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b u s i n e s s january/ february 2016


in The age of

disruption IN THIS ISSUE: 5 minutes with Orlando Rock, Chairman of Christie’s UK Helena Morrissey, CEO of Newton Investment Management, and Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice-President UK & Ireland of Veolia, debate the perils and progress of women in the workplace La Belle Assiette, Decathlon and Societe Generale triumph at the Franco British Business Awards INTERVIEW: Jonathan Chippindale, CEO of Holition, casts a visionary perspective on retail Report back on the Franco-British Digital Conference





Proud to be the UK’s largest producer of low carbon electricity Feel better energy To find out more about our low carbon nuclear generation visit Character under licence from BeatBots LLC. EDF Energy plc, registered number 2366852, registered office: 40 Grosvenor Place, London, SW1X 7EN. Incorporated in England & Wales.

President, French Chamber of Great Britain Senior Executive Vice President of Veolia UK & Ireland



Estelle Brachlianoff

t seems hard to believe it is 2016 already and on behalf of the Chamber, I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas and wish you all a very happy New Year. This is our first issue of INFO since the tragic events in Paris in mid-November and I would like to offer

our condolences and the strongest possible message of support to the victims and their loved ones. A month later in the same city what we all hope will prove to be a historic agreement was adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Paris agreement to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C is welcome and I believe both French and British businesses have an important role in making it happen. Just as a deal was being reached at COP21, the effects of Storm Desmond in the north of the UK brought the reality of climate change home, reinforcing what had been discussed only a week or two earlier in our Climate Change Forum, chaired by Richard Brown CBE. Richard presented the effects of extreme weather on transport systems (p. 73), which highlights just how relevant and topical our Forum and Club sessions can be, so please try to attend as many as possible. The Chamber will be starting 2016 on a positive note on 11 January with a Breakfast with Jacques Attali, President of Positive Planet, the NGO that implements development programmes to improve access to housing, clean water, energy, education, health and hygiene as well as access to finance, entrepreneurship and markets. This will be followed on 14 January with the second run of the Cross-Cultural Quiz, which was an enormous success last year, pitting the wits of our Franco-British members against each other, but also proving that the most multicultural teams can be the most successful. It is also, most appropriately, the occasion for the presentation of our Intercultural Trophy, sponsored by AXA, which is awarded to the company that most embodies cross-cultural values. We look forward to seeing many of you there! This issue of INFO shines the spotlight on ‘Retail in the age of disruption’, looking at among other things the role of retail in the economy, the changing face of retail, how the consumer has driven change and how data and technology are playing an increasingly important role in shaping the consumer experience, which is the new holy grail. Articles examine both the broad trends and the minutiae of technological interventions that have disrupted and transformed shopping within a relatively short space of time. In 2016, we are more committed than ever to achieving our goals of helping French and British companies work together, develop their business and share best practice. So if you haven’t made a New Year’s Resolution, my advice is to really get to know your Chamber – you might be surprised at how much we have to offer. I


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ANDY settee. LA BIBLIOTHĂˆQUE FIL bookshelf. Design Pierre Paulin. w w

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Brexit? Why has it come to that?


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5 minutes with... Orlando Rock, Chairman of Christie’s UK Capgemini to create 100 jobs in Wales Veolia appointed operator of new Biomass CHP in Nottingham easyJet launches new initiative to recruit female pilots Crowe Horwath International named Global Advisory Firm of the Year Reports and research: BDO, HSBC, KPMG Profile: Myriam Maestroni, ON5 SME news


22 News briefs 2 4 FOCUS

Retail in the age of disruption 26 29 30 32 33 34 35 36 38 39 40 41 42 43 44

The changing face of retail in the UK Interview: Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium Interview: Jonathan Chippindale, Co-founder and CEO, Holition The Regent Street retail evolution Outlet centres of attraction Armorial Paris: how a niche brand goes online without losing the personal touch Trends, challenges and opportunities in UK luxury retail Do I smell pine needles? Profile: Content Square - visualising, optimising and personalising user experience on web and mobile Social listening: from tactics to strategy MADE.COM’s Unboxed Bridging the gap between online and offline retailing Exaqtworld - hidden high tech innovation Delivery on demand Packing a punch: how retailers can cure the delivery dilemma

Cirque du Soleil: Amaluna What’s on Review: PAUL at Tower 42 Eat, Drink, Stay - briefs Cheese & Wine Press Travelogue: Rajasthan Books

t h e

Chamber shorties New members Annual Financial Lunch: Looking ahead for Europe Women, Inspiration & Leadership debate: Women in the workplace: perils & progress The Franco-British Digital Conference: small meets big Business Club Cocktail: S.T. Dupont Franco-British Business Awards


71 72 73 74 75 76

Economic Update: How do the UK and France scale up their start-ups? Is France the new Silicon Valley? Climate Change Forum: Tidal Lagoon Power – a new solution to an immediate problem Climate change adaptation: the case of UK transportation Cross-Cultural Debate: Cultivating the art of cultural understanding Luxury Club Breakfast at Maison Assouline SMES & Entrepreneurs Club: What would Brexit mean for UK employment law? Forthcoming Forums & Clubs Forthcoming Events

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IN THIS ISSUE: 5 minutes with Orlando Rock, Chairman of Christie’s UK Helena Morrissey, CEO of Newton Investment Management, and Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice-President UK & Ireland of Veolia, debate the perils and progress of women in the workplace La Belle Assiette, Decathlon and Societe Generale triumph at the Franco British Business Awards INTERVIEW: Jonathan Chippindale, CEO of Holition, casts a visionary perspective on retail Report back on the Franco-British Digital Conference

Managing Director: Florence Gomez Editor: Keri Fuller Corporate Communication Manager: Marielle Fraize Graphic design & cover artwork: Katherine Millet Advertising & Sales: Suzanne Lycett Publications Assistant: Melissa Hattabi Subscription: INFO is published every 2 months Printed by: CPI Colour Contributors: Pascal Boris CBE, Julien Callede, Eric Charriaux, Céline Fenech, Guilhem Fouetillou, Gary Freer, Angus Fyfe, Harpreet Gill, Jessica Kelly, Paul Lorraine, Thibault Lavergne, Paul Leslie, Bill Nowacki, Ben Perkins, Nick Pope, Alan Rutter, Melanie Stancliffe, Laetitia Vielvoye Distribution: French Chamber members, Franco-British decision makers, Business Class lounges of Eurostar, Eurotunnel and Air France in London, Paris and Manchester Editorial and Publishing Office: French Chamber of Great Britain Lincoln House, 300 High Holborn London WC1V 7JH Tel: (020) 7092 6600; Fax: (020) 7092 6601


- january / february 2016 - 

YOUR ESSENTIAL DAILY READ Our award-winning journalists keep you informed on all the latest industry news, ensuring you make the best possible business decisions.

 - info - january / february 2016



Why has it come to that ? Pascal Boris CBE, Honorary President of the French Chamber, poses some of the questions that require answers in the ongoing debate about the UK’s membership of the European Union


t is easy to attribute this debate to Britain being an island

The EU appears as a remote entity operating in a vacuum with

nation which has always been ambivalent about Europe

an unelected bureaucracy imposing unreasonable constraints

and to quote Churchill who once said ‘If Britain must choose

on unsuspecting sovereign nations and their unaware

between Europe and the open seas, she must always choose

citizens. It is time therefore for democratically elected national

the open seas’. He also said ‘(…) to re-create the European

parliaments to rein in. So goes the argument. But is it?

Family, or as much of it that we can, and provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety and in

Europe has often been built around grand schemes without

freedom, we must build a kind of United States of Europe’.

their ultimate consequences being fully elaborated upon. Was this because of the need to reach compromises between

Deeper questions lurk however. What does the EU stand for?

the opposing views of nations? Or was it because politicians

How has it evolved? Is it fit for purpose? What are its benefits

thought the benefits of the new reforms had to be seen

(if any)? Are these tangible and visible? How do they positively

before explaining their consequences? Suffice it to say that

affect the lives of citizens in Britain?

this has resulted in a gap between the schemes and the

The Euro and Schengen Agreement crises give credence to a dysfunctional Europe. What is not being considered, however, is how countries would have dealt with the same events had they been outside the EU Incidentally, the issues at stake are not dissimilar to the

governance necessary to make them sustainable, particularly

vexing ones about free trade, the visible benefits of which

in times of crisis. Two examples spring to mind: the Euro crisis

(for instance cheap flat screen TVs) pale in comparison with

(one currency without an economic (and political) government)

its negative consequences (offshoring of factories resulting in

and the Schengen Agreement (free movement of people

higher unemployment).

without an adequately resourced European border control and security apparatus). Needless to say that these two crises

Whilst these issues will come to the fore in Great Britain during

give credence to a dysfunctional Europe. What is not being

the debate ahead of the referendum scheduled to take place

considered, however, is how countries would have dealt with

before the end of 2017, the very same ones are relevant in

the same events had they been outside the EU.

other member countries. Indeed, for far too many years, politicians’ attitudes towards the EU have oscillated between

It is high time therefore for politicians of all hues to engage

a mantra (the EU is unquestionably a ‘good thing’) and a

into a proper and informed explanation as to what Europe

scapegoat (all problems stem from the EU and only national

they want and why. That the way in which Europe operates

solutions will work). There has been very little informed and

should be reformed cannot be doubted. Reforming the way

intelligent debate recently. It would take a brave (foolhardy?)

in which politicians often cynically ascribe all ills to Europe is a

politician to hoist his/her colours for Europe and thus expend

pre-requisite however. I

his/her political capital.

This column will run until the referendum on British membership of the EU takes place. Members wishing to contribute to it should contact Keri Fuller at


- january / february 2016 - 

5 minutes with...

Orlando ROCK Chairman of Christie’s UK

You were recently appointed Chairman of Christie’s UK,

are an international business with a strong presence in the US

having worked for the company for 25 years. What is your

and Asia, very distinct characteristics in each regional market

role as Chairman?

and 2,300 employees.

What is wonderful about this company is that it gets

I joined Christie’s through a graduate training scheme they

under your skin! There is nowhere else where you get this

had in those days. I wouldn’t possibly qualify now – you have

extraordinary mixture of great works of art, interesting,

to be multilingual as well as academically brilliant! I am always

eccentric and obsessive people, mad collectors… Yes, it is a

amazed and humbled by the quality of young people applying

business, but there is so much more to it.

to Christie’s, and having them questioning what you do is a

As Chairman, I am effectively like a conductor in an

very good thing. They are also much more in touch with how

orchestra. With many different specialist areas and brilliant

you communicate with clients these days. I used to spend my

specialists, I try to bring the best team together so that when we

life on the telephone with clients and now it is also face to face

talk to our clients, collectors and dealers, or plan sales, or think

or by email and text.

about how we approach the market, we look at it from all angles and get a balance between the very top end and the middle. As the market leader, Christie’s has a responsibility to

Your connection to the art business evidently runs deep, so where did it all begin?

nurture the market, educate collectors and encourage new

My dad was an obsessive collector of furniture and works

people in. A lot of what you read about us in the press is about

of art, so I spent most of my childhood in the back of a car

art works selling for millions, when, actually, most of what we

amidst rolls of bubble wrap going to every country house sale

do is at a much lower level, selling things of all price points,

and antique dealer. Some of my earliest memories are being

many of which are affordable. I would like to voice the fact

dragged around churches and classical ruins in 40-degree

that you can collect at any level, there are wonderful things

heat. You either love it or react against it. I loved it, so I do

available which don’t cost the earth, and you don’t even have

exactly the same to my children!

to buy – Christie’s is like a free museum that is a great place to visit! Perhaps my greatest recommendation would be to

You spent some time working for Christie’s in New York.

visit Christie’s South Kensington one weekend – it is a treasure

Why did you go there and is it very different to London?

trove. You can get a coffee at the café and have a rummage

I was incredibly lucky with that and think it is something

around – kids welcome!

that every specialist should do if they get the chance. From a business point of view, it gave me a completely different

How has Christie’s changed over your working life?

perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of how we

Christie’s is a very different company now from when I started.

dealt with things in London, the differences between the two

Although it has this extraordinary bedrock of tradition and

markets and the different sensibilities of collectors. Americans

has been in the market for a long time, it has survived and

are more pragmatic about works of art, whereas in Europe,

flourished because it has evolved. It never sits still: the balance

some clients will cling on to objects for dear life, for the

of the buyers, the buyer base, tastes and the market are

family folklore and their provenance. You also have amazing

constantly moving and being fine-tuned. When I joined the

discoveries in America because so many great things went out

company, the Chairman of the UK was very much the person

there in the ebb and flow. If you look at works of art in that

with his finger on the pulse who knew everything, but now,

way, you can see how they came from Italy in the Renaissance

although the UK is our heartland and incredibly important, we

and France in the 18th century then go to England in the 19th

10 - info - january / february 2016

5 minutes with . . . o r l a n d o r o c k

century and America in the 20th century. Now they are going

what they first bought, how they combined and presented

to the Middle East and China. One object will tell you the story

objects: each collection has already been effectively curated by

of the movements of the art market around the world.

someone who is incredibly knowledgeable.

Much of your work at Christie’s has been around private

polarisation between the very best, bought by an international

collections and historic house sales. What does this

group of collectors, and the much more challenging middle


market, so we decided to set up the Exceptional Sale (since

My great obsession is looking at works of art, particularly in

2008 in London and more recently in New York and Paris)

situ in great houses, so this job gives me the perfect chance to

to reach out to kunstkammer treasure collectors, as well as

spend my life out of the office looking at wonderful art. It is not

inspire new people to come into the market. These are tightly

really work at all!

edited offerings of the best of the best across all categories of

Within the traditional decorative arts field there was a

I advise on conservation and lending to exhibitions, as well

the decorative arts. Markets require confidence in the objects

as do research on historic collections, but a lot of my time is

being sold and if you know that everything in a sale has been

spent advising people on how to plan and organise themselves

carefully selected for its type, condition and provenance,

for the future so that historic collections don’t get broken up.

there is a degree of reassurance. There is also an element of

If you are careful about how you hold things, you are able to

education involved for, unlike contemporary art, which is more

preserve them – such as the exemption from inheritance tax

approachable and understandable, people do feel intimidated

on works of art if they are publically accessible, for example.

by classical works if they don’t have the knowledge to judge

England is about the only country in Europe which has these

whether a piece is an outstanding example of its kind.

aristocratic collections that have stayed intact. In most other European countries, the Code Napoleon has destroyed

Christie’s is one of the world’s oldest art businesses. How

inheritances through endless divisions, whereas English Trust

does it stay innovative and relevant?

law has allowed things to stay together.

Just over 30 years ago, we only had London. Today we have

What really appeals to me when working in a house is

spread geographically to 32 countries, with sales in places

trying to unpick the layers to understand what is indigenous

such as Dubai, Mumbai and Shanghai. Our inaugural sale

and core, and which bits have been accumulated through

in Shanghai was one of the most exciting I have ever been

sideways inheritances or from other houses. I try and advise

involved in, and it was all about how we supported and

owners to sell things that will be least damaging to the core

nurtured a new market – what we could do that was new,


entrepreneurial and different, while underlining the tradition and longevity of the brand. We commissioned the artist Cai

You not only work with historical houses but also live in

Guo-Qiang to do a performance work in a deconsecrated

one as joint-custodian with your wife of Burghley House.

church on the Bund, which involved a firework explosion that

What does being a custodian of a stately home involve

created a giant drawing with gunpowder burning into the

and how do you juggle both roles?

paper. That was a brave step into an unknown market, but it

That’s the poacher turned gamekeeper bit! My wife is the main

sums up what having to evolve and innovate in new markets is

custodian – the house was built by her ancestor – and I look

all about.

after things to do with the works of art and historic collection.

The digital side is important too. A lot of our videos go viral

But as with all these kind of houses, it is not about one person,

– the one created for the upcoming ‘Mrs Thatcher’ sale is a

but the community of people involved in working there. In

case in point. Online sales also go some way towards making

some ways, it is quite useful because I can give a perspective

Christie’s more approachable to a wider group of people: 74%

from both sides, and there is a lot of cross-over, particularly

of the buyers online are people new to Christie’s.

in areas such as exemptions, conservation management,

We are also changing the way we sell by thinking about

public access and displaying works of art. One of the things I

what inspires our buyers and what they want to buy. We

am working on is a lighting project in the state rooms and in

recently had a sale in New York themed on ‘The Artist’s Muse’,

my Christie’s life, find myself advising owners of large houses

which was curated around the great Modigliani Nu Couché

about lighting and recommending contractors!

that sold for a record price.

You are one of the world’s leading specialists in decorative

included a haystack! He was friends with all the contemporary

arts, and established a new sale category for it – The

artists such as Gainsborough and Matthew Boulton, so he

Exceptional Sale. Can you explain what this is all about?

sold paintings for them and he was the first to go to France to

Furniture, porcelain, silver, clocks and tapestries all fall under

get things from the revolutionaries. He was a great raconteur,

the decorative arts banner and those are the things I’ve always

extremely charismatic, experimental, brave and bold. And

been keenest on. I am also very interested in how collectors

although we’ve been around a long time, if we can carry on in

put together collections because when it comes to selling

his tradition, it should put us in good stead for the next 250

them, you have a strong story about what inspired them,

years. I Interview by KF

James Christie himself was an innovator. His first sale


- january / february 2016 - 11

BUSINESs WORLD - COMPANY NEWS Compiled by Marielle Fraize

Capgemini to create 100 jobs in Wales Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, intends to create 100 highly skilled jobs over the next three years at a new application delivery centre in Treforest, South Wales. Capgemini’s £17.1 million investment over five years is being backed by £1.4 million in Welsh Government Business Finance Funding. Opening in January 2016, it will become the company’s pri18mary development site for both public and private sector contracts that require a UK-based centre to deliver security sensitive projects. Economy Minister Edwina Hart said: ‘This is excellent news and I am delighted Capgemini is expanding its operations in Wales. Capgemini is a global IT brand that will bring high quality, well paid, and specialist technical development roles to the region. Capgemini’s decision to base this new operation in Wales sends out a very strong message about the expertise and availability of high level skills in Wales.’ I

EDF Energy acquires Dungeness Estate EDF Energy has exchanged contracts for the acquisition of the Dungeness Estate in Kent. The sale of the Dungeness Estate became public knowledge back in August when Strutt & Parker brought the estate to the open market on behalf of the existing owners. The 468-acre estate is designated as a National Nature Reserve, a Special Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and EDF Energy has stated its intention to continue to work with the local community and special interest groups in respect of the management of this unique

EDF Energy has a strong track record in protecting and

environment. The energy company owns and operates

enhancing biodiversity: each of its nuclear sites, including

Dungeness B nuclear power station, adjacent to the estate,

Dungeness, has been awarded the Wildlife Trust’s Biodiversity

and is the biggest employer in the area boosting the local

Benchmark Certification. I

economy by over £40 million each year.

Altran acquires Tessella and partners with Jaguar Land Rover Altran, a global leader in innovation

Altran also announced a strategic

and high-tech engineering consulting,


is acquiring Tessella, an international

Rover to develop and market a

analytics and data science consulting

unique and ground-breaking open

services organisation. Tessella is

software platform. This platform will

known for finding and delivering

revolutionise traditional Electrical and

innovative and pragmatic answers to

Electronic automotive architectures

the complex business and technical

by bringing together cutting-edge

challenges of some of the world’s

industrial and engineering techniques

most forward-thinking organisations

with the processes, methods and tools


found in the consumer electronics





consumer goods, energy, life sciences and science research sectors. 12 - info - january / february 2016



industry. I



Veolia appointed operator of new Biomass CHP in Nottingham Veolia have further strengthened their position in generating energy from biomass by securing a £50 million contract from Equitix ESI CHP, to operate the Sherwood Biomass Plant in Nottingham. The 20-year contract highlights the growing UK commitment to this type of energy project, and adds to the £500 million of biomass energy managed by Veolia in the UK and Ireland. The agreement covers operation and maintenance on a 24/7 basis and also water treatment, emission monitoring, and ash disposal for the new plant that is due to start generating renewable electricity and heat in spring 2017. Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice President, Veolia UK and Ireland, said ‘This new contract highlights our renewable energy expertise and will recycle waste biomass to produce green energy for the grid. This demonstrates our on-going commitment to cut carbon emissions for industry and communities, and sustainably recycles biomass that would otherwise be wasted’. I

Havas launches first Manchester ‘Village’ Global marketing and communications


group Havas is launching its first UK

the employer branding and recruitment




‘village’ which will bring together its

marketing service; Havas Media, the

services under one roof in Manchester.

strategic media and marketing services;

Havas Village Manchester, which will be

and DBi, Europe’s leading digital analytics

located across two neighbouring buildings


on Princess Street, will offer services

Havas Media Manchester will be

including creativity, media, PR, data and

headed by Mark Varley, who joined from

technology, and with 300 staff working

MEC. An experienced digital practitioner,

under the same umbrella brand in the

strategist and leader, Varley has been

city, the business will be ‘the most significant communications

tasked with focusing on growing the talent and clients at the

group in Manchester’ according to Havas Media Managing

Manchester hub, as well as driving the new BBC account which

Director Natasha Murray.

was awarded to Havas Media UK earlier this year. I

It follows the success of Havas Lynx, its global healthcare

PwC acquires the business of Kusiri Limited PwC’s deals and forensics practice

PwC already uses Kusiri’s platform

acquisitions and partnerships where

has acquired the assets of Kusiri, a

for their RADAR service – an ‘early

PwC has invested in new relationships,

technology start-up which provides



businesses and platforms which disrupt

a forensic data search platform used

clients to manage a broad spectrum

markets and support clients in different

to discover fraud and for compliance

of risks including financial, regulatory,

ways; these include: Booz & Co, Logan

screening. Six people from Kusiri joined

compliance and reputational.

