Mary Portas will speak at the British Independent Retailers Association’s 2015 High Street Conference in May.

The self-titled Queen of Shops and founder of British underwear label Kinky Knickers will discuss the challenges independent retailers face, as well as the opportunities they can embrace when she steps up the podium.

Portas said: “We’ll never have back the high streets of old, nor should we, but with creative reimagination, policy change from Government and a society who knows the value of their high street, I am hopeful for the high street of our future.”

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She will join will join Andrew McMillan, recognised as an expert in customer service from his 20 year career with the John Lewis Partnership, at the conference, which will be held at the Chesford Grange in Warwickshire on May 13.

McMillan’s engaging and motivational session will focus on the customer experience and how this will contribute to the survival of independents on our high streets.

Delegates will also be able to hear from retailers and suppliers on their strategies for the future.

Incoming bira President and independent retailer Cliff Elliott said: “We are thrilled to have such a high calibre of speakers this year; speakers who will leave our delegates inspired, motivated and excited for the future.”

The conference will also offer interactive exhibition of information, services and products, which will provide a opportunity for delegates to speak directly with service providers and suppliers about the practical ways to save money and prosper.

Event host, Alexis Conran of BBC’s The Real Hustle will be on hand to entertain with close up insight into the world of tricks and scams.

The event will culminate with its annual Gala Awards Dinner, where independent retailers and suppliers, who have done excellent work in the last year will be recognised and honoured.

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