Tuesday, April 16, 2024

A weekly inspiring podcast with iconic retail leaders, sharing interesting insights and secrets to success in the world of retail & leisure.

Retail & Leisure International is proud to be one of the industry’s most recognizable brands, the RLI name synonymous for connecting the world of retail & leisure and our awards celebrating retail excellence on a global scale. No matter who you speak to, it is a brand that evokes reaction and stimulates conversation. In today’s world, this is immensely powerful. Powerful because in a time when we are divided, communication is what we need the most. Over the past 15 years, we’ve become far more than a magazine and at times like this you have to forge ahead and make room for the future. So we’re turning our attention to achieving our mission in the most effective and impactful way we can: to continue connecting the world of retail and leisure across all our platforms. And I hope that you enjoy our weekly interviews with retail leaders around the world sharing their insights and secrets to success.

2022 Episode 1. Giovanni Dolci - Global Chief Sales Officer - IMAX Corporation

We are excited to announce the relaunch of our ‘RLI Talks’ Podcast and in the first episode of this new series, Jayne Rafter (Publisher of RLI) speaks to Giovanni Dolci, Global Chief Sales Officer, IMAX Corporation to discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the ‘Future of Cinema’ and ‘immersive entertainment’ following a long and challenging journey over the course of the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Where there’s challenges lie opportunities and we take a look at how IMAX are continuing to create unforgettable movie-going experiences, in the midst of adversity, whilst staying ahead of the curve with record-breaking projects and revolutionary technology.

IMAX, headquartered in New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles, with additional offices in London, Dublin, Tokyo, and Shanghai is an innovator in entertainment technology, combining proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you've never imagined.

Top filmmakers and studios are utilising IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX's network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.


In this week's episode of RLI Talks, Jayne Rafter (Publisher of RLI) speaks to John Hoyle, the Founder and CEO of Sook, to take a look at how small businesses can make a success of pop-up shops in the post-COVID recovery. Sook offers brands the opportunity to create a physical pop up shop by providing them with adaptive retail spaces in a number of different locations across the country - at a time that suits them, for however long they feel it suits them for. John talks about how expensive the traditional retail shop model can be due to the overheads that come with a permanent location (even though the majority of trade happens on a few busy days) and how with Sook, brands can choose which hours they're open for trading and not have to worry about the overheads when they aren't. John talks about how the Sook model works particularly well for online brands, and how many of these new style of retailers don't need a permanent physical presence. Through their use of online platforms such as Depop and Instagram, they're able to create their own footfall to their pop up when they decide to open it and don't rely on passing trade. Of course, it's not just about the retailers – the concept also maximises footfall and income for landlords whilst transforming the way we use physical spaces in our towns and cities.


In this episode of RLI Talks, Jayne Rafter (Publisher of RLI) speaks to Richard Hurd-Wood, CEO of Virgin Experience Days. Of course, the last twelve months has presented its challenges to Richard and his team as most of the partners they work with have had to close their doors - however, it has also presented new opportunities and Richard talks about how the Virgin team have worked with their suppliers to establish new digital or at home experiences throughout the pandemic. He also talks about the future, and how this summer could be the busiest summer yet for his brand and for those who offer experiences - we've all been able to buy things, but we haven't been able to do things - and he believes that desire is very much there from a customer point of view to enjoy themselves. In a way, the restrictions on international travel could benefit the domestic market in experiences as people spend the money they might have spent on a holiday on days or weekend trips in the UK instead.


In this episode of RLI Talks, Jayne Rafter (Publisher of RLI) speaks to Matt Turner, Founder and CEO of tastecard. Matt founded tastecard (originally tastelondon) in 2006 with just £20,000 - fifteen years later it is now the UK's largest dining club with over 3 million members. Of course, the last twelve months have proved challenging for tastecard as most of its partner restaurants have been closed and members asked to stay at home, but with challenges come opportunities and Matt talks about how the business has pivoted, giving an insight in to some of the other projects they're working on including a new fitness app. Matt also talks about hospitality reopening, and how hard the industry has worked to ensure that it reopens safely. He himself had COVID at the beginning of the year and understands how nervous some people are about being in a social setting again. However, he is hugely optimistic about the future of the industry with many people longing for real human interaction in restaurant settings.