Tod, Diamond, Mokum and Paragon. I

PwC’s forensics team.




This follows a series of recent


- january / february 2016 - 13


Eurostar celebrates 21st birthday with its very own gin On the eve of its 21st birthday, Eurostar has unveiled its very own gin designed by Business Premier Culinary Director, Raymond Blanc OBE, in partnership with artisan producers, Silent Pool Distillers. Named Toujours 21, the bespoke gin encapsulates Eurostar’s heritage, reminiscent of both British and French cultures. Composed of a mélange of French botanicals and classic floral scents of the British countryside, the rich juniper flavours and citrus traces are blended with the subtle sweetness of honey, creating a balanced gin that is classic yet unique. Raymond Blanc OBE, Eurostar Business Premier Culinary Director, said: ‘When designing the gin, my vision was to take travellers on a journey of taste that played upon all the subtleties of the brand. The aromatic notes of lavender hint at Eurostar’s latest Provencal destination, while the delicate yet clean taste of the angelica evokes memories of the British countryside. By uniting such robust flavours, the bespoke gin is the perfect way to commemorate the anniversary.’ I

easyJet launches new initiative to recruit female pilots ®Tim Anderson

easyJet, Europe’s leading airline, has launched a new initiative to increase the proportion of new entrant easyJet pilots who are female. This is part of a new strategy to encourage the development of female pilots at all ranks and positions and will widen the pipeline of women who enter the pilot community. Just over 5% of easyJet’s 2,500 pilots are female – in line with the industry as a whole. Currently women make up 6% of easyJet’s new pilot intake. The airline plans to double the proportion of female new entrants to 12% over two years. This is the first phase of its long term strategy to increase the proportion of female pilots at the airline. Pauline Vahey, chair of the British Women Pilots’ Association commented: ‘The British Women Pilots’ Association (BWPA) is delighted to partner with easyJet in this ground-breaking initiative. It aligns perfectly with the first aim of the BWPA to actively promote and encourage women into flying careers in the aviation industry.’ I

Thomas Eggar to merge with Irwin Mitchell Law firms Thomas Eggar and Irwin Mitchell

The firm will be the 11th largest law firm by

will be merging. Both are ambitious and

UK turnover with 17 offices, complementary

energetic firms, with a shared culture and set

service lines and resources focused around

of values that have stood out in the market


as striving to be different, focusing upon

individuals; and personal injury work. Thomas

consistent excellence in work and on forging

Eggar will formally adopt the Irwin Mitchell

strong and long-lasting relationships with

brand in the first half of 2016. I

clients, suppliers and industry colleagues.



Vicky Brackett, Thomas Eggar Managing Partner and Andrew Tucker, Irwin Mitchell Group Chief Executive

14 - info - january / february 2016


Hermès develops limited edition Les Confessions scarf for charity In support of the French Scholarship Foundation (FSF), a UK-based charity which helps support children in need of financial assistance to continue their education in a bilingual environment, Hermès has developed a limited edition of its Les Confessions (‘The Confessions’) silk twill scarf in a special colouration. The FSF’s vision is well represented in this playful, spirited and highly original piece designed by Flavia Zorrilla Drago, a student of France’s École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, who was the winner of a workshop organised by Hermès in 2013 in association with ENSAD. The proceeds from the sales will be donated to the FSF in support of the educational programmes within the Collège Francais Bilingue de Londres and the new Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill. I

Hermès special edition of the Les Confessions silk twill scarf, designed by Flavia Zorilla Drago in support of the French Scholarship Foundation

Crowe Horwath International named Global Advisory Firm of the Year For the second year running, Crowe Horwath International, has been named Global Advisory Firm of the Year at the International Accountancy Bulletin (IAB) awards 2015. Held in Kensington, London, the event brought together UK, Europe and global accounting firm leaders for a day of networking, talks and panel discussions, followed by the awards reception. The award recognises the advisory services that have made an important contribution to the success of clients, and have experienced significant growth. Last year, the network reported a global growth of 23% in advisory, with its global risk consulting practice the largest contributor to that growth. The practice comprises more than 1,000 partners and professionals around the world and has offices in London and Cheltenham. I

BNP Paribas recognised for its diversity & inclusion policies

Citroën’s City Car credentials recognised at GreenFleet Awards

The Workplace Pride foundation, which recognises employers for their inclusive policies towards all employees, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, has this year ranked BNP Paribas second, with a score of 85.3%, for its inclusive policies to every individual employee. The annual ranking is based on a survey submitted to major global companies, which takes into account criteria such as inclusive policies, professional networks, training, raising awareness, communication and commitment from both employees and directors. Vinay Kapoor, Head of Diversity at BNP Paribas UK, earned a spot in The Economist’s Global Diversity List of the top 50 diversity professionals in industry in recognition of his development of the bank’s first Diversity and Inclusion Business Strategy, among other initiatives. I

Citroën has scooped the title of ‘City Car Manufacturer of the Year’ at the GreenFleet Awards 2015. The awards were announced at a gala dinner at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, where Citroën was also shortlisted in the Best LCV Manufacturer and Best Fleet Manufacturer categories. Having won the same award in 2014, it marks back-toback triumphs in the category for Citroën, and highlights the continuous efforts made by the French manufacturer to design and engineer cleaner small cars with ultra-low emissions. ‘We are delighted to once again be voted City Car Manufacturer of the Year at the GreenFleet Awards. It is recognition of the work that goes on from our talented team of designers and engineers to produce the most environmentally conscious cars we can for our customers,’ commented Martin Gurney, PSA Peugeot Citroën UK’s Director – Fleet & Used Vehicles. I


- january / february 2016 - 15


Renault KADJAR Awarded What Car? and Auto Express 5-star ratings. A great track record off the beaten track.

Touchscreen Multimedia System with Satellite Navigation Personalised Digital Dashboard Front and Rear Parking Sensors

To book your test drive, call the Renault Business Hub on 0800 731 7066 today. The official fuel consumption ďŹ gures in mpg (l/100km) for the All-New Renault Kadjar Dynamique S Nav dCi 110 are: Urban 67.3 (4.2); Extra Urban 74.3 (3.8); Combined 72.4 (3.9). The official CO2 emissions are 103g/km. EU Directive Regulation 692/2008 test environment ďŹ gures. Fuel consumption and CO2 may vary according to driving styles and road conditions and other factors. Model shown is All-New R enault Kadjar Dynamique S Nav dCi 110.


This is a selection of research papers and reports on a variety of topics produced by Chamber member companies

BDO Consumer power gives 2015 growth a boost but what about 2016? BDO’s Output Index indicates that UK businesses expect continued robust growth in the latter part of 2015. Strong consumer spending, enabled by rising wages and near-zero inflation, is the driving force behind this. But cracks are emerging in the longer-term outlook. BDO’s Optimism Index suffered a sharp drop to 101.9 this month, down from 103.3. This is a fifth consecutive monthly drop in UK business confidence demonstrating that companies are concerned about their prospects beyond 2015. Manufacturers are particularly concerned, recording their lowest level of confidence – 86.2 – since November 2012. I BDO Business Trends Report - August 2015

Available at:

HSBC UK parents struggle to send children to university abroad Two thirds (67%) of UK parents would consider sending their child to university overseas, and more than nine in ten (91%) parents plan to contribute to their children’s tuition fees and/or living costs. However, UK parents fall short of the amount needed to send a child to university abroad by over £34,000, according to new analysis by HSBC. Parents say an overseas education offers their children the chance to become more knowledgeable about the wider world, learn another language and experience different cultures, but the cost could be prohibitive for many when compared to an education at home in the UK. I The Value of Education Learning for life report - July 2015 Available at:

KPMG Incumbent telcos must go through their next mutation Today, we spend more time using third-party services such as Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp than we do on the branded services provided by telcos. However, these multi-billion dollar businesses would not exist were it not for the likes of BT, Vodafone or Telefonica. Their infrastructure sits behind every tweet, photo and internet call. Yet their relevance – in the eyes of the consumer at least – seems to have declined as they focus more on apps and devices, rather than the service provider. So how can traditional telcos remain relevant? Innovation has lowered barriers to entry, allowing disruptors to destroy old business models. I The £1.65bn Opportunity, Digital Telco Survey -October 2015

Available at: Documents/PDF/Market%20Sector/Communications/digital-telco-survey-2015.pdf


- january / february 2016 - 17


Myriam Maestroni Founder and CEO, Economie d’Energie SAS, Founder & President, Foundation E5T, and CEO, ON5 Company Group

Founder & CEO of Economie d’Energie in France and its European incarnation ON5, Founder & President of E5T Foundation for innovation in energy and energy efficiency, and Femme en Or de l’environnement 2014, Myriam Maestroni explains what her company does and her plans to enter the UK market

How did you come to found your company?

the equation is very important.

I started my career in the oil and LPG gas business but at

Another factor is that in our current stagnant economy,

a certain point, I realised that energy companies couldn’t

businesses have to find new levels for growth, whether banks,

continue as they were without paying attention to how their

insurers, supermarkets or DIY retailers, and have begun to

customers were using energy. Back in 2003, the assumption

realise that organic growth lies in the renovation of what

was that the more energy you sell, the more money you make,


so helping customers consume less energy was counterintuitive. But my belief was that it was that it was preferable to

What does ON5 Company do?

have satisfied customers, a better customer experience and

ON5 does the same thing as Economie d’Energie in France,

consequently a longer customer relationship. That changed

but in the rest of Europe. The name comes from ‘working on

the way I worked in the energy business.

the 5th element’, which is energy savings and energy efficiency.

Being the general manager of an LPG group (Primagaz)

Our purpose is to work on the 20-30% energy NOT used as

myself, I realised how difficult it was for energy companies to

this is the only type that does not create any emissions! We

get into this change process, the psychology involved, and how

all, whether individuals or companies, consume too much

important digital technology was in allowing us to do things

energy, and any energy user is potentially an energy saver.

we could not do before. Putting all these elements together,

So we develop tools and services to support energy players

I decided to create Economie d’Energie in 2008, which aims

and users, whether individuals, companies or industries, to

to help existing as well as new players in the transition to a

optimise and reduce their energy consumption.

new energy system. We work with them to find different or improved ways of doing things because they have to take on

How do you do that?

new roles and missions, whether as a result of regulations,

We offer three different expertise. The first is technical

customer expectation or competition. It is very complex for

knowledge about energy, energy efficiency and the

energy companies to do this themselves.

environment. You cannot talk about energy without talking

Helping consumers save energy does, of course, have an impact on the rest of the ecosystem. Take the housing

about CO2 emissions and the impact on the environment. The second is new technologies and Big Data. In the past,

sector. Old housing stock consumes six to nine times more

an energy company only needed to know basic information

energy than a house built in accordance with new building

about their customers such as address and logistical details

regulations, so people are having to renovate. But now, the

for energy delivery, but this kind of data cannot be used to

people involved – builders, manufacturers, installers, etc.

help customers make energy savings, which is where Big Data

– have to become energy facilitators on top of their traditional

comes in. 99% of our solutions are based on new technology.

jobs. A boiler manufacturer, for example, has to explain to

We offer over 40 platforms, which are very user friendly, and

consumers how much energy they will save. This new part of

capture the accurate data that companies need to shift to

18 - info - january / february 2016


It is urgent and important to save energy but to do that involves a process of knowledge, decision-making and having the tools to support that decision. We are part of that concrete step-by-step process... [In the UK] there is a lot of focus on fuel poverty, but our point is that fighting it without preventing it does not make sense.

their new missions. The third is making complex things simple.

nobody is giving them the information they need. There is a lot

We are experts in the energy business but realise it has to be

of focus on fuel poverty, but our point is that fighting it without

made as clear as possible for consumers who are not. We have

preventing it does not make sense. We will have the same

developed B-to-B-to-C expertise to work with the customers

approach that we use in the French market, but it is a matter

of our clients, and most of the time we work in this dynamic,

of building trust with companies so that they allow us to deal

acting on behalf of companies to address their customer

directly with their customers.

needs. In France, we are working with over 50 big companies such as Carrefour, Auchan, SNCF and BNPP, operating in their

What is the E5T Foundation that you founded?

name directly with their customer bases. We have a holistic

15 years ago, we believed that the 20th century was the

approach that has taken over 10 years to develop.

century of oil, and the 21st century would be the century of gas. However, in 2010 we realised this was no longer true,

What is this approach?

and we did not know what was going to happen, so I decided

There are three levels of energy efficiency that we are engaged

to find a way to monitor the most relevant initiatives popping

in implementing. Energy 1.0 is to do with behaviour, as that is

up in the business so that we would not miss the changes

the easiest way to reduce our energy consumption. Energy 2.0

happening in the industry. This became E5T, which focuses on

is the promotion of renovation work because if, for example,

innovations in Energy, Energy Savings and Energy Efficiency

you do not replace an old boiler or insulate your home, your

for the Energy Transition to a new eco-energy paradigm. We

efforts to save energy will be wasted. Our business is involved

organise a summer university and the most recent event in

in assessing what work has to be done to optimise energy

August had over 66 speakers giving 10 minute talks over two

efficiency in buildings, whether residential or tertiary sector, or

days. It’s a way to observe the transformation process that

in industrial processes. The third level has to do with the use

is pushing us to a new energy paradigm. This is especially

of smart technology to reduce costs. This might be monitoring

important given the focus that COP21 in Paris gave to what

tools or automation that enables you to set your washing

can be done in order to contain the warming of our planet. I

machine to work at 2am rather than at peak consumption

Interview by KF

times, for instance. Climate change is now a reality for most people. Last year was the warmest year ever. More and more people are concerned, not only by climate change, but also by energy costs. It is urgent and important to save energy but to do that involves a process of knowledge, decision-making and having the tools to support that decision. We are part of that concrete step-by-step process. What are your plans for the UK? We have been investigating the UK market for a couple of years, trying to understand how the government helps with subsidies and what kind of financing is available. We realised that most of the population is not being addressed properly. 80% can afford to make investments in their homes but

Myriam with her Femme en Or de l’environnement award


- january / february 2016 - 19


Chappuis Halder & Co develops new platfom

Citizen Press wins the International Content Marketing Awards 2015

Chappuis Halder & Co, the global consulting firm dedicated to financial services, has developed a new platform to purchase smarter. Called BLISS, it provides tracking, protection, advice and optimisation of online purchases with services that increase contacts and customer knowledge. It enables delivery monitoring, purchase protection through follow-up on return dates, end of warranty, home insurance and best price warranty, advice on future online purchases and collation of coupons and discounts for use when needed. I

Three months after its arrival in London, Citizen Press has won an award for the National Centre for Space Studies magazine at the International Content Marketing Awards. Bilingual magazine CNES Mag was nominated among 400 entrants. Judges emphasised the ‘good editorial themes and nice dual format.’ This is the solid proof that aesthetics and information quality are, together, a winning strategy. I

New range of insurance options at Expat Assure Expat Assure has taken on board the resurgence in demand for long-term protection, and is now offering a wider range of insurance options, which include Income Protection and Life Insurance. Income Protection is still undersold despite a recent study showing that people are up to 26 times more likely to become incapacitated and unable to work for six months than they are to die before the age of 65. In a country where personal protection is the onus of the individual rather than the state, it is important for French expats to think about their protection needs to ensure the financial safety of their loved ones should the worst come to pass. I

French Touch Properties celebrates its 10th anniversary French Touch Properties has marked its 10th anniversary with an expanded team of 15 and turnover up almost 50% on the previous year, and for the fourth year running. With demand from French people relocating to London still on the rise, French Touch Properties has also seen strong development in its other

20 - info - january / february 2016

services such as property acquisitions, commercial properties, installation support and school consulting. To celebrate its first decade in business, two successful events were held in Primrose Hill and Chelsea with clients and friends of the ‘French Touch community’. I

Hudson launches a new online selection tool Hudson, the global talent solutions company, has launched a candidate selection tool, developed by its Research and Development division in Brussels. This innovative online tool which is simple to use, can be accessed anywhere by shortlisted candidates and is flexible in order to meet a company’s recruitment needs for any candidate at any level. Alexis de Bretteville, European CEO for Hudson declared: ‘Having a deeper understanding of the skills, motivations and behaviours of your shortlisted candidates will only add further confidence, assurance and validation to your hiring decision. The cost of a bad hire can run into the hundreds of thousands. Can you afford to stake a year’s salary on a poor hiring decision?’ I


Parrot unveils its new drone Bebop 2 Parrot, the expert and pioneer in consumer drones, has unveiled the Bebop 2, a new generation leisure quadricopter with unbridled performance. Bebop 2 is now the most advanced leisure drone on the market, and for it, Parrot engineers optimised the design of the quadricopter as well as its software and hardware battery components. Its embedded fish-eye camera, digitally stabilised on a 3-axis framework, takes Full HD videos with perfect flow and impressive brightness. I

Merci Maman sparkles by winning Nectar Business Small Business Award Beating hundreds, Béatrice de Montille, founder of online jewellery boutique Merci Maman, scooped the Entrepreneur of the Year prize at the Nectar Business Small Business Awards 2015. Béatrice was picked out by a top judging panel including star of BBC’s Dragon’s Den, Sarah Willingham. The company offers a contemporary selection of hand-engraved, bespoke jewellery including personalised

necklaces, bracelets, cufflinks and rings. They wowed the judges with their business prowess, market leading strategy, customer testimonials and vision for future business growth. They will walk away with £2,000 and 50,000 Nectar points and will attend an industry round table event with the judging panel and the other five Nectar Business Small Business Award winners. I available in English and now in French, the digital recruitment solution based on candidates’ real skills, potential and attitude, is expanding its activities with the release of the French version of With an increasing number of French companies in the UK needing high skills and unconventional profiles, combined with the high number of French students looking for international experience, the French version will help companies to match French-speaking talents and use Vabble services for their UK branches. Vabble has secured new partnerships in France and Belgium with universities, business schools and grandes écoles to help London-based companies to recruit the best talents in various sectors, including marketing, IT, business development, social media management and legal. I

mycoocoon partners with The Dentist Gallery mycoocoon, the colour consulting agency based on well-being is now present at The Dentist Gallery where the patients immerse themselves in colour with the mycoocoon wall prior to surgical procedures in order to relax. Based on chromotherapy, the theory that every person is drawn to the colour that best balances energy levels and stimulates the senses, the mycoocoon treatment aims to rebalance those leading active lifes, bringing them into perfect harmony with themselves and their environment, thanks to the energy that colours transmit. I


- january / february 2016 - 21


Sciences Po PSIA launches International Forum The new Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po, former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, is launching a new annual event to further strengthen PSIA’s current position as a hub for public debate. In January 2016, PSIA will host its first International Forum - Leaders and Youth Summit, during which experts, international leaders and top academics will engage in direct dialogue with students. The topic of this first Forum will be ‘What mission for the next United Nations Secretary General?’ Members of the United Nations, Heads of State, Ministers, diplomats and journalists from around the world will gather at Sciences Po to participate in the Forum, set to Enrico Letta, Dean of PSIA and former become a key annual event. I Italian Prime Minister

EM Normandie enters the FT rankings EM Normandie has made its first entry on the Financial Times 2015 list of the 80 best worldwide masters in management programmes, ranking 69th with its ‘Grande Ecole’ programme. The school distinguished itself in two specific areas: experience and international student mobility, where it achieved 11th and 36th positions, respectively. The obligation to study at least one semester abroad and to undertake an internship there were factors contributing to this score. This performance, which underlines the strong international focus of the school, is accompanied by another important point: eight out of ten graduates (81%) say that they have achieved their career objectives after three years, a particularly high satisfaction rate in the present economic context. I

