Wednesday Mar 28, 2012

The Retail Week Conference 2012 - Interview with Paul Dickson

Recently we attended the Retail Week Conference at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel in London. The conference proves to be an inspirational meeting of retail minds and the insight gained from both the speakers and the other delegates is invaluable.

In particular we enjoyed hearing from Charlie Mayfield, Chairman at John Lewis Partnership, about understanding how the consumer is viewing the ever changing world of retail; a session on how to encourage brand-loyal multichannel activities from Robin Terrell of House of Fraser with Alan White of the N Brown Group, Vince Russell from The Cloud and Lucy Neville-Rolfe from Tesco; and a fascinating session from Tim Steiner, Chief Executive of Ocado, about how the business makes it as easy as possible for consumers to shop on their various platforms, which included some surprising usage statistics.

Oracle's own Vice President of Retail, Paul Dickson, also held a session with Richard Pennycook, Group Finance Director at Morrisons, about the role of technology in accelerating and supporting the business strategy. Morrisons' 'Evolve' programme takes a litte-and-often approach to updating its technology infrastructure to spread cost and keep the adoption process gentle for staff, and the session explored how the process works and how Oracle's technology underpins the programme to optimise their operations using actionable insight.

We had a quick chat with Paul Dickson at the session to get his thoughts on the programme - the video is below. We also filmed the whole presentation, so keep checking back on this blog if you're interested in seeing it.

Tuesday Mar 27, 2012

Chris Brook-Carter at the Oracle Retail Week Awards VIP Reception

The entrace to the Oracle VIP Reception at the Oracle Retail Week Awards 2012

The Oracle VIP Reception at the Oracle Retail Week Awards last week saw retail luminaries from around the UK and Europe gather to have a drink and celebrate the successes of retail in the last year. Guests included Lord Harris of Peckham, Tesco's Philip Clarke, Vanessa Gold from Ann Summers, former Retail Week editor Tim Danaher, Richard Pennycook from Morrisons and Ian Cheshire from Kingfisher Group.

The new Retail Week editor-in-chief, Chris Brook-Carter, attended and took the time to speak to the guests about the value of the Oracle Retail Week Awards to the industry and to thank Oracle for its dedication to supporting the industry.

Chris said: "I'd like to say a real heartfelt thanks to our partner this evening: Oracle. I had the privilege of being at the judging day and I got to meet Sarah and the team and I was struck by not only the passion that they have for the whole awards system and everything that means in terms of rewarding excellence within the retail industry but also their commitment to retail in general, and it's that sort of relationship that marks out retail as such a fantastic sector to be involved in."

Chris's speech can be watched in full below:

Tuesday Mar 13, 2012

The Oracle Retail Week Awards

The Oracle Retail Week Awards are this Thursday and it promises to be a particularly exciting night for the nominees. There were some very difficult decisions to be made at judging and many of the categories were fiercely competitive. These important awards recognise the achievements of those individuals and organisations that make British retail great. Oracle is committed to supporting the development of excellence, innovation, creativity and agility within retail businesses and we look forward to offering our congratulations to the winners.

Interesting Statistics

According to the organisers, there were 87 entrants to the Oracle Retail Week Awards this year, and of these entries, 52 unique companies were nominated. More retailers were shortlisted this year than in previous years mainly due to an ever-increasing calibre of entries. The award nominees have always served as a benchmark for success in the retail sector and the past few years have seen an increased focus on the awards as retailers strive to find new ways to compete in a challenging market.

This Thursday there will be over 1,650 people at the Oracle Retail Week Awards to applaud the winners, including the absolute cream of the European retail community. The winners become the proponents for the evolution of the industry over the next year. It's important for retailers to be able to take data and turn it into actionable insight to optimise their operations as a business. The Oracle Retail Week Awards provide a wealth of data for retailers to use in order to measure the performance of their own business, and that's why the awards continue to be valuable not just for the winners, but for the whole retail community.

The Oracle Red Bar VIP Reception

The Oracle Retail team will be at the awards this year and it's our great pleasure to host the VIP Reception in the Red Bar prior to the awards. Here's a video from last year of Retail Week editor Tim Danaher welcoming the guests to the reception:

The room was filled with luminaries from the retail industry, including Ken Morrison, Sir Terry Leahy, Sir Stuart Rose and Philip Clarke. Sir Terry Leahy and Sir Stuart Rose later both received the Retail Week Lifetime Achievement Award for their contributions to the industry. Their acceptance speeches were both fascinating insights into their experience and invaluable for retailers hoping to follow in their footsteps. Here's Sir Stuart Rose's speech:

And here's Sir Terry Leahy's speech:

The awards this week will be as exciting as ever and we're looking forward to congratulating the winners. We will be live-tweeting from the event using the hashtag #ORWA - follow us on Twitter at @OracleRetail to keep track of the award winners and to see pictures from the night as it happens.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Oracle Retail and "Your Experience Platform"

Technology is the key to providing that differentiated retail experience. More specifically, it is what we at Oracle call ‘the experience platform’ - a set of integrated, cross-channel business technology solutions, selected and operated by a retail business and IT team, and deployed in accordance with that organisation’s individual strategy and processes.

This business systems architecture simultaneously:

  • Connects customer interactions across all channels and touchpoints, and every customer lifecycle phase to provide a differentiated customer experience that meets consumers’ needs and expectations.
  • Delivers actionable insight that enables smarter decisions in planning, forecasting, merchandising, supply chain management, marketing, etc;
  • Optimises operations to align every aspect of the retail business to gain efficiencies and economies, to align KPIs to eliminate strategic conflicts, and at the same time be working in support of customer priorities.