In this episode of RLI Talks, Jayne Rafter (Publisher of RLI) speaks to Jace Tyrell, CEO of the New West End Company.
The New West End Company is a business partnership of 600 UK & international retailers, restaurateurs, hoteliers and property owners in the world's top shopping and leisure destination, anchored by Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street. They work across 80 streets, representing 150,000 employees.
Jace grew up on the Gold Coast in Australia and says he has always been around real estate, regeneration and retail, and moved to London after working on the Olympics in Sydney. He has been CEO of the New West End Company for five years, and talks about how the company has just secured its mandate for another five years to drive recovery with retail, hospitality and leisure venues set to reopen on 12th April.


In this special episode of 'RLI Talks', sponsored by phs Group I am, joined by Brian Wilkinson (Head of Retail & Leisure) and Astley Shields (Air Care Expert) from phs Group, the leading hygiene services provider in the UK, Ireland and Spain.
The last year has been difficult for everyone, but now we're all looking forward to the world reopening again. However, when it comes to the retail and leisure sectors, confidence will play a huge part in how quickly things can get back to normal - especially when it comes to being indoors.
Brian and Astley discuss how COVID-19 is transmitted and what measures retail and leisure operators can put in place to help boost the confidence of their customers when it comes to visiting their venues or retail spaces. Referring to the independent research phs Group have commissioned, this podcast is a must-listen for those in the industry who want to re-open safely.
You can find out more about phs Group and their work at www.phs.co.uk


In our final episode of ‘RLI Talks’ for 2020, I am joined by Connie Nam, Founder of the contemporary London-based jewellery brand Astrid & Miyu.
Connie talks about how she founded the business with the mission to revolutionise the jewellery experience. Astrid & Miyu started as an e-commerce brand but has now expanded to four permanent stores in London and two concessions in Selfridges, one in London and one in Manchester - with national and international expansion on the horizon, following three successful Pop-Ups in New York.
Connie also discusses the importance of creating a community around their brand, which they intend to maintain as they continue their expansion.


In this episode of ‘RLI Talks’, Jayne speaks to Ali Rubinstein, the Co-CEO and Chief Creative Officer at Meow Wolf. Meow Wolf creates immersive experiences and art installations, and Ali discusses the new exhibitions opening in Las Vegas and Denver next year - their most ambitious to date. With a background of working at Disney in the Far East, Ali also talks about which markets excite her the most when it comes to further expansion.
Stories are at the heart of what they do and Ali talks about how this desire to lead with narrative also sits at the heart of their new Omega Mart concept - their new grocery store in Vegas. The store will be a traditional store in the sense that you can buy real products - but the experience will be a very different one to the norm.


In this episode of ‘RLI Talks’, Jayne speaks to Facebook Director Vincent DeSantis, who heads up Facebook’s Retail vertical looking after large enterprises to help them solve their biggest challenges and to grow their businesses through the Facebook platform.
2020 has of course been a difficult year for many retailers, but the holiday period now offers them a good opportunity to make up for potential losses, especially with events like Black Friday on the horizon.
Vincent talks about the logistical challenges that this year has presented retailers, and how the industry in the USA (the area he is mainly responsible for) has responded. He discusses the key strategies that will help retail businesses of all sizes increase their clicks between now and Christmas, and the importance of adapting and changing their strategy on a regular basis based on analytics.


In this episode of RLI Talks Jayne speaks to João Cepeda, the Founder, President & Creative Director of Time Out Market.
João describes himself as a journalist and it was whilst he was Editor of ‘Time Out Magazine’ in Portugal that he created the ‘Time Out Market’: a food hall concept based in one of Lisbon's beautiful landmarks, the Mercado da Ribiera.
João talks about how the Market concept grew from the events that the magazine would put on in various venues around the city, and how it felt natural for the brand to find a more permanent home. By bringing some of Lisbon's most respected restaurant brands together, the Time Out Market became a huge success and has now expanded to venues across the globe.


In this episode of RLI Talks Jayne speaks to Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO of Dubai Duty Free.
Colm started Dubai Duty Free nearly forty years ago, and has grown it in to one of the largest airport retailers in the world. But it's not just about turnover - Colm also talks about the DDF Foundation Fund which is helping people in need across the globe.
Colm, of course, discusses the huge impact that COVID-19 has had on the duty free industry amid a huge drop in passenger numbers (Al Maktoum International Airport where they operate 4,000 square metres of retail space is closed completely). However, plans for infrastructure expansion in Dubai haven't stopped - airport development plans mean that one day it could see 240 million travellers a year pass through its doors.