Conception BLEUGRIS communication - 06 04 65 60 88 - Octobre 2015- Photo : Olivier Bahier


1 - High-level management training ending up with a master’s diploma

2 - 3 years of classes in

business fundamentals followed by a choice of 19 specialisations in marketing, finance, sales, digital, HR, …

3 - An international

curriculum — courses in English and a required minimum 1 semester’s international experience

4 - Internships from the

1st to the 5th year, leading to a quick and successful career kick-off


Log on to see students’ profiles on ESSCA CV Online or post an offer for internship or 1st job CONTACT:













22 - info - january / february 2016


E DUC ATION - news

NEOMA Business School alumnus awarded by AACSB

Stéphane Roques

ESCP Europe’s London students reveal their entrepreneurial spirit ESCP Europe Business School, London held its Jean-Baptiste Say Entrepreneurship Festival in November: an exhibition of 13 product and service start-up ideas and prototypes created by 43 ‘Smart-up’ Entrepreneurship Society student members, plus a keynote speech and panel discussion. Tony Matharu, Founder/CEO of Grange Hotels, gave an inspiring keynote speech on turning opportunities into successful firms, highlighting business ideas from resolving customer problems. The overall winner and investor award went to HotStand – quick, low-cost clothes drying using a pop-up tent with fan heater at the base to zip over a clothes horse. The industry expert award went to INNITI, a service collection/delivery service for bicycles when inconvenient to ride them home. The customer award went to Partynizer, an app to collect money from friends to fund a party. The teams succeeded in their aims to unite students, entrepreneurs, investors and potential customers to exchange ideas and learn from each other. I







At the annual AACSB conference (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) in Chicago, Stéphane Roques, who graduated in 1995 from NEOMA Business School Grande Ecole Programme, was named among the world’s 100 most influential leaders in the first ever ‘Influential Leaders Challenge’. The only French national to have been so recognised, Stéphane is Chief Executive of Médecin Sans Frontières France, and was nominated particularly for his sense of innovation, his entrepreneurial spirit and his commitment to improving society. I






- january / february 2016 - 23

Retail disruption in The age of

UK retail sales totalled

£333 billion in 2014 UK online retail sales totalled

£37 billion in 2014 Retail accounts for

20% of UK GDP 4.4 million employees in the retail industry – it is the largest private sector employer in the UK Retail pays

£27.5 billion tax per year Retail pays

£8 billion per year in business rates Retailers purchase

£220 billion worth of goods, supporting £55 billion from other sectors The retail industry represents 14% of all UK non-financial sector investment

Source: British Retail Consortium and Office of National Statistics



t was purportedly Napoleon who dismissed the English as ‘a nation of shopkeepers’. Whether or not he said it, it is true that retail is a very important component of the UK economy, as the largest private sector employer, accounting for 20% of GDP, and turning over billions in sales –£333 billion in 2014. There was a time when e-commerce was seen as the future of retail, and the demise of the high street was predicted – prematurely as it turns out. Certainly online sales have grown exponentially,

but still only accounts for around 11% of total sales, which means bricks and mortar remain significant. The challenge for retailers is to be present wherever their customers want to shop – whether in store, online, or on their mobiles. Some call it omni-channel, but to others, it is just the reality of what retail is today. What is important is that, wherever the customer shops, the experience is the best that it can be: ‘user experience’ has become the holy grail of retail. Retail has certainly been at the forefront of digital disruption, with technology in the last decade bringing unprecedented changes in how, where and when we shop. Yet retail has been slow on the uptake, according to Jonathan Chippindale, CEO of innovation agency Holition. Inherently risk averse, retail has balked at taking leaps into the unknown; without the safety net of past sales figures, many big brands view innovation as something they cannot afford. But change it has had to, because technology has put the consumer at the centre of the retail universe, around whom everything must now revolve. This fundamental shift in the balance of power has meant the relationship between brand and consumer is different – it is more of a dialogue and an engagement, largely carried out through the ever-increasing channels of social media. And it is a developing relationship: where once social media was perhaps seen as a battle ground where brands would wade in for damage control, now it is increasingly viewed as a valuable resource for getting to know the customer, around which knowledge, strategy is being evolved. But it is not just social media that provides the information that retailers need. The proliferation of internet and mobile shopping is producing big data on an unprecedented

scale. Sorting and analysing it has become an industry in itself, with the ultimate goal of recreating that intuitive rapport between customer and sales person, albeit online. This is the new territory of predictive intelligence, which will take personalisation as far as possible, potentially even a different, customised website for every customer visiting a brand. Given the pace of change in retail, no one can reliably predict its future, but there is a certain irony in the fact that in many ways, technology is striving to reproduce a perfect version of the past – the village shop, where the shopkeeper greets you by name, knows what your usual list is, offers you something he knows your children will like, asks if you need something for your impending holiday, and assures you he will have it delivered at your convenience when he knows you will be back from your outing. Only now it’s all at your fingertips, with the press of a button. I KF


- january / february 2016 - 25

The changing face of retail in the UK Céline Fenech, Deloitte Consumer Business Insight Manager and Ben Perkins, Deloitte Consumer Business Insight Lead provide an overview of the retail sector in the UK, its value to the economy and the four dimensions that are driving unprecedented change


n recent years, the UK has seen varying economic conditions.

sector constitutes 10% of all businesses and 9% of all FTSE 100

In 2015, for the first time since the economic crisis, the future


looks relatively positive: consumers have more disposable

In terms of performance, the long-term retail sales picture

income, enjoying the lowest interest rates in a very long time and

shows some interesting patterns. Generally, the value and volume

are feeling more confident as a result.

of retail sale are expected to be consistent with one another, with

Inflation has also played a role in boosting consumer

the total value and volume of retail sales increasing at the same

confidence with prices dropping in many parts of the economy.

time. Yet following the economic slowdown in 2008, these trends

The price of crude oil has halved, meaning cheaper petrol, utilities

began to diverge. With high inflation, value grew faster than

and, through the supply chain, cut-price products and services.

volume between 2010 and 2011. During 2012, as inflation fell,

However the UK retail sector remains a very competitive

the patterns converged again to only diverge again in late 2014.

market where it is not easy to win with savvy shoppers always

But over the last year, the increase in volume has been greater

demanding more and where fundamental structural changes are

than the increase in value. Much of this weakness in prices has

taking place. Indeed, many disruptive forces are pushing margins

been driven by lower costs, with falls in oil prices, commodity

down for traditional retailers such as the growth of online or the

prices and a stronger pound (see Figure 1).

price pressures imposed by the discounters.

A strong performance shared across all sectors? Still a nation of shopkeepers

In the last 12 months, the overall picture of retail spending has

Whether the UK being ‘a nation of shopkeepers’ is an expression

been fairly strong and is backed up by robust fundamentals

that can be attributed to Napoleon or not, there is no doubt that

including strong real wage growth and historically high consumer

shopping in the UK is still a national sport. In 2014, the retail

confidence driving spending growth. According to our recent

sector contributed £180 billion to the UK’s economic output,

Deloitte Consumer Tracker, UK consumers are shrugging off the

representing 11% of the total. There are 4.4 million people

financial turmoil, with consumer confidence back to a record high

working in retail or 16% of the total UK workforce and the retail

in Q3 2015. Consumer confidence rose by two percentage points

Figure 1. Value and volume of retail sales, UK Three month periods, % change on previous year, seasonally adjusted

Figure 2. FTSE 100 Index vs. Deloitte Consumer Confidence Index 0% -2%

7500 D eloit t e C ons um er C onf idenc e index

F TS E 100 - P ric e index



-6% -8%


-10% -12%


-14% -16%


-18% -20%

Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS)/Deloitte analysis

Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 2011 2011 2012 2012 2012 2012 2013 2013 2013 2013 2014 2014 2014 2014 2015 2015 2015

Source: Thomson Datastream/Deloitte Consumer Tracker

1. Source: Output: Office of National Statistics (ONS), Quarterly national accounts; Employment: ONS, Business Register and Employment Survey; Businesses: BIS, Business population estimates 2. Navigating the New Digital Divide, Deloitte, July 2015. See also

26 - info - january / february 2016


FOCUS - r e tail in the age of di s rup tion

returning to a four-year high during the same period that saw the

the rest of the retail sector (see Figure 5, over). Technology has

FTSE 100 index fall by 700 points (see Figure 2).

played its part in supporting the growth with the ubiquity of the

The falling cost of many essentials has enabled consumers

mobile phone, making shopping faster and more convenient, as

to spend more on discretionary items. This would normally be

goods are delivered directly to the consumer’s home. The role

good news for the retail sector, however much of the increase in

of mobile devices in integrating the online and offline worlds will

spending is going on big-ticket experiences and products such

continue to grow as it becomes a transactional device with the

as holidays, furniture and household appliances, perhaps to the

rise of mobile payments. According to research by Deloitte, digital

detriment of the more affordable treats. Indeed, the core leisure

activities also play a role in 28% of all in-store purchases, and by

category continues to see good growth, with spending in areas

the end of 2015 they will have influenced £170 billion of sales.2

such as eating out and going out increasing in the third quarter.

The growth of all things digital has also facilitated the collection

As a result, many food and clothing retailers are not experiencing

of more data about consumer behaviours, creating new

the level of growth they should expect given the rise in real

opportunities to engage and build loyalty with consumers. On

incomes (see Figure 3).

the downside, it has also seen the arrival of new competition for

While this is good news for consumers who are getting more

the sector’s established businesses. One thing is certain, online

for their money, it is putting a lot of pressure on retailers’ margins.

is here to stay and will continue to transform the consumer’s

Some sectors have been more affected compared to others. The

shopping journey.

grocery sector in particular has been hit by a combination of cyclical and structural pressures. On the one hand, the sector

The rise of the discounters

imported deflation due to falling commodity prices. On the other

As mentioned previously, there is a structural change happening

hand, grocery retailers have been hit by commercial pressure on

in UK food retailing. While they have been in the UK for a while,

their gross margin level from discounters, and volume pressures

the rapid expansion of the European discounters Aldi and Lidl

as consumers focus on reducing home food waste and are eating

has challenged the larger grocery retailers (see Figure 5). The

out more. As a result, the food sector is expected to grow at a

grocery sector is being rebuilt along entirely new pricing and

slower rate in the next five years compared with the wider UK

range metrics focusing on price-aware shoppers. Success in the

retail sector (see Figure 4, over).

sector will be about proximity and simplicity as well as price.

The four dimensions driving change in the retail sector

A data driven sector

In our view, there are four key dimensions driving fundamental

These include, for example, the back office data such as the

change in UK retail today.

data exchanged between retailers and their suppliers or the

More and more of businesses’ assets are in a digital format.

front office data such as consumers’ shopping and personal The digital acceleration

information. Analytics capabilities are playing a key role in all

The online sector continues its relentless growth as it outperforms

aspects of the business, whether it is in improving operating

Figure 3. Consumer spending behaviours

Source: Deloitte Consumer Tracker - Base UK consumers (n=3,000) info

- january / february 2016 - 27

efficiency, helping with markdowns and pricing strategies, or

their business models, stores, systems and practices to this new

in shedding light on consumers like never before, driving the

retail environment. They need to take decisive actions to relieve

personalisation of their interaction with the businesses serving

the pressures on their top line and enhance their profitability.

them. However it also means there is a larger digital perimeter

This will, in turn, enable them to emerge in a stronger financial

to secure. In recent years, data held by businesses has become

position and make the right investments required for long-term

increasingly attractive to cyber criminals who have developed

value creation. In our view, there are three key characteristics to

the tools to access it more easily. With businesses becoming

win in today’s retail environment:

more and more dependent on data to manage their operations,


the risks of cyber crime can only get greater.3

Develop the capabilities to respond rapidly to changes in the market and consumer behaviour. These might include the ability

The challenge of the last mile delivery

to invest in and develop new locations, new business models and

Technology has not only brought more immediacy and proximity

technologies required to drive efficiencies.

to the shopping process, it has also compelled retailers to


review their delivery capabilities. Consumers’ rapid adoption

Empowered by social networks and their digital devices,

of digital technologies has transformed the path to purchase,

consumers are increasingly dictating what they want, when and

and in the process, how consumers want their products

where they want it. They have become both critics and creators,

delivered. Empowered to buy what they want, when they want

demanding a more personalised service and expecting to be

it, consumers are now expecting to access the product as

given the opportunity to shape the products and services they

rapidly and as conveniently as possible, making fulfilment a key

consume. In the future, businesses that do not incorporate an

battleground. Retailers that respond by offering convenient and

element of personalisation into their offering risk losing revenue

more immediate pick-up and delivery services are likely to attract

and customer loyalty. Businesses that embrace personalisation

more consumers. The challenge is that delivery requirements

have an opportunity to create a differentiated proposition that

might differ based on the type of product bought and how the

may command a price premium, and improve consumer traffic

consumer wants it delivered. From a supply chain perspective,

and conversion.4

this has led to retailers extending their delivery and fulfilment

Stable & Secure

propositions to meet individual consumer expectations while

In an increasingly volatile marketplace, the need to have stable

trying to manage the risk of reversing previous scale efficiencies.

and secure operations has never been greater. To win, retailers will need to develop the capabilities to anticipate peak periods,

Winning in today’s retail environment

protect their consumers’ data and privacy, and invest in data

Retailers are facing huge challenges as they attempt to adapt

analytics to optimise their operations efficiencies. I

Figure 4. The size of the UK retail market

Figure 5. Sector performance – winners & losers

Source: ONS/Deloitte analysis

Source: Planet Retail/Deloitte analysis

3. The Deloitte Consumer Review Consumer data under attack: The growing threat of cyber crime, Deloitte, November 2015. See also consumer-business/articles/consumer-data-under-attack.html 4. The Deloitte Consumer Review, Made-to-order: The rise of mass personalisation, July 2015 – See also: to-order-the-rise-of-mass-personalisation.html

28 - info - january / february 2016

FOCUS - r e tail in the age of di srup tion


Helen Dickinson Director General, British Retail Consortium


hat is the role of the British Retail Consortium?

the retail industry is one. The retail industry is, in fact, the

Our mission is to make a positive difference to

largest contributor to business rates in the UK. With over

the retail industry and the customers it serves. The BRC’s

60% of leases up for renewal by 2017, retailers of all sizes will

membership is open to all UK retailers, be they bricks and

have to decide whether to close down unprofitable stores. If

mortar, online or a mixture of both. We are the authoritative

these leases are not renewed, the BRC estimates there will

voice of the UK retail industry to policy makers and the media,

be 80,000 fewer shops on our high streets and town centres

and campaign to promote retailers’ interests. We also look

(or approximately 800,000 fewer jobs). That would have a

to improve the perceptions of retailing in the UK and advise

dramatic impact on the look and feel of the local high street

retailers of threats and opportunities to their business.

and town centre.

Retail is one of the UK’s success stories, but currently faces a

We risk seeing ever greater numbers of store closures

challenging trading and regulatory environment. The BRC’s aim

unless the Government acts urgently. It can do so by putting

is to bring about policy and regulatory changes that will ensure

in place both short-term deliverables, such as more regular

retailers can maintain their outstanding record on job creation,

revaluations and freezing the annual uplift, and delivering

consumer choice and product innovation.

fundamental reform, beginning with its vision and roadmap for business taxation. We look forward to the publishing of the

The Retail sector is often used as a barometer of the UK

business rates review in March 2016.

economy – what is its state of health at the moment? In the run up to Christmas, retail sales have been healthy with

How great an impact will the new National Living Wage

online retail sales experiencing particularly strong growth.

have on retailers?

We spend approximately £1 in every £5 on non-food items

Retailers are looking closely at the new proposals, their

online and retailers have worked hard in recent years on

current pay structures and assessing the impact alongside

their websites, including personalising experiences, to keep

other tax changes. Many retailers have already announced

customers interested. Shop prices in November marked the

their plans which in some cases will see pay increases above

31st consecutive month of deflation for both food and non-

the recommended NLW amount for February next year. The

food goods. This continued deflationary environment has been

challenge for all of them will be hitting £9 per hour by 2020;

fuelled by low oil prices, a slowdown in demand from emerging

but the greater problem is that without a reformed business

markets, a strong pound and discounting on non-food items.

rates system, retail is on course to pay the National Living

In October 2015, the UK town centre vacancy rate was at 9.1%

Wage, but to fewer people in the industry.

which is the lowest on record since our monitor started in July 2011. Footfall decreased in high streets and shopping centres

Retail has been one of the sectors most disrupted by the

but grew by 2.9% for retail parks. Healthy overall footfall

digital revolution. What do you consider the greatest

growth in retail destinations was also recorded in southern

challenges and opportunities ahead for retail?

England, the East Midlands, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The inevitable move to multichannel retailing presents a steep learning curve for retailers, with real costs as well as enormous

What are the most significant policy and regulatory

benefits. What works in a purely online environment does

changes the retail sector is calling for?

not necessarily transfer seamlessly to store-based retail.

The retail industry will have to find an extra £14.2 billion over

Awareness of the possibilities and limitations of digital

the next five years to fund the introduction of the National

technology as a driver of shopping habits and behaviours

Living Wage, apprenticeship levy and increasing burden of

is crucial. Different formats need to be treated as distinct

business rates.

environments where the retailers curate their spaces, carefully

The BRC has been a prominent leader in the campaign to fundamentally reform the structure of business rates. The

select the best products and manage service experiences. I Interview by KF

rates heavily penalise property intensive industries of which


- january / february 2016 - 29


Jonathan Chippindale CEO of Holition With a background in luxury retail and an innovative mindset, Jonathan Chippindale casts a visionary perspective on what could play a role in the future of retail


ugmented retail solutions’ is Holition’s tagline. What does this mean?

A luxury brand – any retailer – doesn’t want to take a risk. The amount of times we’ve created something brand new and

The four of us who set up the company were all retailers who

had a chat to a retailer who’s said ‘It’s great, but how many

were incredibly frustrated by the lack of digital desire in the

more lipsticks or pairs of shoes will it sell?’ Innovation is the

luxury brands we were working for. At that time, around eight

giant leap forward but it does carry an element of risk. It has

years ago, it was the Ice Age digitally! Many of our clients did

never been done before; there’s no data to support it.

not even have a website. We did not want to build a solution and then go looking for the problem it could solve, which in

Retail was one of the first sectors to be disrupted by

retail means hitting it into a client whether it is right for them

digital – has it led the way?

or not. The notion of ‘augmented retail’ was a reminder to

Definitely not. Everything has been disrupted. Technology

ourselves of where we came from and what our focus was,

is absolutely everywhere and in some ways retail has been

but also that we were looking at retail in a slightly different

rather slow to take it on.

way. Our mindset has been ‘What is the next innovation?’.

Pre digital, brands were talking at consumers. They

It is not about sweeping up the technology that we build

created brand worlds and lifestyles, and invited consumers to

and turning it into big scale applications. Rather it is about

partake of it, on their terms, telling consumers what to wear,

grabbing a customer’s attention and then pushing them

how to wear it, when to wear it. Digital has allowed a two-

towards somebody else’s technology product – online or in

way conversation. Brands now have to listen as well as talk.

store. It is about surprising people, and educating them in

This is the biggest change that digital disruption has brought

some ways too.

about. It doesn’t matter if a brand comes out with an amazing product and advertises it as being the must-have item of the

How have you helped bring deeply conservative luxury

next season. If the background noise on social media and in

brands into the digital age?

people’s networks says otherwise, that brand will struggle.

It isn’t easy. Digital was distrusted because it was not

The new unknown is the consumer. Consumers are a

understood – a potential threat that would democratise

massive part of this in a way that they were never before, and

luxury. With our experience in luxury retail, we understood the

not only because of the comments they can make on social

problems, the opportunities and their fear and uncertainty, so

media. Brands are finding that consumers don’t automatically

we were able to hold hands and walk towards their projects

follow them on social media, rather, consumers will go


wherever they want to and brands are having to predict where

One of our first clients, a major luxury brand, told us that until someone could prove to them that the Internet would

that is and follow them. I spent the first 15 years of my career being told what

still be around in three years’ time, they would not be doing

luxury was all about by older and wiser people. You had

anything digital. Others believed that people who looked at

to have existed in luxury all your life to understand it. You

websites did not have the spending power to be luxury clients.

were taught about the science of luxury advertising: you

Another luxury client told us that it was impossible to describe

photographed your product in a certain way, put your logos

150 years of heritage, craftsmanship and quality on a 2.5-inch

there and used readership figures to demonstrate that a

screen, and insisted they could only deliver the best possible

certain magazine was the right place to advertise. Digital has

service in their showroom. What they were not able to see

completely changed that. The right mix of tools that digital

at that point was that digital has completely changed the

marketers will use in the future has not even been invented,

relationship between the brand and the consumer.

let alone understood.

