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Proudly sponsored by VME Coop

Co-op Retail Conference 2024

Co-op Retail Conference 2024

Thank you to everyone who joined us at Co-op Retail Conference 2024.

It was fantastic to see so much enthusiasm for more collaborative working and campaigning on the big issues for our movement. 

A huge thanks to our sponsor, VME Coop, whose continued support for this event helps make it a success. Also thank you to our exhibitors for their support and, of course, our excellent speakers.

Co-op Retail Conference 2025 will take place on 14-16 March at Eastwood Hall, Nottingham.

Saturday 16 March

9.30-9.40am: Welcome 

A short welcome from Co-operatives UK CEO, Rose Marley and Richard Bridges, VME Coop (event sponsor).

9.40-10.40am: State of the nation: Outlook for the UK market

Patrick Mitchell-Fox, UK Insight Partner, IGD

We are delighted to welcome back the ever-popular Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) who will give us an unparalleled outlook for the UK retail market, and retail and shopper trends for 2024 and beyond.

Access the latest data, deep insights and views on the development of the UK grocery market as well as shopper insights from across the UK. We will explore sector drivers and themes for 2024, in-store trends, as well as wider shopping habits and behaviours. 

Specific focuses for 2024 include: Deep insights and views on the development in the UK grocery retail market with emphasis on convenience retail; British grocery shopper insights on their behaviour, perception and expectation; and the bigger picture view on key retail and shopper trends in 2024 that will help inspire and challenge your thinking.

10.40-11am: Refreshment break

11am-12pm: CEO panel discussion: Co-operating together – bringing principle six to life

  • Debbie White, Chair, Co-op Group – Introduction by video
  • Shirine Khoury-Haq, CEO, Co-op Group
  • Phil Ponsonby, CEO, Midcounties Co-op
  • Debbie Robinson, CEO, Central Co-op
  • Alison Hands, CEO, Lincolnshire Co-op 
  • Chaired by Rose Marley, CEO, Co-operatives UK

After a short video introduction from Debbie White, Chair of Co-op Group, Co-operatives UK’s Rose Marley will host a panel discussion featuring CEOs from a number of the UK's leading co-op retail societies.

12.00-12.10pm: Refreshment break

12.10-1pm: Co-operatives and sustainability: How is the co-operative movement addressing climate change?

  • Mark Smith, Chief Executive, Southern Co-op
  • Mike Pickering, Head of Sustainability, Midcounties Co-op
  • Debbie Clarke, Co-op member, Unicorn Grocery
  • Mike Taylor, EMERGE Recycling
  • Chaired by Lindsey Chapman, Climate, culture and wildlife presenter for TV and Radio

1-2pm: Lunch

Lunch in the Tempus Restaurant. Desserts in the Baird Suite. 

2-2.45pm: Diversity in retail

  • Joanna Aunon, Director, Diversity in Retail
  • Sarah Dickins, Chief People & Customer Officer, Central Coop
  • Sunni Stewart, Store Manager & Inclusion Champion, Central Coop

2.45-3pm: Refreshment break

3-3.45pm: The cost of a broken of society: Getting to the heart of retail crime

  • Alex Norris MP, Shadow Minister for Policing 
  • Jasvinder Mehmi, Operations Manager, Central Coop
  • Caroline Best, Support Worker, Livingstone House
  • Amy Bond, Chief Operating Officer, Causeway
  • Chaired by Paul Gerrard, Public Affairs Director, Co-op Group

3.45-4pm: Refreshment break

4-4.45pm: Co-operatives and social care: Ways to fix a broken market

  • Jordi Blanco Lopez, Direcció Operativa, Suara Co-operativa
  • Diego Dutto, National Director, Legacoop
  • Paul Gerrard, Public Affairs Director, Co-op Group
  • Emma Back, Equal Care Co-op
  • Chaired by Cheryl Barrott, Chair, Co-operatives UK

4.45-5.15pm: An update from the Co-operative Party

  • Joe Fortune, General Secretary, Co-operative Party

An update from the Co-operative Party on current campaigns and their impact.

5.15-6.30pm: Leisure time

7-7.30pm: Drinks reception

7.30pm-late: Three-course gala dinner and entertainment 

The Stephenson Suite plays host to Saturday evening’s three-course meal. The evening also features an after-dinner speech from health and wellbeing consultant Derrick Evans MBE – aka Mr Motivator – prior to our charity raffle draw and DJ set.

Sunday 17 March

9.30-9.35am: Welcome

A short welcome from Co-operatives UK CEO, Rose Marley.

9.35am-10.55am: Artificial Intelligence: The future of co-operation workshop

  • Professor Andy Miah, Chair in Science Communication and Future Media, University of Salford
  • Mike Brough, Head of Data, Analytics and Insight, Central Coop
  • Szczepan Orlowski and Mario Morva, Animorph Co-operative
  • Hosted by Kanika Selvan, MD of Beetroot Consulting 

Fusing innovation, ethics, and consultation, this future-facing session features leaders in Artificial Intelligence (AI) tech. Co-operative technologists are building new AI for retail and beyond, including cutting edge experiential tech you can try out. You will also be invited to have your say on AI, what you would like to see Co-operatives UK doing, and how we can support you in your business and tech ambitions.

10.55-11am: Event close

11am: Check out and lunch 

'Grab and go' lunch bags available.

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