In this episode of RLI Talks Jayne speaks to Peter Wilhelm, CEO of Wilhelm & Co and Chairman of ESCP, the newly launched European Council of Shopping Places and Joost Koomen, Secretary General, ESCP.
Peter and Joost discuss the impacts COVID-19 has had on the industry from the viewpoint of Europe as a whole, and how they believe the shopping experience has now changed forever. Things on the ground aren't necessarily as bad as what's being reported - and Peter thinks we can continue to be optimistic - but the future for retail is certainly a more fragmented one, with an increase in the demand for proximity retail and larger mixed use projects. Overall, Peter and Joost talk about the need to work together - and how the ESCP aims to provide a unified voice at a European level.


In this episode of RLI Talks Jayne speaks to Mario Bauer, the Co-Owner and CEO of restaurant brand Vapiano.
With restaurants across the globe, Mario talks about just how quickly the business is having to respond to challenges presented by COVID-19, not just due to different rules in different areas but because of how regulations vary from country to country. Mario suggests ways in which restaurateurs should look at the future, including how integration between different food and beverage services should be built into their plans from the very beginning.


In this episode of RLI Talks Jayne speaks to Bernardine Wu, the Founder and CEO of FitForCommerce, an ecommerce and omnichannel consultancy.
Bernardine talks about just how quickly the digital landscape is changing for retailers as a result of the pandemic, and how it is now essential (rather than preferable) for brands to adopt new ways of connecting with - but also serving - their customers. She also refers to a recent report that her company carried out which analysed how effective the online presence is for some of the biggest brands in the US - with some interesting results.


In this episode of RLI Talks Jayne speaks to Xavier López Ancona, Founder, President & CEO of Kidzania.
Xavier gives a fascinating insight into the concept of Kidzania, from the jobs that children can try their hand at to how the Kidzania economy works from transactions to taxes. He also talks about how they innovate and stay relevant at Kidzania and what their plans for the future are with a brand new wellness concept for shopping centres that accommodates for all ages.


In this episode of RLI Talks Jayne speaks to David Sylvester, Executive Vice President of Global Retail for the Las Vegas Sands Corp.
David discusses the success of the group's properties in Singapore and Macao. He also talks about their latest project in the region, The Londoner, which will feature landmarks from the UK's capital, a wide food and beverage offering including a restaurant by Gordon Ramsay and how the style of the rooms were designed by the Group's brand ambassador, David Beckham.


In this episode of RLI Talks Jayne speaks to the CEO and Founder of Boxpark, Roger Wade.
Roger talks about his journey from launching retail brand Boxfresh to founding the iconic Boxpark concept and his vision behind it. He speaks passionately about where he feels the Government should step in to help the hospitality industry in regards to rising rents. He also offers his thoughts on the future of the food and beverage industry and the potential shift from traditional restaurants to QSRs and Open Kitchens.


In this episode of RLI Talks Jayne speaks to the CEO of Majid AlFuttaim Retail, Hani Weiss.
Hani discusses how the business adapted to COVID-19 by redeploying its workforce to essential areas in order to carry on serving the changing needs of its customers, and also discusses in detail their strategy of being an international business with not just a local focus but truly local operations.


In this episode of RLI Talks Jayne speaks to the former President and CEO of Godiva, Mohamed Elsarky, to talk about the future of retail and in particular the challenges behind acquiring brands during a pandemic.
Mohamed gives an insight in to what he looks for when acquiring a brand and how there isn't necessarily a checklist to follow; failing businesses present opportunities for investors but successful brands can be just as lucrative depending on their motivations to sell.


In this episode of RLI Talks, Jayne talks to author, retail guru and Founder of Envirosell, Paco Underhill.
Speaking from his home in New York, Paco talks about the five issues that all businesses faced before the pandemic and how some of these have been accelerated as a result of COVID-19. He also discusses the book he's currently working on called The Future of Eating and Drinking.