30 - info - january / february 2016

FOCUS - r e tail in the age of di s rup tion

What is your take on omni-channel?

experience, what is the point? It should be built by consumers

Personally, I can’t stand the word omni-channel. It is the three

or retailers, people who understand that point of interaction,

channels of retail – in-store, online and mobile. Omni-channel

rather than technologists.

is retail, just like digital strategy is strategy. There is no need to use the word ‘digital’. Luxury brands used to say that stores are where high-

In luxury, people used to talk about the last two yards, which is the counter between the sales person and the customer. Everything that the brand did was geared up

net-worth individuals shop because they want to chat to

towards closing that distance between the sales person and

somebody, have a glass of Champagne and shake the hand

the consumer. Technology should all be about that final little

of the salesman, the geeks go online, and mobile, that’s just

bit in front of the consumer, but there is a danger that much

children. Brands have now realised that actually it is the same

of it is about marketing directors showing their CEOs what a

customer dropping in and out of those channels almost

cool company they are, or PR saying they can get coverage on

continuously, depending on how they are feeling, where they

that. But does it work? Is it good? Does it make people look

are, what their need is, what product they are looking for.

beautiful? If it doesn’t, don’t use it!

Justin Cooke, former CMO at Topshop and Burberry, used to

I am against the whole notion of screens in store. If a store

call it an ‘infinite loop’. He was one of the first to have the idea

is covered in screens there is no unique feel to it. Screens

of getting the consumer more involved.

don’t equal innovation. If you walk into a store and are handed

He did a fashion show called Topshop Unique, which was

an iPad you will be looking down at a screen rather than up

one of the first to be live-streamed on Facebook with over 550

at a beautiful interior which the brand has spent hundreds of

million impressions. You could take photographs and buy the

thousands of pounds on, filled with their products. Technology

fashion from the catwalk. That fashion show was viewed in 130

cannot get in the way of the relationship with the physicality of

countries, including China, where Topshop had been trying

the store. It has to support it.

to break into for ages. They’d opened stores there that had

Thirdly, we are doing work around predictive intelligence.

never worked, but now, through digital, they had a footprint in

Big data is providing opportunities for marketing people to

China and realised how you could reach into these disparate

look at everyone as individuals, to understand each customer’s

markets without the old-fashioned way of putting a shop in.

needs and wants, not because they have filled in a form, but because big data derived from smart phones can make

Where do you see retail going?

assumptions about the brands they like, their social media,

If you ask anyone what is the future of retail and they give you

their behaviour, where they live and travel, and then come up

an answer, you should just laugh and say nonsense! No one

with a selection that’s right for each person.

has been able to express a coherent view of what the future of retail is – it is changing too rapidly. It will settle down, but it is

You don’t think any brands are particularly innovative, so

going to take time and we are not there yet.

what would you consider innovative?

However, there are a couple of areas that will play a role in retail of the future. The most important is User Experience (UX). We call it digital anthropology. The best way to think about it is human-to-technology relationships. Many brands believe correctly that digital is a very powerful way to talk to customers, and therefore do a lot of technology, whether online, in an app or in store. But I see a

None of our clients are particularly innovative, but that is not a bad thing, it is just that big brands cannot afford risk. Last year we did a piece for the British Fashion Council, which is clothing that scans your brain and changes colour and pattern according to your mood and emotion. That is a thought leadership idea. We did another project for, a UK fashion tech

lot of instances where technology actually puts up a barrier.

start-up, which doesn’t have its own products, but is a portal

The apps on your smart phone don’t come with an instruction

for brands. You look at products and buy them on the Lyst site

manual; you play with them and learn by making mistakes. I

but the brand fulfils it. For an anniversary party they wanted

think it is a very big ask to expect a shopper to go through that

something to communicate the success, power and scale

same process in a physical store. Nobody wants to look like an

they had achieved. There are 30,000 items being updated

idiot in front of their fellow shoppers. But retailers think omni-

and changed every second on their website – products

channel means blurring the lines, so it all feels like the same

going on and off, stock management, etc. We captured and

thing, and put their websites on big screens in store. But if

digitalised that in real time as a piece of big data art. Suddenly

nobody ever uses it, what is the point? You have to understand

Lyst realised that what they had was a view of trend – which

exactly what the benefit is of using technology in store, and

brands, colours and price points were moving. Now they are

how to get that benefit from a very simple user interface. It

aggregating these billions of bits of data and selling it back to

may be modern and digital, but is it better?

brands as trend information. They believe that big data will

Secondly, technology has to be at least as good as real

be more financially viable for them than the fashion, so it has

shopping. You get virtual fitting rooms and things like that,

completely transformed the way that they view their business

but if the technology is not good enough to equal the real

and made it infinitely more profitable. I Interview by KF


- january / february 2016 - 31


The Regent Street Retail Evolution Despite the disruptions of technology, the fundamentals of retail have not changed, and London’s Regent Street is a great example of this, as Paul Lorraine, General Manager of Longchamp UK and President of the Regent Street Association explains

I would like to highlight Regent Street as a great example of this evolution of relationship. As General Manager of Longchamp UK and President of the Regent Street Association, I have firsthand experience of how the street has progressed from a position in recent history of a thoroughfare from Oxford Circus to Piccadilly, with an unbalanced mix of stores to what is now a ‘world-class visitor destination’ with an envious array of retailers and restaurants. The transformation of the street commenced over 10


n an industry which has many opinions, strategies, trends and

years ago and was built around a strategy of creating a distinctive,

challenges, it seems that ‘Retail’ and consumer demand has

quality retail destination. This was underpinned by strong retail

changed dramatically over the past 10 years or so.

values of quality, heritage, style and success… In brief, the majority

Whilst I would agree that technology has driven a more ‘multi-

landlord (The Crown Estate) very cleverly identified the benefit

layered’ level of consumer demand and definitely more touch

of implementing a sustainable long-term plan to ensure a more

points, in the main I believe the same basic principles of retailing

qualitative brand assortment. In terms of numbers, since 2002,

are as relevant today as they have ever been. For instance,

over 80 new retailers have entered the street. However, the

innovation has always been a huge influence in successful

most significant aspect of this has been the consistent strategy

retailing, as has the ability to offer quality products and service

throughout that has remained true to the initial vision presented

whilst developing a greater understanding of consumer needs.

by David Shaw, Head of the Regent Street Portfolio, and his team.

The key difference now is we simply have more efficient ‘tools’ to

The development obviously did not come cheaply, however given

utilise information and engage consumers.

that the value of the street is now over £4.1 billion, the initial £1

The emergence of 24/7 online shopping has obviously been driven by demand, but is not to the detriment of traditional

billion invested by The Crown Estate has certainly given a good return!

retailing, indeed the ‘bricks-and-mortar’ retail environment has

Another aspect of this development that has benefited the

never been more important. Flagships, stores and boutiques are

retailers was the emergence of New West End Company, which

all information hubs that build and develop long term loyalty,

has supported the management and marketing services, and

relationships and inspiration. They are often the first interaction

the work undertaken by Annie Walker and her Regent Street

a consumer has with the brand and set the ‘benchmark of

Association team in terms of events and retailer engagement. The


combined understanding of respective challenges has resulted

On this point, within London we enjoy the added benefit

in a 360-degree approach to servicing the customer, creating

of having a truly cosmopolitan consumer base, who have high

novelty, uniqueness, maintaining quality and developing a retail

brand and international awareness, are influenced by social

environment that continues to grow from strength to strength.

media, endorsements, quality, culture and also in many instances

Admittedly Regent Street has always had the advantage of

exchange rates! They also have an unquenchable desire for a

its beautiful architecture and is recorded as the world’s first

high level of authentic brand engagement and experience.

‘shopping street’, so it is only fitting that it finds itself building on

To meet this demand, the relationship between retailer and landlord has never been more crucial and on this point 32 - info - january / february 2016

its ‘pioneering roots’ and continuing its commitment to quality retailing. I

FOCUS - r e tail in the age of di s rup tion

Outlet Centres of Attraction Tapping into the trends of aspiration, value for money and consumer experience, retail outlet centres have flourished while many a high street has languished. Angus Fyfe, Asset Management Director at Realm Ltd explains their enduring appeal


here are now over 200 outlet centres

formula and key driver in making outlet

people’s favour – the power of and

across Europe with nearly a fifth of

shopping popular. From the brands’

penchant for experience. A well-kept

them located in the UK, where they have

point of view, it is imperative that the

secret in the retail sector is that when

established themselves over the last 22

aspiration is preserved and that an outlet

really pressed, there are few people

years as a bona fide retail format. Covering

store is no longer seen as a sorry excuse

that universally enjoy the art and act of

both luxury and mass market positions,

but a strong and confident expression of

shopping. There just are too many pinch

outlet shopping destinations have never

its values, encompassing shopfitting and

points that stand to impair the enjoyment

been more popular, so it seems an

customer service, albeit at a different

from queuing to find a space in the car

opportune moment to examine their DNA

price point.

park to dealing with the stresses and

and factors which explain why they have





strains of changing rooms, insufficient

been able to fend off online competition

the retail landscape have provided a

staff at tills, screaming children and

from clearance sites such as Ebay and

following wind to this trend as the pursuit


air-conditioning of


offer genuine alternatives to high



street, city centre and regional


megamall shopping centres.

exceptionally high footfall.



all with

To begin with basics, an

Outlet centres tend to occupy

outlet store is defined as one

out of town locations which

which continually offers reduced

afford them a sense of space and



sanctuary. As oases of calm, the

and whilst pioneer operators

atmosphere at outlets is a de-

would agglomerate and fill their

stressed one, where shoppers

shelves with unsold lines from

can browse and peruse to their

their full price stores, the product

heart’s content and the difference

mix offered now has developed

to city centres is palpable. The







experience is a family friendly

sophisticated approach. Early outlet

of value has become far more socially

one too, particularly when the appeal is

stores would appear compromised and

acceptable in post-recession Britain and

reinforced by brands which sell children’s

rather unloved with disparate ranges

beyond. The arrival and expansion of fast

clothing and chocolate.

and poor choice of sizes which would

fashion with retailers such as Primark

actually be a source of frustration to the

selling clothes at throwaway prices has


consumer. Modern retailers now produce

allowed fashionistas to be clever and

expectations and outlets are now so

ranges specifically for their outlet stores

create outfits from polar opposites of

much more than delivering just shopping

– thus giving shoppers an opportunity to

the market – a trend typified by the term

as they have morphed into hybrids of

purchase goods made to a price.

‘Primani’. Further disruptive forces in

leisure attractions with cinemas and

This illustrates a key component

the UK’s grocery sector by new entrants

restaurants broadening their appeal and

of a trip to an outlet centre – they give

such as Aldi and Lidl have only served to

dwell time.

shoppers an opportunity to buy from and

magnify this phenomenon and integrate

Nowhere is this trend better illustrated

into a brand that they might not normally

the art of being prudent and seeking

than at Quintain’s London Designer

as it is out of reach. Outlets stretch

value as thoroughly acceptable and part

Outlet, located in the shadow of Wembley

spending power and in the process, make

of everyday life, just as so many people

Stadium. LDO, as it is referred to, has 20

luxury more accessible and affordable by

now redeem vouchers when eating out.

restaurants, 50 stores and a state-of-the-


modern, has

experience-hungry increasingly


virtue of a permanent discount of up to

Aside from consumers subliminally

art 9-screen cinema. Footfall is currently

60% against the RRP (Recommended

processing the logic of price, there are

at 6 million per annum, propelling the

Retail Price). Aspiration combined with

other emotive forces at play in outlet

centre to be the fifth best in Europe just

value for money is therefore a powerful


two years after opening. I





- january / february 2016 - 33

Armorial Paris: How a niche brand goes online without losing the personal touch


rmorial was founded in Paris in 1890 as a master

services online because it strongly believes that this can

engraver specialising in bespoke stationery. It has

only be delivered with a face-to-face consultation.

always employed craftsmen skilled in the finest techniques

For any small luxury brand, the keys to success in new

of artisan printing. Given its heritage, customised

markets are universal: full research of the relevant market,

products and in-house craftsmanship, Armorial occupies

an analysis of local shopping habits, an understanding of

a niche position in the retail spectrum.

local customer behaviour, and location. Moreover, in an

Being such a niche retailer does, however, pose

ever-evolving multicultural society such as London, the

some challenges when it comes to operating in different markets. In Armorial’s case, it opened its first boutique outside Paris in London 15 months ago, but rather than just replicating the Paris boutique it has made some allowances for local cultural differences. However, the very focus of its business is on customisation so being able to adapt to specific requests is second nature. Armorial’s consultants have learnt to listen to clients and to work closely with them to help them define and realise what they want. What is more challenging for a brand like Armorial which is all about the personal experience and the physical product, is how to grasp the opportunity of the Internet. An online presence has clearly become mandatory with many clients doing a lot of research online before even visiting the boutique and some ordering online without ever having stepped into the shop. In order to strike a balance between having

ability to change and react with agility is paramount, but

an informative website and not compromising the very

a strong story to tell and a proven heritage go a long way

personal nature of its offering, Armorial is launching an

too! I

online boutique for its off-the-shelf heritage products. However, it has stopped short of offering any bespoke

34 - info - january / february 2016

Laetitia Vielvoye, Operations Manager France and UK, Armorial Paris T: +44 020 7409 1325

FOCUS - r e tail in the age of di srup tion

Trends, challenges and opportunities in UK luxury retail Nick Pope, Fashion and Luxury Lead at Deloitte UK, notes the winds of change and charts potential new directions in the luxury retail universe


ver much of the past decade, the luxury goods sector has

fragmented market means it will be more challenging for existing

been propelled forward, sailing under powerful tail-winds.

brands to hold on to existing customers (and win new ones).

This has mainly been driven by the extraordinary rise of the Chinese consumer (domestically and internationally), but has

How should French luxury brands operating in the UK

also been supplemented by the increased ‘reach’ that the digital


channel offers, together with the general economic recovery

Notwithstanding these challenges, I believe there are several

since the Global Financial Crisis – notably among high income

areas of opportunity for French luxury brands operating in the

earners (HIEs) and high-net-worth consumers (HNWs).


The UK, and London in particular, is one of the world’s

The first of these is the transit channel. It is an unloved

largest and most important fashion and luxury

jewel in the ‘crown of channels’ (with the online

markets. I say ‘important’ with some care.



gem now shining the brightest). However,



is a fashion leader, a cultural megalith, a financial centre, and has one of the most digitally western











somewhat tired experience

advanced consumer groups the



– increasingly vital these days –




currently on offer in many


transit channels – notably

Crucially, however, it is the

airports – could be greatly

relatively high proportion


of international spenders

superior financial returns,

which makes our luxury


market special. Over half


of the UK’s luxury spend


is from the inbound tourist,






opportunity to target specific

10% in Japan, which is a far

cohorts of consumers in a

more domestically driven market.

different way – using deeper

Coupled with a fairly high expat

analytics to drive more powerful

rate, our luxury consumer set is hugely

insights into who these consumers are,

cosmopolitan – even more so than New York, Paris, or Hong Kong.





versus, for example, around


and when and why they will spend. A few examples could be the huge population of Chinese

But the winds of change are blowing across the good ship

students in higher education in the UK (100,000 vs 40,000

Luxuria Britannia – with a significant risk that head-winds are

in France) – can we build a repeating ‘tradition’ rather than a

on the horizon. For example, the astonishing rate of Chinese

‘trade’? The continued flow of inbound American tourists (whose

contribution to luxury growth has cooled, and will not return

economic strength and spending power is still unparalleled)

to the heights of the past decade. Furthermore, the Sterling

– how can we attract them to spend on luxury? The expat

is likely to strengthen further against the Euro, continuing to

community in London – let’s make them feel loved by giving

put pressure on the UK’s competitive position. This tends to

them a slice of French luxury? Not to mention there is a market

manifest most heavily in price arbitrage – and looking at the

that some people forget exists outside Zone 1 – or, dare I say

Deloitte Global Luxury Pricing Database, this shows a meaningful

it, the M25?

(and widening) gap in average country price points between

The fashion and luxury market is a special and historical one.

European markets and the UK – in key categories, such as

But despite this (or perhaps because of it) the need to innovate,

apparel and leather goods. Thirdly, the long-lasting low oil price

and to continually improve and delight, is paramount. Of all the

environment has effectively shredded the Russian demand

great partnerships the UK market has, the link with France is

for the time being. And lastly, as digital lowers the barriers to

perhaps the deepest – certainly the longest. Leveraging that

entry in the luxury market, new brands can more easily take

shared history to drive growth in the luxury sector is not just a

wallet share than they could a few years ago. Thus, a more

possibility, it’s an exciting prospect. I


- january / february 2016 - 35

do i SMELL pINE NEEDLES ? Bill Nowacki, Managing Director of KPMG’s Decision Science Practice, sees Big Data and Advanced Analytics closing the gap between the physical store and online experience... and dreams of the day when online shopping comes with sensory stimulants


or the first time in my digital life, in order to avoid the Black Friday crowds, I consciously opted to do my holiday shopping

online on Cyber Monday.

on the margins of the screen, or a reference at checkout. Said differently, the medium itself encourages shopper myopia: a shopper sitting in front of a browser sees a handful of

The episode paid big dividends: I finished in about the same

items, a navigation bar and a keyword search facility. The latter

time as it would have taken me to drive to the mall and park my

two are engineered to provide easy, short-hop discovery – they

car, I skipped the crush of people and lengthy queues, and I didn’t

conspire to limit the merchant’s opportunity or selling to three

find myself lost in a far corner of the store trying to figure out

brief and pivotal moments: before the shopper decides to visit,

where they keep flannel pyjamas – a biannual gift for my father.

within the first few clicks prior to finding the destination item,

But I expected as much.

and at checkout prior to payment. There is no room for error.

What I didn’t expect was how easy I found it to stick to my list and my budget: I had set out to buy 11 gifts and finished having

Offers and suggestions must be pitch perfect and presented at precisely the right moment.

purchased exactly 11! Moreover, I landed £50 under my allocated

To date, online retailers have relied largely on recommender

budget. This has been a year unlike any other and I’m forever

engines and customer relationship management systems to

changed – I’ll never go back to the old way of doing things.

inform and drive content. These systems have proven reasonably

Of course, my windfall of time,

good at telling buyers that people who

convenience and value came at the

buy cordovan shoes also buy cordovan

expense of retailers’ ability to market to me and as such, their top and bottom lines.





fragrance, Santa, samples, signs and big sales have always been my weakness. Plied with nostalgia and a snowballing sense of urgency, retailers have always had their way with me. But now, insulated from them by the structure and discipline of online shopping, I am finally ‘in control’. I’m not alone. In-store sales in the

belts, or in deducing that a shopper who,

Assembling this pitch perfect offer to an online shopper has only recently been made truly possible through implementation of Big Data and real-time Advanced Analytics

over time, has purchased a mortar and pestle, specialty olive oil and ramekins, is a foodie and prone to gourmet items. However, in their current form, these systems can’t discern ‘trip purpose’. In other words, for any given online shopping trip they can’t determine whether a shopper is thinking fashion or food. Who wants to be prompted to buy a santoku chef’s knife when he’s looking

US were down on Black Friday, in part

for shoe trees?

due to the fact that retailers took the

first time makes it even harder to break

Getting it wrong the

unprecedented step of opening on Thursday – Thanksgiving

through the second. Online shopping is a learned behaviour:

holiday – and in part due to migration toward on-line shopping.

if trained early in the relationship to ignore suggestions and

Many retailers see the shift towards online and omni-channel

promotions because they’re irrelevant, nonsensical, or poorly

shopping as a potential boon to them given the belief that over

timed, a shopper will quickly and permanently disavow them.

time it will reduce a variety of operating expenses. In reality,

They’ll take whatever they’ve purposefully put into their basket

their failure to master merchandising in the digital realm has the

and move on!

potential to actually undermine them by catalysing an inversion

situational marketing.

of the seller-buyer relationship as shoppers find it increasingly easier to ignore overtures and offers.