Working in unison, these three goals not only help retailers to successfully navigate the challenges of today but also to focus on delivering that personalised customer experience based on differentiated products, pricing, services and interactions that will help you to gain market share and grow sales.

Friday Sep 23, 2011

Tim Danaher on Digital Natives at World Retail Congress

In this video Tim Danaher, editor at Retail Week, talks about 'digital natives' and what he expects to see in the results of Oracle Retail's survey of 1,500 young consumers across the UK, Germany and France.  The results of the survey will be revealed and explored in a special session at World Retail Congress 2011 on Tuesday morning by Senior VP and General Manager of Oracle Retail, Mike Webster. 

To find out more about the session please visit:


Tuesday Apr 05, 2011

The Leahy Legacy


Sir Terry Leahy at the Oracle Retail Week Awards.PNG
So much happens at the Oracle Retail Week Awards that it is often difficult to take it all in on the night. Yesterday, I found myself recalling Sir Ken Morrison's comments about Sir Terry Leahy, and in particular, his description of Leahy as "the greatest businessman of the late 20th and early 21st century" as he presented him with the Retail Week Lifetime Achievement Award.

This is a big statement. There is no denying Leahy's achievements at Tesco, the legacy he leaves behind and also the impact this has created around the world. Sir Ken referenced the Clubcard as one of the key successes of the era and indeed Leahy himself sees this initiative as the enabling factor that drove the customer to the heart of the Tesco business. Developed while Leahy was Marketing Director, Clubcard has been influential in maintaining Tesco's stance in the number one position and has been copied to less effect throughout the world.

Another element of Leahy's legacy that stands out for me is the retailer's impressive international expansion, with the Tesco Operating Model at its foundation. By no means is this a unique offering - several retail organisations utilise a common set of technologies and applications upon which they manage their businesses. However, the Tesco approach has been to be very specific in identifying the very best set of solutions for  particular aspects of their business. Tesco worked hard to create a model that was able to work locally from Turkey to Thailand.  Much has been made of Tesco's ability to identify emerging markets and develop the Tesco concept successfully within these countries but the Tesco Operating Model is a key element of this success. If you don't get the HQ, DCs and stores working effectively, your business will fail. If you can't get the right product to the customer at the right time, you lose a sale and sometimes that customer's business. Serving a global customer demands a business to have truly global process and technology.

Leahy's successor, Philip Clarke in his previous role as IT and International Director was influential in ensuring that the Tesco Operating Model was implemented to great effect. It will be interesting to see over time how retail businesses seek to copy the Operating Model, as they have done the ClubCard. It is too soon to speculate on what Clarke's business legacy will be. Putting the customer at the heart of business is a lesson that every company can learn from Tesco.  Creating a truly global business for a global customer is where Clarke's international and technology skills give him a real edge as a forward looking businessman for the 21st century. 



Mike Pell on multi-channel at the Retail Week Conference 2011

In the video below, Mike Pell - Business Intelligence Director for Oracle Retail - talks about what he's seen at the Retail Week Conference, where he was a panellist for a discussion about the challenges facing multi-channel retail.

The Retail Week Conference was very interesting and featured some insightful presentations from retailers and industry experts who shared their experiences on current hot topics.

Wednesday Mar 23, 2011

Feedback from the Oracle Retail Week Awards

After the awards, we interviewed several of the staff from Retail Week as well as our own Sarah Taylor on their thoughts about the Oracle Retail Week Awards 2011 and which they thought were their favourite categories.  See the video below for some exclusive insights from Joanna Perry, Charlotte Hardie and Tim Danaher of Retail Week. 


Tuesday Mar 22, 2011

Sir Stuart Rose's speech at the Oracle Retail Week Awards

Below is our video of Sir Stuart Rose's acceptance speech for his Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oracle Retail Week Awards in London in 2011.


Tim Danaher's Speech at Oracle Retail Week Awards

Below is a video of Tim Danaher's Welcome Speech at the Oracle VIP Reception before the Oracle Retail Week Awards. 


Tim Danaher Editor of Retail Week welcomed the guests to the Oracle Retail Week Awards VIP party. The room was packed with retail luminaries from Charles Dunstone and Sir Philip Green to the award winners Sir Terry Leahy and Sir Stuart Rose. Sir Terry Leahy and his Tesco team sipped Tesco Finest Champagne to celebrate at the beginning of a night that would honour the life time achievements of Sir Terry Leahy. The room was buzzing with energy with the industry poised to celebrate his long journey from a career that began stacking shelves at his local Tesco store in Liverpool to becoming what Sir Ken Morrison later called "the business man of the late 20th and early 21st century".

Tuesday Feb 15, 2011

Sarah Taylor on the Oracle Retail Week Awards


Interview with Tim Danaher - Editor of Retail Week

Last week I caught up with Tim Danaher from Retail Week about the judging process for the Oracle Retail Week Awards.  It was great to get Tim's perspective on the retail industry and his thoughts on emerging trends in the entries this year.  

The Oracle Retail Week Awards are going to be very exciting this year and I'm very priviledged to be presenting awards to winners again.  The awards ceremony is on March 17th - if you're coming then I look forward to seeing you there. 


Everything Retail.

Principal contributors:

Sarah Taylor, Senior Industry Director, Oracle Retail.

Marie-Christin Hansen, Senior Industry Campaigns Manager, Oracle Retail.

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Oracle Retail Microsite


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