In this episode of RLI Talks, Jayne talks to the Founder & CEO of WIT Fitness, Daniel Williams.
Daniel talks about his disruptive and unique fitness offering, and the preparations they've had to make as a business to re-open their bricks and mortar location in the City of London. He also talks about how the retail side of their business has helped them throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with exclusive brand partnerships, and about the future of their own WIT Fitness retail brand.


In this episode of RLI Talks, Jayne talks to Ishwar Chugani, the CEO and Managing Director of Giordano.
Ishwar talks about how the UAE is going to recover with visitor numbers diminishing following lockdowns across the world and how locals have responded now that things are going back to normal. He also talks about why he is confident that there is now light at the end of the tunnel and his belief that business in the UAE won't just recover, but thrive once again.


Jayne talks to Marcello Distefano, Managing Director of the San Carlo Restaurant Group, about how traditional values have remained at the core of the business that was started by his father, how the business has modernised since he took over as Managing Director and expanded across both the UK and the world, and what makes a restaurant business great.


In this episode of ‘RLI Talks’, Jayne is joined by not one but three guests from Extreme International: Founder & CEO, Al Gosling; Ben Barker, Managing Director Extreme Destinations and James Cooke-Priest Managing Director, Extreme Events to chat about creating sustainable sports, leisure and entertainment destinations and the future of the industry in a post Covid world.


In this week’s episode Jayne talks to Nick Woodhouse, President and CMO of the Authentic Brands Group, which has grown exponentially over the last ten years to become one of the largest licensors in the world. Nick discusses the importance of e-commerce to the business and how he is still a big believer in brick and mortar. He also talks about how ABG's strategy is led by their digital team across many different platforms, and what they look for in brands when it comes to the company's expansion


In this week’s episode Jayne talks to Salvatore Tramuto, Former CEO of Roberto Cavalli America, EVP of Retail at Versace USA and now CEO of his own company Retailineering which helps retailers that may feel out of date or challenged by the rise of digital to transform. They talk about why brands fail and how brands can actually benefit from the changes that recent events have forced businesses to make. They also talk about how digital platforms have started to acquire a lot of brands, and whether the luxury market will go down the same route.


In this episode of RLI Talks Jayne chats to Manju Malhotra, COO of Harvey Nichols, the world’s luxury retailer renowned for its exclusive edit of the most prestigious brands. Manju talks about reopening strategies, brand experience, the transformation of luxury and steering the business through a time of adversity.


In this episode of RLI Talks Jayne chats to Richard Marshall, Founder & CEO of Award-Winning Pall Mall Barbers. Richard talks about reimagining a century old tradition, reopening strategies amid social distancing measures and the important role Barbers play in addressing mental health issues.


In this episode of RLI Talks, Jayne chats to Patrick Chalhoub, CEO of the Chalhoub Group.
Patrick talks about the impact of COVID 19 on his business, how it's accelerated their plans, and how well his team have adapted to new ways of communicating with their customers.


In this episode of RLI Talks, Jayne chats to retail expert Chris Browne who consults for brands across the globe.
Recorded in lockdown, Jayne and Chris discuss what retail businesses need to do if they are to survive the impact of COVID 19, with so many big names already facing big problems.


In the fourth episode of RLI Talks, Jayne chats to Connor Treacy from Palm Tree Management.
Recorded in lockdown with Connor at home in Hollywood, Jayne and Connor discuss the impact COVID 19 has had on the music industry and how the worlds of music and fashion collaborate.


In the third episode of ‘RLI Talks’, Jayne chats to Michael Wilkings from the Debut Development Group.
Recorded in lockdown with Michael at home in Canada, Jayne and Michael discuss the impact COVID 19 has had on leisure development and predictions for the next 12 months.


In the second episode of RLI Talks Retail, Jayne chats to Global President & CEO of the US Polo Association, Michael Prince.
Recorded in lockdown with Michael at home in Florida, Jayne and Michael discuss the impact COVID 19 has had and the particular challenges that a global business faces when they have locations and staff in hundreds of countries around the world.


Welcome to our first podcast RLI Talks Retail with Entrepreneur and Retail Magnate Theo Paphitis, also well known for his appearance on BBC’s Dragons' Den, he is one of the UK’s most high profile businessmen.
His empire spans retail, property, finance and consumer goods. Today we talk to him about Living in Lockdown, life after Covid-19 and Retail Success.