It’s vital therefore that merchants master

Situational marketing derives from the ability to deduce, infer or predict for a given shopping episode that shopper’s window,

Consumers are quickly awakening to their increasing power

propensity, capacity, motivation and trigger price for buying as well

– dispassionately meting out their demands thus enticing retailers

as insights into the buyer’s persona at the time of the exchange

to more aggressively compete for their pounds and shillings.

and the likely place the item or service will be consumed. Able

Once a shopper decides to login rather than walk in, merchants’

to accurately determine these buying dimensions, a retailer

opportunities to sell sharply decline. They have a limited

maximises the likelihood that a deal or offer will be completed,

opportunity to push and promote merchandise on the landing

but it also means that the consumer will be increasingly open to

page. Then, once the shopper begins searching by keyword or

the retailer providing timely, relevant suggestions in the future.

clicking through the cascading list of departments, categories, and

A shopper who lives from paycheque to paycheque has a

items while filtering for brand, colour and size, their opportunity

limited window, usually around the last Friday of each month, to

to influence the sale further reduces to a couple of suggestions

explore and consider. Likewise, a woman who’s a Size XS hasn’t

36 - info - january / february 2016

FOCUS - r e tail in the age of di s rup tion

the appetite nor propensity for a Size L. A person just returning

at a purchasing decision. This analysis depends on building

from holiday most likely doesn’t have the capacity for another

a ‘consistent spine of data’ that allows them to work from one

– at least not for another six months. Someone departing for an

‘version of the truth’, but this is no small task. Pulling together

international trip in the coming days is far more motivated to buy

the myriad of data sources and clues to build a full picture of

a global voice and data roaming package than someone whose

your shoppers is not to be underestimated and often involves

trip is three months away. And the fashionista who already has

amalgamating internal ‘pockets’ of data previously held in a

two dozen pairs of cufflinks might not buy the commemorative

patchwork of systems and places which often are not connected

Wimbledon set for £250, but will for £229.

and do not ‘talk’ to each other.

In the digital world, getting these things right is fast becoming

As retailers progress up the curve the next stage involves

compulsory. So too is the ability to – keeping with the example

using ‘predictive’ analytics – finding trends and insights from

above of the foodie – know when a shopper is wearing a chef’s

data within and outside the organisation to create a picture or

hat or a tennis visor. Retailers getting this right will enjoy more

simulation of the future in order to achieve a desired result.

frequent, bigger, more profitable transactions, will be less prone

Using a previous example, this is the sort of analysis that allows

to price and deal shopping (though no one is immune), and will

systems to predict that people who buy cordovan shoes also buy

enjoy a modicum more loyalty because on those rare instances

cordovan belts.

the digital shopper takes a few milliseconds to look beyond their intense field of focus, the offer will be pitch perfect.

However, for the largest and most complex of problems some retailers have begun using ‘prescriptive’ analytics which

Behavioural and circumstantial clues that describe individuals

offer up a ‘better’ course of action and systems which ‘learn’ from

are abundant, ever-changing and can be gathered from sources

every given incidence to improve the process. For the customer,

both internal and external to the retail enterprise. But assembling

this means, an online experience much closer to the in-store one;

this pitch perfect offer to an online shopper has only recently

mirroring the sales assistant who can upsell, for example, a Le

been made truly possible through implementation of Big Data

Creuset cast iron casserole set and matching kitchen utensils

and real-time Advanced Analytics, which, woven together and

when the shopper was only in the market for the one middle-

analysed with machine learning technology and other innovations,

of-the-market casserole dish because they can find out whether

enable merchants to glean insights into each shopper’s what,

the shopper is thinking food or fashion, deduce whether they are

when and why, ensuring relevance and utility to the consumer,

time-rich or poor, and determine whether the shopping trip is

thus deepening the brand relationship.

functional or leisurely.

These are the sorts of data challenges I increasingly see

Consider this: over the next 12 months, should my favourite

companies grappling with as they move though varying stages of

online retail sites bring themselves into harmony with me – giving

what we call the ‘data maturity’ curve.

me confidence they truly understand my many dimensions and

Most companies I come across are situated in the ‘looking

reasons for shopping – I’ll be quite tempted to look beyond my

into the past’ part of the curve, using data analytics to understand

list of 11. And if they ever figure out how to make digital pine

why certain events occurred or how a particular shopper arrived

scent, I’ll be powerless. I


- january / february 2016 - 37

Profile: Content Square

Visualising, optimising and personalising user experience on web and mobile


ut of every 100 people who enter a store, 20 will make

resolution tracking and even visit replay, which records every

a purchase, but only one out of every 100 people on an

mouse move and key stroke of a user, as if you were looking over

e-commerce site will buy. That shocking statistic was what

his shoulder. Content Square records 500 million replays like

spurred ESSEC graduate Jonathan Cherki to turn his back on the

this every month. However, rather than analyse all this itself, it

family business and set up his own company, Content Square,

gives e-merchants the training to become their own optimisation

four years ago. His simple goal was to allow e-commerce

experts and autonomous in the continuous monitoring, testing

businesses to analyse and understand exactly why users quit a

measuring and fine-tuning of their own web and mobile sites, so

website before making a purchase – and to provide solutions to

that, as Jonathan puts it, ‘they will know instantly what impact on

help these businesses improve their customer experience and

turnover a particular image will have. It’s not merely the usability

conversion rates.

but the efficiency that you need to measure – whether that is

Since its founding in 2009,

conversion rate, consumption of

Content Square’s growth has made

pages or turnover.’

it one of Deloitte’s top 10 fastest




and in 2014 it was recognised by

phase. It provides ready-to-test

Gartner as one of the four most

recommendations and can even

innovative e-commerce technology

create live test versions of websites,

companies in the world. David

to which 20-50% of users are

Kohler, Gartner Research Director,

redirected, so that comparisons

said: ‘Like many web optimisation


vendors, Content Square aims to

one of its specialisations, as its

“understand user experience to

analysis has proven that there are

increase conversion rate”. However,

differences in the way different

unlike other vendors, Content

nationalities behave online. ‘It is


not good enough just to translate





combination quantitative






growing French tech companies,





your website,’ says Jonathan, ‘you

and qualitative analytics to feed insight into the design and

have to adapt it’. After analysing the journeys taken by German

conception of an organisation’s digital commerce site.’ It works

versus French customers on the vente-privée subscription

with over 100 e-commerce leaders, among them L’Occitance,

form, they made specific changes on the German form to the

LVMH, vente-privée, L’Oréal, Citroën, Peugeot, Accor, Aviva and

delivery, reassurance and general conditions of sale elements

Natixis, and has increased conversion rates by around 20%.

which most concerned German customers. The result was that

Retailers pay a lot to increase traffic to their websites, so

the amount of time users spent before subscription decreased,

when people leave without making a purchase they need to

the bounce rate was reduced and global subscription increased

understand why. But it should not be rocket science. ‘Technical

by 30%.

or mathematical knowledge should not be a requirement,’ says

It is a continuous process of enhancement, not only

Jonathan, and this is the premise behind Content Square’s

for the companies using the software, but also for Content

offer. ‘The person who puts images on the website has to know

Square, whose own R&D team releases new functionalities and

whether they will contribute to improving the conversion rate,

evolutions in the solution every fortnight. ‘We give companies

and the person who writes the text should know whether it will

the power to know and decide fast,’ says Jonathan, ‘and we are

compel those reading it to buy,’ he says.

not just improving technology but also people. We help change

With the insertion of a simple line of coding in a website,

the way they think.’

Content Square’s SaaS solution software can record every

With big data and this kind of technology, Jonathan

pathway a user takes, what they are reading, where they scroll,

asserts it is possible to deliver entirely personalised content

what captures their attention, what the breakpoints in their

to every single user – ‘a different website for everyone’ with a

customer journey are and the impact and efficiency of every

customised user journey, but this is a step that e-retailers have

element. It uses path, zone and page analysis, heat maps,

yet to take. I KF

38 - info - january / february 2016

FOCUS - r e tail in the age of di s rup tion

Social Listening: from tactics to strategy Guilhem Fouetillou, Co-founder of Linkfluence, takes stock of the power and potential of social media for brands when they listen to consumers and develop a strategy around that two-way relationship


he social web is a rapidly expanding


arena for conversation. Every day,

discussion. No longer is it merely



over 500 million tweets are posted,

a matter of keeping an eye on the

5 million photos are uploaded to


Instagram, 76 million publications are


posted on Tumblr and 4 billion videos


are viewed on YouTube.

encompassing. Companies are able









the more

This represents a huge potential that

to understand trends and influence

brands cannot afford to ignore. Brands

dynamics in a more direct way than ever.

must be in a position to capture and

Brands are in a position to gain powerful

analyse this data to take full advantage

insights, enabling them to devise content

of it. They must also be capable of

strategies in line with their objectives.






communication, a task which is becoming increasingly complex given the large number of different platforms involved. In




consumers have taken on an active role in their relationship with brands. The items which they publish on a daily basis can directly impact a brand’s corporate




constitute a valuable resource which can be harnessed. But how can brands benefit from listening to what is being said online? How can it help to change their strategy? Social



Every day, over 500 million tweets are posted, 5 million photos are uploaded to Instagram, 76 million publications are posted on Tumblr and 4 billion videos are viewed on YouTube. This represents a huge potential that brands cannot afford to ignore


A DRIVING FORCE FOR DIGITAL CHANGE WITHIN COMPANIES In order to achieve a dynamic relationship with their customers, companies must reorganise themselves internally. The ultimate goal is to adapt to the needs of




activities on their expectations. Social listening is proving to be a major asset in enabling companies to develop their digital strategy. By listening to what is being discussed online, brands can gain a better understanding of the various categories of consumers. This is a key step in helping organisations to be

connectivity have allowed brands and

strategies. The aim of these strategies

more agile, offering them the capacity to

consumers to directly communicate

is to enter into a dialogue with potential

adapt to the reality of new methods of

with one another. Social listening can

online customers by focusing on their


educate brands on what consumers

current areas of interest. Consumers

are discussing, the challenge being

now communicate more than brands


to interpret this content to gain an

themselves. By monitoring social web

organisations. But a clever listening

understanding of what consumers want

content, brands can gain an accurate

of online channels is the key to allow

and how they tend to behave.



companies to make the most of their

perceive the market, and subsequently

social journey: enter into a dialogue with


devise engagement strategies in a way

the right message, adapt and define


that best meets their expectations.

marketing strategies, activate the right



Social listening first appeared in the

The social web has opened brand perspectives



influencers, identify areas of risk and

form of a tactical approach in reaction


opportunities… All of these feed a digital

to a demand for information, but it is


transformation of B-to-C organisations

now at the heart of real-time marketing

Social listening has to embrace both

with customer relationship at heart. I


- january / february 2016 - 39

MADE.COM’s Unboxed


ADE.COM’s Unboxed is an online social platform. Launched in 2014, it enables people to connect with

One of the key advantages of Unboxed is that it contextualises MADE products without the need for costly

existing MADE.COM customers across the UK and Europe.

lifestyle shoots or high street shops, which ultimately

Visitors to Unboxed can search by area or for a specific

the customer pays for. More importantly, Unboxed

product to see who has purchased what, both in their

demonstrates ‘collaborative consumption’ - a movement

neighbourhood or further afield. They can take a virtual

empowering consumers to take inspiration from each other.

house tour of active users, and even meet with them face to face to see how they’ve styled their MADE.COM products.

The platform was designed to encourage people to share their love of their homes more widely. Word of mouth has

As an online brand, MADE.COM is always seeking

always been one of MADE.COM’s most important marketing

innovative ways to bridge the gap between the online and

channels; Unboxed is a great way to cultivate conversations

offline experience for customers. The concept for Unboxed

between customers and their neighbours.

was born when MADE.COM customers expressed a desire

MADE.COM believes Unboxed is at the forefront of a

to touch and feel products and see how designs on the site

movement that represents the future of retail; the rise of

could be styled in real-life homes.

personalised new affiliate model, with brand communities

MADE.COM tested the idea at Salone del Mobile in April 2014, using four of our customer’s Milan apartments as an

acting as brand champions. Unboxed is the latest investment in innovation for

exhibition space to showcase their new collections. The

MADE.COM, one of the first e-tailers to bridge the gap

response was overwhelmingly positive.

between its internet presence and the real world with

The platform launched officially later the same year with almost 100 ‘brand advocates’ with their own profiles,

showrooms in London, Leeds and now Liverpool. MADE.COM was also among the first to undergo a trial

each showcasing professional photos of their homes. The

with digital tagging service CloudTags within its London

platform was also open to any MADE.COM customer who

showroom and launched an augmented reality app enabling

wished to participate and share their photos. In the space of

customers to view its products within their homes. I

one year, Unboxed has grown from 80 to 4,000 users, with a

Julien Callede, Co-Founder & COO of MADE.COM

database of over 4,000 user generated photos.

40 - info - january / february 2016

FOCUS - r e tail in the age of di s rup tion

Bridging the gap between online and offline retailing Technology and a new understanding of the way consumers shop is driving the journey from web to store as Harpreet Gill, Chief Strategy Officer of Leadformance, part of the Solocal network, explains


ead the headlines over the past few years, and you’d be

tricky to pull off without the right approach and know-how.

forgiven for thinking that the era of the high street is well and

This web-to-store journey is one we see becoming increasingly

truly over. Advances in e-commerce from retailers’ websites and

more valuable especially given the prevalence of smartphones

online market places, to payments security and data collation

and free or cheaper data through WiFi hotspots and 3G and 4G

and analysis, coupled with the proliferation of broadband usage

plans – people now research on the fly, as well as from the home

and smartphone penetration has led to a new breed of shopper.

or office PC.

Pioneers such as Amazon (which launched online in 1995) have

Most retailers will have a store locator but too few make

changed the retail rules – yet even they believe in the power of

use of the functionality beyond merely showcasing where a

the physical, launching in recent years everything from pop-up

business resides. What a waste! A store locator should be search

retail stores to click-and-collect options such as lockers and local

engine optimised; leading to multiple pages dedicated to each

shops, meaning you never need miss a delivery again. Argos, John

store (optimised across devices) for each branch, dealership or

Lewis and others are increasingly bridging the gap between their online and bricksand-mortar stores: a realisation that the future will never be ‘internet-only’. Today’s consumer wants what it wants, when it wants it, be that in-store or online, and retailers are having to rethink the way they interact with, and market to, them. No longer does the shopper always start in-store and buy there and then, or from a PC from viewing to basket to checkout; they switch seamlessly between multiple devices to research, review and order products, electing for delivery, click-

stockist, again improving both visibility

Brands that break through channel silos to create an unobtrusive experience for consumers increasingly used to getting what they want, when they want it, will see substantial improvements in sales and customer retention

and-collect or reserving in-store.

and the shopper’s experience of brand or service. Local search traffic can be vastly increased through simple measures such as engaging and up-to-date content or local offers posted on such store pages – whilst keeping the shopper within your brand universe. Having




optimised for location ranks highly in search engine results and generates more organic traffic for a physical store network. A shopper seeking locally will always have a higher propensity to purchase. For example, luxury haircare

Or increasingly they engage in ‘Research Online, Purchase

brand Kérastase sells through a select network of salons and

Offline’ (ROPO), also known as ‘webrooming’ – that is, doing their

while it has an e-commerce store, it wanted to drive customers

browsing online and then going into a store to make a purchase.

to its independent salons and promote stylists’ proficiencies

The simple fact is that most people still love to shop; to see, feel

too. Through BRIDGE it implemented a section into its website

and try the merchandise, particularly when it comes to clothing

allowing consumers to locate salons and visit a series of salon-

or luxury and considered purchases such as watches and cars.

specific pages. It launched in France in 2012, generating 3.9 times

A recent study from digital agency DigitasLBI suggests that a

more traffic to the local store pages within 12 months and has

staggering 86% of shoppers engage in ROPO and Forrester

now been rolled out globally, including the UK earlier this year.

says that for every €1 European consumers spend online, they

Kérastase also boasts a geolocater built into its website, enabling

will spend €4 in physical stores based on the influence of digital

people to use their location settings to find a nearby salon, which

touchpoints. By 2020, digital will influence 53% of total retail sales

has led to four times as many web-to-store visits and improved

in EU-7*, the research company says, including a combination

SEO rankings. Listing the local pages on Google Maps eases the

of online and offline sales influenced by online research.The

customer journey and boosts SEO rankings yet further.

question is: are retailers making the most of this opportunity? As

Suddenly, local digital marketing moves from being a nice-to-

the consumer moves from a multichannel mindset to an omni-

have to a must-have. Brands that break through channel silos

channel one, is the retail industry still fit for purpose?

to create an unobtrusive experience for consumers increasingly

It’s why we launched BRIDGE, a web-to-store platform that

used to getting what they want, when they want it, will see

aims to square the circle between online browsing and offline

substantial improvements in sales and customer retention. 2016

purchasing. The aim is to turn local web and mobile search into

could well be the year when we see true omni-channel retailing

in-store footfall – a simple proposition in principle but one that is

emerge. I

* UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Sweden info

- january / february 2016 - 41


Exaqtworld – hidden high tech innovation


heft is a small but significant problem faced by most

by one. Traditionally retailers have done this only once a

retailers, but fashion retailers in particular feel the pinch.

year with accuracy rates of around 70%, resulting in sales

With an industry average of 1.5% lost, a £1bn business might

losses because of stock shortages. But with RFID chipped

see £15 million worth of stock stolen each year. For Antoine

stock, it takes one person only 50 minutes to make an

Leloup, CEO of Exaqtworld, these statistics presented a

accurate inventory of the same space by scanning the aisles

challenge as well as an opportunity for innovation in the

with a device that picks up tagged items from a metre away,

form of a connected security tag that does a lot more than

allowing retailers to know exactly what they have and where

set off alarm bells.

every single item is.

With the fashion retailer in mind, Antoine took the

But the newest innovation Antoine has built into

classic large, ungainly, not to mention ugly security tag

his tags is aimed at the customer, and combines the

and transformed it into a smaller, lighter version that not

advantages of traditional brick-and-mortar shopping with

only has a thinner needle that does not damage delicate

the information-rich online shopping experience. Using a

fabrics but also a stronger magnetic mechanism making it

system that is currently being piloted in France, tags have

harder to detach. Added to this, it can easily be put back

been assigned Smart QR codes, which can be scanned with

together and therefore back into use quickly, saving time

QR readers, or, better still, customised store apps on smart

and management of tag stock. Cosmetically it looks better

phones. These not only contain information about the item

too, and can be personalised with the retailer’s branding.

such as price, material and other colours available, but also

These tags, which are used by retailers such as Adidas,

give customers access to a range of services offered by the

Dior, Givenchy and Fendi as well as large department stores

store, including enabling them to buy the item with their

including Le Bon Marché, Le Printemps and Manor in

mobiles and detach the tag themselves in kiosks provided

Switzerland, have proved their worth by reducing theft by

for the purpose, thus avoiding queues at the cashier.

50-70%. The innovation goes further. Embedded with a RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip, these tags can also

Such innovations allow stores to bridge the online and offline experience and place customers at the centre of cross-channel communication. I KF

be used for super fast stock inventory, allowing retailers to increase the frequency and accuracy of their stock takes.

Exaqtworld’s Duraltag3 won a Golden Award at the

Normally a 200m2 store would take four people a whole day

Commerce Connected Show, and it opened its UK

to stock take as items have to be counted and recorded one

subsidiary in October 2015.

42 - info - january / february 2016

delivery on demand How can retailers and logistics companies respond to consumers’ ever-increasing demands to have things ‘now’? Melanie Stancliffe, Partner at law firm Thomas Eggar, discusses some of the issues facing both industries


ur attitudes to shopping are changing and the internet

they want and when they want it, they may not actually know

has a lot to answer for. Figures from the Organisation for

whether or not their wishes can be realistically achieved.

60% of British adults are now buying products such as food,

of the retailer and the carrier to make sure that that can be

clothing, music or holidays online. This is twice the average of

accommodated. So, however challenging it may be, the onus

the OECD’s 34 member states, which include France, the US,

should be on the retailer and carrier to work out how best to

Germany and Australia.

meet changing consumer delivery demands, including speedy

Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that

Consumer expectations around what is possible and what is to be expected when it comes to the delivery of online purchases presents a number of challenges to both retailers

“I think customers probably see it as the responsibility

deliveries, if that is what the customer demands,” Robinson suggests.’ There is a clear need for retailers and their suppliers to

and the companies that transport the goods. The whole supply

work together to produce solutions that meet the consumers’

chain – and its workforce – is forced to adapt to meet our

ever-evolving delivery requirements. It is no longer a case of

shifting cultural demands.

implementing simply a logistics solution, an item of software or IT services, in glorious isolation; now all these separate services

Fulfilling demand and the need for agile workforces English law currently allows businesses to bring in staff on a short-term basis, typically from their bank of previous hires, enabling them to call on an agile and reliable workforce to meet surges in consumer demand. Black Friday is a good example of how retailers such as John Lewis are able to flex their workforce by as many as 2,000 staff to meet the day’s demands. As both retailers and logistics companies strive to provide consumers with ever more choice, with a number of retailers now offering same day delivery, there is an unwillingness from UK businesses to give up the right to work their staff

need to be considered holistically.

Mark Robinson, Director of Customer Delivery operations at retailer John Lewis, notes that there is no reason to expect customers to be aware of the full extent of the logical challenges of making speedy deliveries

over 48 hours per week. However, there is growing concern for the health of our nation’s shift workers: research findings

One of the key ways to do this effectively is to ensure that

increasingly suggest a link between changes in sleep patterns

retailers and their suppliers (and, potentially, their sub-

and fertility to work involving overnight shift patterns.

contractors) have appropriate legal contracts in place. Any such

As of March 2015, larger businesses also now need to

contract should seek to eliminate any grey areas in the particulars

look at whether the flexibility of their supply chain meets the

of the relationships and responsibilities it covers, for instance:

standards of the UK’s Modern Slavery Act. They have to publish

• Do the terms and conditions of the contract provide all

the steps taken to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is

parties with comfort around issues such as termination,

not taking place in any of its supply chains wherever in the world

liability (especially loss or damage to goods carried),

those parts are located.

ownership of any intellectual property rights (particularly in any tailored solution that may be developed), the

Managing the relationship between retailers and logistics

application of TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings {Protection of


Employment} Regulations) on the start and end of the

The white paper produced by Thomas Eggar’s Sarah Birkbeck

contract, and force majeure/disaster recovery?

in 2014 explored the issue of how increased customer demand

• Have all parties in the supply chain fully described the

can impact the relationship between suppliers and logistics

‘service’ they are contracting to deliver? Do they all have

companies. The white paper was informed by interviews with

an effective change management mechanism that enables

leading retailers and logistics companies:

changes to be made to the services during the term of the

‘Mark Robinson, Director of Customer Delivery Operations at


retailer John Lewis, notes that there is no reason to expect

Undoubtedly, there are further issues not explored

customers to be aware of the full extent of the logistical

here that will only be exposed as our relentless demand for

challenges of making speedy deliveries. So, while a significant

convenience from both retailers and logistics companies

number of those consumers may have a clear idea of what

continues and evolves. I


- january / february 2016 - 43

PACKING A PUNCH: How Retailers can cure the Delivery Dilemma With the escalation in online shopping has come the delivery dilemma: how to deliver the goods faster, better and more conveniently for customers, who are increasingly demanding. Jessica Kelly, Manager Digital and Strategy at business consultancy firm BearingPoint, looks at the myriad ways companies are dealing with this and some of the innovations that could spell the future for the all-important last mile

The age-old problem

However, the added operational headache this causes to the

As consumers, we have all shared the frustration of purchasing

logistics providers, combined with their historical failure to

something from an online retailer, only to be left feeling

make robust change, means that the chances of success for

completely underwhelmed (or extremely frustrated) by the

other players in the market are somewhat slim.

poor delivery service. This dissatisfaction most often stems from spending a day under house arrest, waiting for a parcel that may

Innovation and progress

or may not actually materialise. However, what often exasperates

Retailers can look to the likes of River Island, Next and

the frustration is the disappointing

as examples of market leading

experience provided by the inefficient


courier company and their indifferent

delivery as late as 11pm. These

members of staff. It is so often the

businesses have worked closely with

case that the positive experience

their logistics partners to capitalise

offered by shopping online, is undone

on the trend of late-night Internet

by the consumer anxiety relative to

browsing and generate sales at

how the product actually arrives at its

the most captive time of day. Savvy

final destination.

retailers will combine well-executed

The retail and logistics industries are


aware that, as consumer behaviour

by existing logistics providers with

evolves and retailing advancements

a broad but select range of value-

are made, delivery experiences such

adding alternatives. This will provide

as these are no longer going to be

the necessary variety to help boost

acceptable and there are some

basket conversion rates.

evident examples of real progress to combat this. The logistics providers themselves












have ensured the Pick-Up DropOff (PUDO) model is now well

with DPD, part of La Poste’s GeoPost group of companies,

established with the launch of Pass-My-Parcel in 2014. This is

being leaders in the field. Their improved technologies have

the latest move in a growing trend; the path having been paved

seen Predict, the one-hour delivery window service, give more

by CollectPlus, MyHermes and DHL Delivery Point. It’s a great

control back to the consumer, putting an end to the waiting

idea in principle and definitely well received on the whole,

in all day for a parcel to arrive. A move to offer evening and

however, the customer experience can often leave something

weekend delivery as well as selectable timeslots further

to be desired. Stores are not that convenient to attend and the

empowers the consumer and are certainly welcome additions.

staff are ill-equipped to provide a dependable service in line

44 - info - january / february 2016

FOCUS - r e tail in the age of di s rup tion

The imperative is firmly upon retailers to meet the challenging consumer demand for flexibility and affordability in final mile logistics

with the retailer’s expectations.

What next…?

Lockerbox solutions have been successful in other corners

A genuine market-leading alternative is making waves in

of the world, and InPost are at the forefront of the expanding

Stockholm. urb-it is a brand new concept combining the

market. This should be a dream for the logistics outfits, who

business model of taxi service Uber with omni-channel retailing

benefit from the single delivery point for multiple consignments.

to create a whole new customer experience. Using specially

The convenience element for customers and the green

selected delivery people, urb-it integrates with retailer websites

credentials of reducing delivery footprints should further see this

as a bespoke delivery option, allowing the consumer to stipulate

trend grow. For the truly personalised

exactly what they want, when they

touch, Net-a-Porter pretty much got

want it. Answering to universal

it spot on. Use their Premier service


and you get a lovely, well-dressed

green and sustainable, with their

person on your doorstep who hands

delivery specialists only using public



transport, bicycles and walking to get

purchase with a smile. This is not

the product home. Their employees

scalable and does not come cheap,

are all licensed and insured and go

but is a wonderful niche for a high-

through a rigorous selection process

end retailer. Similarly personable

before being invited to join the team.

offerings can be found from apps Jinn

On behalf of the retailer, their product

and Quicup, who will collect the item

service supports the continuation of

from the retailer and deliver to the

the store’s brand identity throughout

door. They are gathering pace and

that all-important last mile.



it will be interesting to watch their





development as they seek a growing


market share of the sector.

Is this the future of delivery? Our very

What is lacking with all of these

own personal shoppers, or is it drone

newer in-app purchase options, however, is real integration

delivery within 30 minutes? It remains to be seen. What is clear,

with the retailers. Building and fostering relationships with

however, is that the imperative is firmly upon retailers to meet

them, having the option for customers to choose exactly when

the challenging consumer demand for flexibility and affordability

they want something delivered, and where, as an option on the

in final mile logistics. Utilising well-managed contracts, with

retailer’s website is what will really make a difference to that all

leading logistics providers, alongside value-adding alternative

important post-purchase consumer satisfaction.

delivery options, will best-position retailers to maximise their ecommerce potential. I


- january / february 2016 - 45


Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Amaluna with a VIP hospitality experience at the world-famous Royal Albert Hall


LIFESTYLE - cirque du soleil

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL returns to the Royal Albert Hall with Amaluna


irque du Soleil returns to the Royal Albert Hall with the

from a spectacular balcony setting. After the luxury reception,

UK premiere of Amaluna, a spectacular acrobatic show

guests will be shown to their premium stalls seats for an

in celebration of 20 years of Cirque performances at

ntimate viewing of the breath-taking performance.

the Hall. This beautiful new show is a celebration of love and a tribute to the work and voice of women.

Guests can also enjoy the ultimate Cirque du Soleil Experience from the comfort of their own private box, followed

Featuring a predominantly female cast, Amaluna is set

by exclusive Behind-the-Scenes access. The experience will offer

on a mysterious island ruled by goddesses. Queen Prospera

an exquisite menu of Champagne, canapés, luxury bowl dishes

causes a storm and a group of young men wash up on the isle,

and desserts combined with the finest views of the performance.

triggering an epic love story between Prospera’s daughter and

At the end of the show, guests will be escorted backstage to gain

a brave young suitor.

a rare glimpse into the world of Cirque du Soleil, meeting some

For the first time ever, the Royal Albert Hall’s acclaimed

of the cast and visiting the unseen costume, dressing room and

and very popular VIP Rouge Experience will be elevated to the

training areas. I 16 January to 6 March

Gallery overlooking the iconic auditorium, giving guests an awe-

For further information, please call 020 7959 0607 or email

inspiring view of the world-famous stage and impressive set


- january / february 2016 - 47


Compiled by Melissa Hat tabi

N E WP O RT S T REE T GA L L ERY, LO N D O N John Hoyland: Power Stations Paintings 1964 –1982

© The John Hoyland Estate, Photo Prudence Cuming Associates

‘Power Stations’ – the inaugural exhibition at Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery – is the first major survey of John Hoyland’s work since 2006. Renowned for his intuitive manipulation of colour, form, line and space, Hoyland emerged at the forefront of the abstract movement in Britain in the early 1960s, and remained an energetic and innovative force within the field, until his death in 2011. The show spans a pivotal period in the artist’s career, which included his first solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1967 and his defining retrospective at the Serpentine Gallery 12 years later. Simultaneously monumental and poetic, the works presented in ‘Power Stations’ are, above all, sensory experiences. I Until 3 April / Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm / Free admission

John Hoyland – 17.5.64


Tate Modern presents the genius behind kinetic sculpture with ‘Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture’. Inspired by his original training as an engineer, Calder made the journey to Paris in the 1920s, where he began creating dynamic works, bringing to life the avant-garde’s fascination with movement. This exhibition is the first major UK retrospective of the American sculptor and showcases a selection of his most significant sculptures from museums around the world, revealing how he drew on movement, choreography and sound to fundamentally transform the principles of modern sculpture. It also features his collaborative projects in the fields of film, theatre, music and dance. I Until 3 April / Open Sunday to Thursday from 10am to 6pm and until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays / Full price £18 Alexander Calder, White Panel 1936 , Calder Foundation, New York, NY, USA

Calder Foundation, New York / Art Resource, NY © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2014

Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture

T H E N AT I O N A L GA L L ERY, LO N D O N Visions of Paradise: Botticini’s Palmieri Altarpiece ‘Visions of Paradise’ provides the rare opportunity to view up close the altarpiece that bewildered scholars for centuries. Francesco Botticini’s Assumption of the Virgin is surrounded by centuries of debate about its misattribution to Sandro Botticelli. The painting is shown alongside related paintings, drawings, prints, manuscripts, ceramics and sculpture for the first time, and focuses on the fascinating life of © The National Gallery, London

Matteo Palmieri who commissioned the painting made especially for the funerary chapel San Pier Maggiore in Florence. I Until 28 March / Open daily from 10am to 6pm, until 9pm on Fridays Free admission 48 - info - january / february 2016

Francesco Botticini The Assumption of the Virgin, Probably about 1475-6, Tempera on wood


BA RB I C A N A RT GA L L ERY, LO N D O N The World of Charles and Ray Eames The Barbican Art Gallery celebrates the exceptionally influential post-war modernist designers with ‘The World of Charles and Ray Eames’. This husband-and-wife team moved fluidly between the fields of photography, film, architecture, exhibition-making and furniture and product design. This exhibition, structured thematically, boasts more than 380 works and includes not only the designs for which they are best known, but provides an insight into the lives of the Eameses, the Eames Office – a Photo Tristan Fewings_Getty Images

self-styled laboratory – and the breadth of their pioneering work, bringing their ideas and playful spirit to life. Highlights include the first moulded plastic chair created by the duo, a range of prototype furniture and even the moulded plywood nose cone of a military aircraft. I Until 14 February / Open Saturday to Wednesday from 10am to 6pm, and until 9pm on Thursdays and Fridays / Full price £14.50

The World of Charles and Ray Eames, Barbican Art Gallery

VI C TO RI A A N D A L B ERT M USEU M , LO N D O N Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection Presenting over 100 spectacular items from the Al Thani private collection of jewels, the Victoria and Albert Museum explores the broad themes of tradition and modernity in design and craftsmanship in Indian jewellery. Highlights include Mughal jades, a rare jewelled gold finial from the throne of Tipu Sultan, and pieces that reveal the dramatic changes that took place in Indian jewellery design during the early 20th century. The exhibition also examines first-hand India’s influence on jewellery made by leading European houses in the 1920s and shows contemporary pieces by modern masters, still drawing on those Indian traditions today. I Until 28 March / Open daily from 10am to 5.30pm, until 9.30pm on Fridays / Full price £10 Gold and diamond hair ornament, ca 1900, Western India

I M PERI A L WA R M USEU M , LO N D O N Lee Miller: A Woman’s War

By Lee Miller with David E. Scherman (79-19-R6) © Lee Miller Archives, England 2015. All rights reserved

Presented in collaboration with the Lee Miller Archive, this incredible selection of more than 150 photographs, objects, works of art and ephemera reveals the scope of Lee Miller’s unique talent. This exhibition is the first to focus specifically on her vision of gender during the Second World War, examining the vital role women played throughout the period and the sizeable impact it had on their mobilised position in society. The Imperial War Museum presents Miller’s rise to accomplished photojournalist beginning with a very personal introduction. This show is as much a biography of Miller as it is the women she commemorates and condemns. I Until 24 April Open daily from 10am to 6pm / Full price £10 Lee Miller in Hitler’s bathtub, Hitler’s apartment, Munich, Germany 1945


- january / february 2016 - 49


at Tower 42


here is a distinctly retro vibe to PAUL’s second restaurant in

London at Tower 42 on Old Broad

Le Restaurant de Paul Tower 42, ground floor, 25 Old Broad Street London, EC2N 1HQ

Street. Muted lighting and dark, graphic tiling contrast with shiny

British national dish!). Donald Russell sirloin steaks are also used for the Entrecôte, Brixham scallops for the Coquilles St Jacques Meunière and salmon from the traditional Severn

brass fittings and pops of red, royal blue and emerald green on

& Wye smokery for the Saumon Fumé. There is even an Arnold

1950s style chairs and rugs. The effect is intimate but stylish,

Bennett Omelette – that rich smoked haddock, egg and cream

a modern take on the French brasserie that is quite different

concoction that a French chef, Jean-Baptiste Virlogeux, created

from PAUL’s more traditional look and feel. Yet the PAUL DNA is

for the English writer at the Savoy Hotel in 1929. You can hardly

still there – from the framed black and white photos depicting

get more Franco-British than that!

its bakery origins to the menu, which to a large extent has

The wine list is, of course, French: a small but well chosen

preserved the French classics, albeit with a twist. And, of course,

selection from independent growers, and in true brasserie

it wouldn’t be PAUL without an on-site bakery producing fresh

tradition there are bières and cidres from French brewery

bread for the restaurant.

Meteor as well as an English beer, Curious Brew, made by Kent

At first glance, amidst the charcuterie, fromages, entrées,

winemakers Chapel Down. The cocktail bar is a first for PAUL,

viandes and poissons, burgers seem a bit out of place, and

offering an enticing mix of old favourites with, of course, French

unusually for a French menu, outnumber the salads, but these

flair. With plenty of room to sit at the bar, and comfortable

burgers have Gallic charm, with homemade brioche buns,

stools, it is a tempting proposition to work your way through

homemade relish and French cheeses, and are perhaps a

the list, accompanied, of course, with a plateau ou deux.

nod to the trendy London burger scene. Although French in

Save room for desserts. PAUL’s patisserie is a well known

name, many of the dishes do have British references, or at least

comptoir of delights, and there is more – brioche perdue,

ingredients, making for a delectable Franco-British experience.

profiteroles, crème brulée and that old English favourite, a

We tried the Côtelettes d’Agneau, made in the traditional

crumble – naturally pomme et mure. The most dangerous

French way, but with British lamb sourced from Donald Russell,

option is a Mousse au Chocolat à Volonté (bottomless in English),

butchers by appointment to HM the Queen, and the Colombo

which will either leave you replete and sweet or swearing off

de Cabillaud, line-caught cod in a light curry sauce (curry being a

chocolate for a long time! I KF

50 - info - january / february 2016


Les 110 de Taillevent opens brasserie in London Taillevent Paris, the Gardinier family-owned group behind the iconic two-Michelin starred Le Taillevent, has opened the doors to Les 110 de Taillevent London, a unique 70-seater food-and-wine matching brasserie, in Cavendish Square. Featuring 110 wines by the glass, paired with contemporary and seasonal French dishes, the brasserie gives guests the opportunity to experience the spirit of Le Taillevent in a relaxed setting. Bringing French art-de-vivre to Londoners, the wine list features rare and singular wines, carefully curated by Pierre Bérot, Director of the Wine Department for Taillevent Paris. The Chamber will be organising a Diner des Chefs at Les 110 de Taillevent on 21 June with two chefs from their Michelin-starred restaurant coming over from Paris to cook for our guests. I

Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London

Vranken Pommery Monopole puts ‘Champagne Life’ on show Vranken Pommery Monopole is continuing its tradition of supporting the arts by sponsoring the latest exhibition at Saatchi Gallery, London. ‘Champagne Life’ is a spectacular collection of works from the best contemporary female artists. Selected from Charles Saatchi’s own collection, it features pieces from world renowned artists such as Tracey Emin, Paula Rego and Jenny Saville. This follows on from the company’s long-standing involvement with Frieze Art Fair, held annually in London and New York, at which they sponsor the Stand Prize for the most innovative gallery with their flagship brand, Champagne Pommery. Vranken Pommery Monopole’s involvement in the arts isn’t limited to sponsoring events as the company has its own exhibition at their beautiful Art Nouveau estate called Villa Demoiselle, with part of the extensive art collection of Henry Vasnier, who headed Pommery until 1907. I Mequitta Ahuja, Rhyme Sequence: Wiggle Waggle 2012 Oil, paper and acrylic on canvas

Chic French patisserie house Ladurée has launched special limited-edition boxes of macarons especially for Christmas. World-renowned for its baked goods, the brand is also famous for its special-edition collectable macaron boxes and has previously collaborated with designers including Matthew Williamson and Lanvin. The three boxes are the ‘Pierrot’ box decorated with an impressive clock and the famous character of ‘Pierrot’ awaiting midnight with impatience‘, the ‘Christmas macaron’ composed of two macarons shells filled with an ivory ganache flavoured with Vanilla of Tahiti and the online exclusive ‘Noël’ box adorned with red and gold motifs to celebrate the Christmas spirit. I

Emois Gourmands hosts wine-tasting dinner at Aubaine restaurant Emois Gourmands, a provider of boutique wines and artisan products, hosted a wine-tasting dinner for 20 in November at Aubaine’s private vault room in Mayfair, pairing three courses with French wines. The company is looking to develop future partnerships with Chamber members, whether hosting events or providing exceptional French boutique wines and artisan products for their clients. I


- january / february 2016 - 51

LIFE S T YLE - cheese & wine pr ess

Rigotte de Condrieu by La Cave à Fromage The Condrieu terroir, on the right bank of the Rhône, is known for its white wines and is the northern white wine appellation in the Rhône Valley. Traditionally, where there are vineyards, very little dairy farming takes place, but from the 19th century, Rigotte was produced around Condrieu by the women who looked after the goats and became known as ‘women’s purse’ because they made the cheese to give themselves some ‘pocket money’ on market days. This goat’s cheese is a small disc shape, reminiscent of a coin, and derives its name from the rigots (streams) that come down from the Pilat massif to the Rhône. Taking eight days to produce, and at its best after two or three weeks, Rigotte is as rich in aromas and sensations as the famous Condrieu wine. I by Eric Charriaux

E: T: +44 (0)845 108 8222 W:

To buy your cheese, visit LA CAVE A FROMAGE SHOPS 24-25 Cromwell Place, 148-150 Portobello Road, 34-35 Western Road, Kensington, London SW7 2LD Notting Hill, London W11 2DZ Hove, Brighton BN3 1AF

Your ideal wine with Rigotte de Condrieu by Wine Story Condrieu is arguably the northern Rhône’s most distinctive wine appellation. It covers white wines made exclusively from Viognier. This appellation originated in 1940, and today over 40 growers produce wine from just over 100 hectares of vineyards, whereas in 1965, the appellation covered only eight hectares. The vineyards are located on a winding section of the River Rhône and are characterised by south- and south-east-facing granite slopes rising steeply from the riverbanks where the average vine age is around 50 years old. The wines from Condrieu are dry with a wonderful floral nose of peaches, apricots, violets and pears, and a relatively low level of acidity. These wines are best drunk young to enjoy their freshness and delicate fruit flavours. The Viognier is authorised in blends of Côtes du Rhône white such as the fresh Vin Gourmand Blanc from Dauvergne & Ranvier, which is a perfect pairing with a long matured and dry Rigotte de Condrieu. I by Thibault Lavergne TO ORDER MICHELIN-STYLE WINES TO DRINK AT HOME, CONTACT: E: T: +44 (0)7921 770 691 W:

52 - info - january / february 2016

This column brings inspiring travel and destination stories from our members in the industry. This time, Exclusif Voyages takes us to exotic India...


DREAMs of rajasthaN A

fter leaving the shimmer of colonial Delhi, we progress to Agra, where the moving curves and delicate forms of the Taj

Mahal set the tone for the artistic beauty of our journey ahead. Gently, Agra gives way to the rose sandstone architecture of Jaipur, imagined long ago by a princely astronomer Maharaja. We wander through the busy alleyways amidst bungalows and bazaars, which contrast with the silent mashrabiyas of the Palace of Winds where the women of the court found shelter in days gone by. Our poetic interlude continues at the Taj Lake Palace, floating like a mirage of marble on the waters of Lake Pichola. This palace of yesteryear reveals to us a fusion of vegetation and embossed inner courts. At first light, we travel to Udaipur, the city of dawn, which houses the City Palace, an ancient winter residence with glass-embedded walls. Increasingly charmed by the intense alchemy of Rajasthan, we fly towards the bluetinged settlement of the Brahmins of Jodhpur. Narrow lavender-

Top left: the intense colours of Rajasthan Top right: The Taj Mahal Above: projecting oriel windows covered in lattice work, known as mashrabiyas, adorn buildings all over Jaipur Left: immaculately dressed school girls with Sophie Arbib, founder of Exclusif Voyages

hued alleys, overlooked by the imposing royal Mehrangarh Fort, throng with merchants in shimmering turbans and elegantly veiled women, processing in an undulating wave of silk. A chai served in the luxurious salons of the Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace, deliciously quenches our thirst before the desert crossing… Under a fierce sun, at the edge of the Thar dunes, we admire the citadel of Jaisalmer, its havelis decorated with intricate stonework above the steppes. Then, following the trail of ancient caravans, we head towards Serai camp, whose white canvas suites offer welcome respite. Our journey ends in Bombay’s Dhobi Ghats, where hundreds of laundrymen set about their business, barely visible beneath an intriguing mosaic of laundry drying in the wind… The best season to discover Rajasthan is from October to the end of April. I

E: T: +44 (0) 7931 099 269 W:


- january / february 2016 - 53


these books, recently published in English, were selected by the french institute

The age of reInvention

The Great Swindle

by Karine

by Pierre

Tuil Published by Scribner Translated by Sam Taylor Original title: L’invention de nos vies


Published by Maclehose

Press Wynne Original title: Au revoir là-haut Translated by Frank

From New York to Paris, from the up-scale neighbourhoods of

October 1918: the war on the Western Front is all but over.

the French Capital to the wastelands of the periphery, Karine Tuil

Desperate for one last chance of promotion, the ambitious

takes us on a humorous odyssey through society.

Lieutenant Henri d’Aulnay Pradelle sends two scouts over the

What drives Sam Tahar to keep going? Money, luxury goods, a lovely marriage to the daughter of a powerful man, success

top, and secretly shoots them in the back to incite his men to heroic action once more.

with women, recognition from the New York State Bar, where this

And so is set in motion a series of devastating events that

fearsome lawyer practices, or his numerous appearances on TV?

will inextricably bind together the fates and fortunes of Pradelle

Sam has got it all… so what more does he want? To forget, maybe.

and the two soldiers who witness his crime: Albert Maillard and

Because his success is based on a lie: he made his fortune by

Édouard Péricourt.

ransacking the life of his once best friend, Samuel Baron, a failed

Back in civilian life, Albert and Édouard struggle to adjust

writer, son of Jewish intellectuals, who slowly wastes away in an

to a society whose reverence for its dead cannot quite match

explosive inner city, and whose only consolation is the beautiful

its resentment for those who survived. But the two soldiers

and gentle Nina, a model for department store catalogues.

conspire to enact an audacious form of revenge against the

These three were close friends 20 years ago. And when they meet again, after the suspense pulls the reader through to the last page, everything explodes. An international bestseller and finalist for the Prix Goncourt, France’s most prestigious literary award, The Age of Reinvention is a suspenseful Gatsbian tale. I

Modigliani by Fabrice

Le Hénanff and Laurent Seksik Published by Salammbo Press Translated by Joel Anderson and Stéfane Houssier

country that abandoned them to penury and despair, with a scheme to swindle the whole of France on an epic scale. Meanwhile, believing her brother killed in action, Édouard’s sister Madeleine has married Pradelle, who is running a little scam of his own… The Great Swindle is political as much as it is picaresque. I

lebey guide Published by

La Page

Propelled by illness, addiction, drink and drugs to abandon sculpture, Modigliani is a man for whom painting is a struggle, a painful obsession even. Despite his peers Picasso, Matisse and Soutine already flirting with consecration, his first oneman exhibition at Gallery Weill provokes outrage, and his nude paintings are taken off the walls. Modigliani is as paradoxical as his paintings; passionate but inconstant, his love for his wife undermined by his nights with beggars. Even his friend and patron Leopold Zlobowski, deep in admiration of his talent, despairs. Fabrice Le Hénanff’s exceptional artwork is very realistic. He heightens his atmospheres with snow and rain, or warmer colours, the shades of the South of France. He gives life to places of the past, faces, perfumes and tactile sensations. It is never easy to reanimate icons, but Fabrice Le Henanff and Laurent Seksik meet the challenge by revisiting and illuminating the last year of Modigliani’s life. I 54 - info - january / february 2016

For the first time, the famous French guide for bistros and gastropubs is listing the best places to eat well not only in Paris but also in London. Written in French and English, this restaurant guide is a must-have for gourmandises on both sides of the Channel. With 200 addresses listed, you won’t run out of inspiration! I



Le meilleur moyen de s’adresser à la communauté francophone de Londres

n° 201 – 10-12 Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2HF, 020 7581 1588 – © Florent Drillon

décembre 2015 GR ATUIT

NOËL MADE IN FRANCE Notre sélection cadeaux

CARAVAN PALACE L’odyssée du swing

Depuis son numéro 200, le magazine Ici Londres vous réserve de nombreuses surprises :

Nouvelles rubriques Nouveau design Retrouvez chaque mois Ȉ 7RXWHOȀDFWXDOLW¥IUDQ£DLVHœ/RQGUHV Ȉ 1RVSHWLWHVDQQRQFHV Ȉ 1RWUHFDUQHWSURIHVVLRQQHO 020 7581 1588


appy New Year from the Board, the Advisory Council and the team of the Chamber!

We saw out 2015 with a flurry of events, most of them

packed into the last few weeks. These ranged from our 19th Annual Financial Lunch to a very successful Franco-British Digital Conference. Of note was an inspiring debate between our President Estelle Brachlianoff and Helena Morrissey, Founder of the 30% Club. It was a pity that so few men attended as the issues they discussed don’t just concern women, and it has prompted a rethink of the ‘Women, Inspiration and Leadership’ title of this event – watch out for its more man-friendly entitled successor later this year! Congratulations go to the two companies that emerged from close competition as the winners of the 16th FrancoBritish Business Awards – La Belle Assiette and Decathlon - while Societe Generale was recognised for its long-standing commitment and contribution to the Chamber with the Jury Award. In preparation for their 2016 programmes, the Chamber’s Forums and Clubs held brainstorming sessions, but there were a couple of particularly relevant presentations, most notably RIchard Brown CBE’s talk at the Climate Change Forum on extreme weather adaptation which came just a week or two before Storm Desmond caused devastating flooding. His checklist for businesses is a must-read. The Luxury Club had breakfast in the gorgeous Maison Assouline while learning about the latest trends in tourist luxury spend. We ended the year with a record number of Corporate members, topping 100 for the first time. This issue records seven of the latest to join alongside a new Patron member – London Philharmonic Orchestra, and 13 new Active members. Our year begins with a promising programme, starting in good French tradition with La Galette de Rois at PAUL’s new Tower 42 restaurant (reviewed in this issue on p 50), followed by Breakfast with Jacques Attali on 11 January and the reprise of our Cross-Cultural Quiz, aptly held in conjunction with the presentation of our Intercultural Trophy, on 14 January. If last year’s questions are anything to go by, I would suggest you spend time brushing up on your cross-cultural general knowledge! I FG

THE FRENCH CHAMBER wishES you all the best for 2016

56 - info - january / february 2016


The 2016 Franco-British Trade Directory is out! The 2016 Franco-British Trade Directory should be landing on the desks of all members soon. This practical reference tool lists more than 2,000 contacts and allows searches by sector, company name or representative’s name. The Directory also includes many useful contacts in both the UK and France. The online version, which is updated regularly, can be accessed at

New main representatives Elisabeth Proust has been appointed Managing Director of Total E&P UK. An engineer by profession, she has held a number of senior posts within Total including Vice President for Development Engineering, Managing Director of Total E&P Indonesia and also Managing Director of Total E&P Nigeria. In her new role she is responsible for leading Total’s upstream business in the UK as it becomes the country’s largest offshore oil and gas operator.

David Akers has been appointed as Resourcing, Talent, Compensation & Benefits Director for EDF Energy. He joined EDF Energy in 2006 as the Senior HR Business Partner for Nuclear Generation before progressing to become HR Director for the Generation business in 2009. His current role brings together the companywide activities of talent management, strategic resourcing, performance management and compensation and benefits. David takes over from Dimitri Hovine, who was appointed Director of HR and Safety in Customers in July 2015.

David Akers

Hats off to... Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive Officer of Eurostar was recently awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur, the highest honour that the French government can bestow, by Finance Minister Michel Sapin at Bercy. Nicolas became CEO of Eurostar in April 2010. He joined as Director of Customer Services, London, in August 2003 before spending almost four years as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to his tenure at Eurostar, Nicolas worked for SNCF as the Secretary General for Direction Grandes Lignes and Operational General Manager for the Paris Saint-Lazare area. In addition to his extensive experience in the transport industry in both the UK and France, Nicolas gained an MBA from INSEAD in 2003.

Estelle BrachlianofF, Senior Executive Vice President of Veolia UK & Ireland, and President of the French Chamber, has been named Sustainability Leader of the year at the 2015 edie Sustainability Leader Awards. Organised by, these awards celebrate the individuals and organisations that are setting the standard when it comes to doing business better and 88 finalists were whittled down by the panel of judges to 14 separate winners, with categories ranging from Energy and Water Management through to Sustainable Supply Chains, Employee Engagement and Product Innovation. Estelle was praised by judges for her passion and commitment to bring others along their sustainability journey.


- january / february 2016 - 57


1 new Patron member

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Represented by Timothy Walker AM, Head, Chief Executive and Artistic Director | The London Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the world’s finest symphony orchestras, balancing a long and distinguished history with a reputation as one of the UK’s most adventurous and forward-looking orchestras. As well as giving classical concerts and opera performances in the UK and internationally, the Orchestra also records film and video game soundtracks, has its own record label, and reaches thousands of people every year through activities for schools and local communities. Resident at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, as well as Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Orchestra performs under the baton of Principal Conductor, Vladimir Jurowski.

7 NEW CORPORATE memberS Eptica - Software for an improved customer experience | Represented by Olivier Njamfa, CEO Eptica’s multichannel and multilingual customer engagement software is designed around a central knowledge base, powerful workflow and advanced linguistic capabilities that enable organisations to quickly understand the tone, sentiment and context of digital interactions. This improves engagement with customers, increases efficiency and drives sales, all through their channel of choice. Available worldwide, Eptica is located in London, Paris, Boston and Singapore. Jean Paul Viguier UK Ltd - Architecture/Urban Design/Interior Design/Landscape | Represented by Jean-Paul Viguier, President Jean Paul Viguier UK Ltd is the London based office of Jean Paul Viguier et Associés (95 professionals and 13 different nationalities led by Jean Paul Viguier, a graduate of l’Ecole des Beaux Arts and Harvard University GSD). Internationally renowned for its architecture, urban planning, interior and landscape design, the practice has, over the last two decades, placed its clients’ needs at the heart of every project to deliver innovative, unique and elegant design solutions (Majunga Tower, Néo Brussels, etc.) Orange Brand Services Ltd - Telecommunications Services Provider | Represented by Florence Njamfa, Global Creative and Brand Communications Director Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of €39 billion in 2014 and 157,000 employees worldwide at 30 September 2015. Present in 28 countries, the Group has a total customer base of 263 million customers worldwide, including 200 million mobile customers and 18 million fixed broadband customers. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. PEOPLEDOC - Cloud-based HR service delivery solution | Represented by KARINE RIVOIRE, UK Country Manager Adopted by many of the world’s top companies, PeopleDoc empowers employees to quickly and easily access relevant HR information, and enables HR to get more done with fewer resources. PeopleDoc’s cloud-based HR Service Delivery platform is the only comprehensive suite that can automate processes in all stages of the employee lifecycle, from hire to retire.

58 - info - january / february 2016

Piaget - Luxury watchmaker and jeweller | Represented by Lorenza Cavalli, UK Brand Director Founded in 1874, Piaget cultivates a spirit of luxury while emphasising its creativity and its fully integrated watchmaking and jewellery expertise. With its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and 80 boutiques around the world, the Swiss luxury jeweller and watch brand is renowned for its ultra-thin and high jewellery watches. Piaget craftsmanship is known to create unique luxury watches and refined jewellery pieces. Their painstaking attention to detail is one of the keys to Piaget’s success. Stack Overflow - The home of the world’s developers | Represented by angela nyman, Marketing Director, EMEA Having run the largest community of professional programmers in the world since 2008, we know a lot about developers. With nearly 30 million monthly visitors, we have unparalleled insights into how developers think, what matters to them and what gets them excited. We use our knowledge to help employers understand, attract and engage with the world’s technical talent via Stack Overflow Careers – our technical hiring platform. Teads ltd - Online video advertising company | Represented by Christophe Parcot, Chief Operating Officer Teads is the inventor of outstream video advertising and a global monetisation platform for publishers. Publishers work with Teads to create brand new video inventory and manage their existing inventory through programmatic buying, their own sales force, or third parties. Teads’ outstream solutions encompasses a series of formats inserted deep into media content. It is changing the game within the video advertising market by creating unprecedented levels of premium inventory. Brands and agencies can access this top-tier, premium inventory, available on the web and on mobile, through programmatic or managed services.

13 NEW ACTIVE members AKOYA Consulting - Human capital strategy Represented by Antoine Aubois, Partner

Galeforce TV - Producers of high-end corporate video content Represented by Alain Gales, Founder & Creative Director

Barnes International - International luxury real estate Represented by Albane Dehen, Marketing Director

London School of International Communication Intercultural, communication and leadership training Represented by Cathy Wellings, Director

Be The 1 UK - Quality recruitment consulting/retail and luxury Represented by Emmanuelle Thomas, UK Manager Brann Translations - Translations and proofreading in all languages Represented by Charlotte Brann, Director Davron Ltd - Translation, interpretation & education Represented by Anne-Cécile Bourget-Davron, Managing Director Distech Controls SAS - Energy management solutions/ building management services & technologies Represented by Martin Villeneuve, Vice-President Europe/ Managing Director SAS

Molydal Lubricants Limited - Industrial lubricants Represented by Jean-Louis Pauphillat, CEO ON5 Company Ltd- Energy efficiency company Represented by Anne-France Kennedy, Director Powwownow - Fastest growing telecoms provider Represented by Hollie Bennett, European Marketing Manager Talan Consulting UK Limited - Consultancy services Represented by Marjane Mabrouk, Director

Everience - IT, business & end user services Represented by Nicolas Schütz, International Business Developer


- january / february 2016 - 59



Societe Generale is a French credit institution (bank) that is supervised by the European Central Bank (‘ECB’) and the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (the French Prudential Control and Resolution Authority) (‘ACPR’) . This document is issued in the U.K. by the London Branch of Societe Generale, authorized by the ECB, the ACPR and Prudential Regulation Authority and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our authorisation and regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority, and regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority are available from us on request. © Shenghung Lin Photos / Getty Images - FRED & FARID

60 - info - january / february 2016


5 November

Annual Financial Lunch: Looking ahead for Europe Sponsored by

In what has now become a time-honoured tradition, members of the Chamber’s financial and business community gathered at The Berkeley for the Annual Financial Lunch, sponsored by Societe Generale, which was addressed by Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Chairman of the Board of Societe Generale


ou could say this event has come of age,’ Ian Fisher, Societe

just been kicked down the road with another €80bn package

Generale Chief Country Officer and Head of Coverage &

and no clarity on whether Greece would be able to stand on its

Investment Banking UK commented as he opened the 19th

own two feet in another two or three years. The banking union

lunch the bank has sponsored. ‘We sponsor it because of the

has been implemented, but it is still only half way there, and a

great importance we place on this event and the extraordinary

capital market union is very far from being achieved. Europe

work the Chamber does in supporting and furthering UK-French

is also facing new challenges, migration being top of the list.

relations.’ He introduced guest speaker Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, a

Although things look better than they did a few months ago, the

renowned economist, former member of the Executive Board

situation is not stable.

of the European Central Bank (2005-2011) and since earlier in 2015, Chairman of the Board of Societe Generale.

So what gives the markets such optimism? The lesson they seem to have learnt is that Europe was built out of crisis,

‘Looking ahead for Europe’ was how Lorenzo framed his

and although at times it looks lost, it always finds last minute

insights on the perspectives and challenges for growth in

redemption, so betting against Europe has proved costly.


Whether it will continue to work is another question.

Differentiating between the views of economists and

To be a true monetary union with a fiscal capacity to protect

those of the markets, he judged the market view of Europe as

the union against shocks, fundamental transfers of sovereignty

being quite benign. The perception is that it is not particularly

will have to happen and many see this as a huge step that

exciting but still sound and gradually picking up. There are good

Europe may not have the strength to take. Yet, Europe has

reasons for that – oil prices, a rebalancing of growth based on

already taken major steps of monetary and banking union,

domestic demand and increased purchasing power thanks

which were inconceivable not so long ago. These changes

to lower commodity prices. Financial tensions have subsided,

were made through democratic processes when people were

spreads are back to minimal levels and the Euro is stable if not

convinced that the existing system was not working. Managing

too strong. This relatively positive stance of the market begs the

by crisis is inherent in our democracies, and it is not exclusive to

question, are markets being too short-sighted or incorporating

Europe, as US history testifies. Change comes when people are

factors that economists are not?

confronted and see it as the right way to go. In the end, Europe

From an economist’s perspective, Europe’s problems have not been fully resolved. Some of its institutional shortcomings

is fragile by design, but the world would be unthinkable without it. Perhaps this is what the markets have understood.

have been addressed, but others have not. Policies are moving

A Q&A session followed, moderated by Peter Alfandary,

in the right direction – monetary policy is very accommodative,

Senior Vice President of the French Chamber. Thanks go

fiscal policy is a bit more relaxed and some progress has been

to Vranken Pommery for the Champagne at the pre-lunch

made on structural policies, albeit not enough in Italy and

reception, as well as Les Vins du Médoc and Les Vins de Pessac-

France. And Europe is not yet done with the Greek crisis – it has

Léognan for providing the wines served at lunch. I KF


- january / february 2016 - 61

HELENA MORRISSEY Founder of The 30% Club, Chief Executive Officer of Newton Investment Management

Women in the workplace:


Inspiration & Leadership

Only days after the publication of Lord Davies’ 5-year summary report on Women on Boards, the French Chamber hosted its second annual debate between two women leaders on the prevailing issues that women face in business and progress in overcoming them


elena Morrissey is optimistic about the opportunities

she says, ‘not so much a case of “leaning in” as diving in.’

ahead for women in the workplace. As founder of the

As the head of a company that manages £50 billion and now

30% Club, a cross-business initiative aimed at achieving 30%

with nine children, aged 24 to 6, Helena could be said to have

women on UK corporate boards, she has kept a close eye on

cracked combining career and family, although she does concede

the progress being made in raising the proportion of women on

that having a job that is not transaction oriented and a husband

boards – from 12.5% in 2010 to 26.1% in FTSE 100 companies

who opted to become a stay-at-home freelancer did help. But

today. There are now no all-male boards in the FTSE 100, while

more and more young women were asking her how she managed

amongst the smaller FTSE 250 companies, the number has

it. ‘Having had a few knocks along the way, I felt I not only had a

dwindled from 131 to 15 in five years. ‘That is a dramatic shift

responsibility but also a desire to help them if I could,’ Helena

and it has all been done, not with quotas, but through voluntary

says. She set up a women’s development network but found that

business-led change,’ she says. There is, she admits, still much

despite the inspirational talks and networking, little had changed

to be done, particularly in senior management levels. ‘I have to remind myself that there are twice as many men called John as CEOs or Chairs of FTSE 100 companies than there are women with all the names!’ Helena’s interest in this stems from personal experience and a career path was men... saying that they wanted to see more women at the board table that helped shift it from being a women’s issue to being everyone’s issue

she describes as ‘unconventional’. An

after four years. So realising that objectives had to be set and change had to start from the top, Helena founded the 30% Club in 2009 to push for voluntary business-led change. ‘For me, it is all about men and women collaborating towards a goal we believe in.’ Unwittingly, she found the key to success was having male champions of

early awareness of the issues was formed at school, when as the

change: ‘Instead of women talking to each other, it was men – the

only girl taking A Level Maths and Physics, she found herself in a

majority white, heterosexual and middle-aged – saying that they

very male-dominated environment in which she initially struggled,

wanted to see more women at the board table that helped shift it

but gradually found the dynamic shifted a bit towards her, from

from being a women’s issue to being everybody’s issue.’ The 30%

dysfunctional to more collaborative. Helena was later shocked to

Club, which now has chapters in 10 countries, has evolved into

discover the world of work was not the equal opportunity place

supporting initiatives from school room to board room in order

she had envisaged as a University of Cambridge graduate. Aged

to ensure that change is sustainable and meaningful, including

25, she was passed over for an expected promotion because, as

cross-company mentoring schemes involving 44 companies and

she was told, having a baby had put her commitment in question.

with two-thirds of the mentors being men.

Her response was to move to a smaller, more entrepreneurial

Estelle Brachlianoff can relate to Helena’s start in a male-

firm where she ‘created opportunities to sit at the table’,

dominated world. She graduated from Ecole Polytechnique and

although she admits having to adapt her behaviour to fit in with

then as an engineer from Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées

the prevailing status quo. Within seven years she became CEO

in a cohort where women comprised only 8%. Yet, even 10 years

– an indication, she says, of how important it is for women to

ago, she admits that she would never have agreed to speak at

find the right cultural fit in order to progress. With no managerial

an event about women’s issues. ‘Now I perfectly understand

experience and a busy home life with a growing family, ‘it was,’

why this should be tackled,’ she says. Estelle spent a decade as

62 - info - january / february 2016

ESTELLE BRACHLIANOFF Senior Executive Vice-President, UK & Ireland of Veolia, President of the French Chamber of Great Britain

perils and progress


Inspiration & Leadership

a civil servant building highways, motorways and tramways, as

and results but also ability to connect and influence people,

well as holding a cabinet office position, before joining Veolia

i.e. the old boy’s network, and it is at this time when women

where she has held three CEO positions, working across waste

are supposed to be high flyers that they are likely to be having

management to facility management before taking charge of

children – a stressed time when it is now or never on all fronts;

Veolia’s UK and Ireland business, which spans dismantling oil

the 40s bring more freedom and fun, but the problem is that

rigs to collecting Westminster’s waste. How she has made her

many women are lost to professional life by this stage.

way in this almost completely non-female environment comes

‘The Davis Report says there are six reasons why we should

down to three factors: never quitting; asking ‘why not’, instead of

have more women on boards, from performance to reputation.

‘why’ when the opportunity arises; and picking a good husband

I would add another one – it’s fun! More diversity brings more

(another thing she has in common with Helena).

innovation and creativity,’ Estelle concluded.

‘Many might think that having a woman in this position as a

Moderator Marc Roche, London correspondent for Le

role model is a good thing, but it is not enough,’ Estelle says. ‘One

Point, kicked off the Q&A which raised questions on quotas,

female on a board is a start, but a critical mass works better.’ In

company cultures and women being obstacles to women. On

the UK, she has a much more diverse board than the one she

quotas, Helena was unequivocal: ‘We have achieved more than

inherited, not only in terms of gender balance but nationality,

a doubling of the representation of women on boards without

profile and professional background. For her, diversity is not just

a quota. I think it is more real than a quota. It has to be more

gender. Other factors she identifies as helping to bring about change include engaging top managers, having KPIs ‘because if the boss does not care about measuring progress,



What remains to be tackled is culture and bias, which is less about action and more about mindset


than just the appearance of change.’ Whereas Estelle revealed she had had a change of heart: ‘I used to be against quotas because I was raised in a French meritocracy. The problem is, you need a critical mass,

and empowering women through mentoring, coaching and

but it is taking too long to get there, so there may be a need for

managing the process, for example rooting out criteria in HR

temporary quotas.’

processes that would naturally exclude women. ‘Now 38% of

As for women being their own worst enemy, Helena

graduate applicants are women, double what it was two years

noted that some women do feel they would be marginalised

ago, and 83% stay after maternity leave.’ These are figures to be

or negatively perceived if they were seen to be helping other

proud of, but, she admits, ‘we are not there yet. What remains

women to make their way to the top, while others don’t believe

to be tackled is culture and bias, which is less about action and

in helping women because no one ever helped them, ‘but it’s

more about mindset.’ Having been there herself, Estelle is only

not about getting a few women at the top to fly the flag, it’s

too aware that men and women tend to be different at work

about bringing about change,’ she said. Estelle added that

in terms of behaviour, interaction and the way they react, and

many women want to be seen for themselves, for their own

that being conscious of this enables you to leverage on it. ‘Being

achievements rather than as women. ‘But increasingly change is

a woman in an organisation is exactly like being a different

happening not because it is morally right or trendy but because

nationality,’ she says.

there is a business argument,’ she stated. She advocated role

One of those differences is the career cycle: in their 20s,

models ‘so that women think it is possible’, but also turned the

women emerge from the same education system as men, get

tables slightly: ‘A lot of women are now saying yes I can do it, but

their first jobs, have ambitions and don’t understand why they

are questioning, do I want to?’

would have to choose between a career and having children;

The event was held at the May Fair hotel and sponsored

in their 30s, comes the culture shock of everything happening

by Chanel, which presented every participant with a bottle of

at once, when they are judged not only on quantity of work

perfume. I KF


- january / february 2016 - 63

The Franco-British

small meets big


The first ever Franco-British Digital Conference, organised in partnership with the French Embassy, the Franco-British Council and FrenchConnect London, offered a unique opportunity to hear major digital players in France and Britain – both large companies and innovative start-ups – discuss their successes, their common obstacles, and the latest best practice in surviving and thriving in a fast-moving industry


he aim of the conference was to bring together the big

be used where the market and private finance won’t go. The

beasts of the digital industries and the nimble, disruptive

UK is one of the first countries to put coding on the national

start-ups, and the mood was one of collaboration – from


the off, the French Ambassador, HE Ms Sylvie Bermann, who introduced the conference, stated that 95% of French start-ups

A tale of two cities

want to work with big businesses.

From this Franco-British perspective, the agenda moved to the

The day began with the views from the leading figures in

view from the two capital cities. First up was Gerard Grech, CEO

government on both sides of the channel: Axelle Lemaire, French

of TechCity which began in the tech cluster around Shoreditch

Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, and Ed Vaizey, British Minister

in London in 2010, and has since spread its influence across

of State for Culture and the Digital Economy. Both said that

Britain. Grech highlighted London’s notable strengths in

investment in infrastructure was a priority for their respective

financial tecnnology (FinTech), data management and analysis,

governments, but that private companies had to play a key role.

marketplace, ecommerce, software development and the

‘The French are massively internet-savvy,’ said Axelle Lemaire.

creative industries, but he stressed that the influence of the

‘But more investment by SMEs is needed.’ Ed Vaizey stressed

digital revolution stretches beyond the capital, with 1.46 million

that public funds for broadband and mobile roll-out should only

people employed in the tech industry across the UK.

Top left: Karine Bidart gives her presentation on Paris&Co Left: Mycoocoon was one of the exhibitors; the first panel debates digital transformation

64 - info - january / february 2016


Digital Conference - 12 November

Ed Vaizey, UK Minister of State for Culture & the Digital Economy

Axelle Lemaire, French Secretary of State for DIgital Affairs

...the overriding theme of the day [was] that business relationships are between individual people. “The human chemistry is key. If you can’t play as a team, you fail” Then it was the turn of Karine Bidart, Deputy Manager of

Jean-Baptiste Bouzige (founder and CEO, Ekimetrics). Ekimetrics

Paris&Co, the economic development and innovation agency of

works with Eurostar on interpreting their data to provide greater

Paris. Paris&Co is the biggest incubator in Europe, with 200 start-

insight into marketing initiatives. Benbassat estimated a 15%

ups on 10 sites across the city, covering everything from sport to

increase in marketing efficiency since the collaboration began,

social entrepreneurship. Karine Bidart raised the importance of

while Bouzige stressed that Ekimetrics were not simply providing

providing an environment in which start-ups can experiment, as

a product – the context and interpretation that the start-up

well as facilitating connections with corporate clients (a need that

provides help create the compromise between the complex data

was echoed by the audience).

and simple recommendations.

Offering a personal perspective on launching and running a start-up in each of the cities were Julien Callede (co-founder

Digital transformation and the big players

and COO of and Greg Marsh (co-founder and CEO

For large, established companies, adapting to the new digital

of onefinestay). Callede was born and studied in France, and

landscape can bring its unique challenges. While there are

pointed to access to expert investors as the main reason his

benefits in having scale, it can be difficult to change direction or

start-up was founded in London. Onefinestay began in London

launch initiatives quickly. And while these companies may be keen

and expanded to New York before taking its high-end service to

to work with start-ups, they are aware that these new entrants to

Paris at the end of 2013. Marsh highlighted that practice made

the market may also be a source of competition.

perfect on their roll-out method, but also that the consistently

To explore these issues, the conference convened a panel

positive coverage from the likes of Le Monde and Le Figaro helped

comprising Christophe Chazot (Group Head of Innovation, HSBC),

raise the company’s profile.

Andrew Humphries (Co-Founder, The Bakery & UKTI Global Entrepreneur, Dealmaker), Tom Swanson (Chief Digital Officer,

Start-ups working with big companies

Atos) and Pierre Peladeau (Partner at PwC Strategy & Digital).

A major area of interest for the conference audience was how

A common theme of the discussion was that for all companies

start-ups could better engage and work with large corporate

– large or small – it’s the interaction with the end customer that

clients. Jonathan Chippindale, Co-founder and CEO of ‘augmented

can and should be improved by a move to digital. ‘Customer

retail solutions’ start-up Holition (see interview on p 30), was not

experience is the critical core of digital transformation,’ said

afraid to point out the obstacles in their area. Key amongst these


is the need to educate companies about the fact that they need

But while all the panelists recognised the benefits of working

to fundamentally change their approach to engaging with their

with start-ups, there were several common barriers to achieving

audience, rather than expecting a new piece of technology to

this. There were nods of recognition from both the audience

rescue them. ‘Brands do not call the shots any more,’ Chippindale

and panel when Peladeau highlighted the positive and negative

said. ‘They need to get a digital attitude.’

themes raised by start-ups when asked about working with big

A case study of a highly successful collaboration came from

companies. On the positive side were hackathons, POCs, open

Lionel Benbassat (Head of Marketing and Brand, Eurostar) and

data and APIs. On the negative were decision governance,


- january / february 2016 - 65

The Franco-British

small meets big


procurement processes, payment terms and – something that was an ongoing theme of the day – finding the right entry points to initiate projects. When questioned by the audience on how to find the best entry point into larger companies, the panelists recommended intermediary organisations (of which both The Bakery and Atos have examples), and the importance of personal relationships.

View from the start-ups The afternoon sessions began with Pascal Cagni, Founder and CEO of C4 Ventures, and former General Manager and Vice President of Apple Europe, Middle East, India and Africa, in conversation with Alexandre Sagakian, co-founder of FrenchConnect London. Cagni is a giant in the digital world, and he hit a suitably epic tone – stating both that 73% of Europe’s population admire entrepreneurs, but that ‘we’re hardly leaving the era of the digital bronze age’. He discussed the more recent adaptation of luxury brands to the digital world – with Net-A-Porter as a great example – and stressed that support for start-ups has to go beyond the mere financial: ‘The new VC game is all about operational support’. This was music to the ears of the audience. In the next panel discussion, another key theme of the conference emerged: the disruption that is often discussed in relation to digital never ends, and there is always somebody gunning for yesterday’s big start-up. The message: only the

Pascal Cagni, Founder and CEO of C4 Ventures, and former General Manager and Vice President of Apple Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (2000-2012)

paranoid survive! The notion of ‘scale-ups’ was introduced – start-

optimistic business plans. ‘The real results tend to be either

ups that have made the leap from inception to expansion. Nicolas

worse, or better, than the business plan predicted,’ he said.

Brusson, co-Founder and COO of hugely successful ride-sharing start-up BlaBlaCar, explained that they had tackled their need

A human industry

to expand into the European market by hiring teams in other

The closing keynote came from Pierre Chappaz, founder and


Executive Chairman of hugely successful adtech company Teads.

Taking audience questions, both Marie Ekeland, President of

Although he had much insight to give on the technological and

France Digitale, and Rachel Delacour, co-founder and General

financial hurdles that must be overcome to succeed as a start-

Manager of BIME Analytics, highlighted the lack of experienced

up in Europe, he also returned to the overriding theme of the

angel investors in the European market as a reason why start-

day: that business relationships are between individual people.

ups look to the US. Ekeland did say that start-ups can be a key

‘The human chemistry is key,’ he said. ‘If you can’t play as a team,

force in helping large companies to innovate: ‘It can be difficult for

you fail.’ Between the wisdom of the speakers and panels, the

companies to distract their best people to look at innovation’.

networking that took place in the coffee breaks, and atmosphere

Nicolas Debock, investor at Balderton Capital, who brought

of Franco-British collaboration, this conference should have gone

the views of the VCs, echoed the fact that big companies can

a long way to fostering exactly those kind of valuable human

use strategic acquisition to foster innovation, and reiterated

connections. I by Alan Rutter, Co-Founder of Clever Boxer, and

that investment is made in people rather than elaborate and

a moderator at the conference

The Chamber would like to thank all those who made the conference possible: the sponsors: Atos, HSBC, PwC, London & Partners and Tramonex; its partners: The French Embassy, the Franco-British Council and FrenchConnect London; the exhibitors who had stands at the venue: Atos, Good Angel, HSBC, linkfluence, mycoocoon,, Pwc, Tramonex, Tridelity and Wisembly, which also facilitated the live audience interaction during the conference; and the moderators Alan Rutter and Alexandre Sagakian, President of FrenchConnect London. Main Sponsors

66 - info - january / february 2016

Supporting Sponsors



- 13 October

S.T. Dupont


he Chamber organised a

Business Club Cocktail

for S.T. Dupont, which took place at the French

Residence. A chance to network extensively with 160 fellow members and learn more about S.T. Dupont, the French manufacturer of luxury goods, were the key ingredients of this event. Sharon Flood, Chairman of S.T. Dupont and Alain

Crevet CEO, were there to welcome guests, and Alain gave a very interesting presentation on the history of the brand and its particular know-how, cultivated since 1872. With its rich tradition of crafting for the elite, the host explained how S.T. Dupont creates exceptional products that are designed to stand the test of time. To demonstrate this craftsmanship, there was a display of some of S.T. Dupont’s best pieces, among them refined lighters, pens and leather goods. But the star of the show was the new limited edition James Bond Spectre Lighter, the creation of which posed a particular challenge when it came to incorporating the iconic gunbarrel hole in the middle of it! For all those present, it was a pleasurable, sophisticated evening, enjoyed in a relaxed atmosphere. I MH


- 21 October

French flair in the City


ringing a taste of Paris to London’s financial district, the new PAUL restaurant on the ground floor of Tower 42 played host to 50 Chamber members. Guests were invited to taste cocktails from PAUL’s first bar and a selection of PAUL specials including minicroissants, macaroons and petit-fours, as well as charcuterie and cheeses. With a DJ set playing all evening, the atmosphere was fun and friendly, and everyone left happy, hands full of delicious meringues. (For a review of the restaurant, see page 52). I MH

patron event

- 15 October

A night at the ballet


or this special event, 20 Patron members gathered at the elegant Royal Opera House for an exclusive evening watching a Royal Ballet rehearsal. Organised thanks to the Chamber’s longstanding partnership with the ROH, the night started with a private backstage tour led by Margaret Andraos, Senior Philanthropy Manager. Guests then enjoyed a Champagne reception in the Royal Retiring Room, where Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet introduced his work and the evening’s rehearsal programme. With the auditorium to themselves, the guests were in a privileged position to watch the rehearsal and the final adjustments of the intense Viscera, led by choreographer Liam Scarlett, a British talent who was appointed as the Royal Ballet’s first artist in residence. Our thanks to Florence Siebert, Head of Business Relationships, for her precious help in organising this visit. I MH Royal Opera House: Bow St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DD t: +44 (0)20 7304 4000


- january / february 2016 - 67




The Franco-British Business Awards brought together the Franco-British community for the 16th year running to celebrate the achievements of French and British start-ups, SMEs and blue-chip companies, and applaud the overall winners


rganised by the French Chamber under the high

These figures owe much to the creativity and dynamism of

patronage of HE Ms Sylvie Bermann, French

both French and British entrepreneurs. It is fitting that we

Ambassador to the UK and HE Sir Peter Ricketts,

should pay tribute to them tonight.’

British Ambassador to France, the Awards were presented at

Despite having their work cut out for them with the high

a dinner, which took place at the May Fair hotel in London,

level of entries, notably including a number of innovative

attended by over 120 guests.

start-ups for the first time, the Jury had come to a decision.

Estelle Brachlianoff, President of the French Chamber

The winners on the night were La Belle Assiette for the SME/

and Senior Vice President of Veolia UK & Ireland, opened the

Entrepreneur Award and Decathlon for the Large Corporate

event with a tribute to the Franco-British relationship, which

Award. The Jury Award, which is given to a member of the

had found expression in the solidarity shown in the wake of

French Chamber that has significantly contributed to the

the Paris attacks almost two weeks before. ‘It is for this reason

Chamber through its commitment and participation, was

that I believe this year’s Franco-British Business Awards,

presented to Societe Generale.

which are a showcase for our cross-Channel innovation, are more important than ever,’ she said, noting that the standard

La Belle Assiette SME/Entrepreneur Award

of entrants had been exceptionally high, making the jury’s

La Belle Assiette is reforming the traditional restaurant

decision extremely difficult. She thanked all the companies

industry by working with over 200 professional and creative

that had entered for the creativity and business acumen they

chefs across the country. Their chefs bring the restaurant

had shown.

experience to your home; they buy the ingredients, cook in

In what was her first contact with the Franco-British community since the Paris attacks, the Ambassador spoke movingly of the messages of support the Embassy had

your kitchen, serve and even clean up before leaving, making entertaining guests at home enjoyable and hassle free. Accepting the Award, Founder and CEO Stephen Leguillon

received from the authorities and business sector. ‘In these

said: ‘It is in La Belle Assiette’s DNA to be an international

difficult times, as François Hollande and David Cameron said,

company. We have the ambition to disrupt the catering

France and the UK stand more united than ever. Tonight’s

industry on a world scale. Winning this award is a huge

ceremony is another symbol of this unity. As you know,

milestone for us because the UK was our first international

business is at the very heart of our bilateral relations. To give

market. We now have the confirmation that our expansion

only two examples, in 2014 France was the UK’s second-

from France to the UK has been a success. It will be a

largest foreign investor. At the same time, France was the

driving force for our team in the future, both in the UK and

number one destination in Europe for British investment.

internationally. We now have proof it is possible. It is also a

68 - info - january / february 2016



SME/Entrepreneur Award:

La Belle Assiette Large Corporate Award:

Decathlon Jury Award:

Societe Generale

From left to right: Richard Fostier (Colas Rail); David Herbinet (Mazars); Estelle Brachlianoff, President of the French Chamber; Stephen Leguillon (La Belle Assiette); Ian Fisher (Societe Generale); Thibaut Peeters (Decathlon); HE Ms Sylvie Bermann; Delphine Merlot (Eurostar); Patrick Manon (Business France)

great reward for all the hard work and energy the team has

is to make British companies more active and vibrant places

put into growing the UK for La Belle Assiette since its launch

to work, with more team members practising more sport,


more often.’

Decathlon Large Corporate Award

Societe Generale Jury Award

Decathlon is a network of innovative retail outlets and sports

Societe Generale has been present in the UK for 150 years

brands, employing 60,000 employees who share a strong

and its loyalty and commitment to the French Chamber

and unique company culture with the common purpose of

runs deep, with its long-running sponsorship of the Annual

‘making the pleasure and benefits of sport accessible to all’

Financial Lunch – 19 years and counting, its ongoing

underpinned by values of vitality and responsibility.

advertising in INFO since its launch in 1979 and its presence

‘I’m happy and proud to have received this award. I’d

on the Chamber’s Board. Ian Fisher, Chief Country Officer and

like to thank the whole Decathlon team for transforming the

Head of Coverage & Investment Banking UK, said: ‘We are

company every day and delivering the best experience to our

absolutely thrilled to have received this award. The French

customers,’ Thibaut Peeters, Chief Executive of Decathlon UK

Chamber plays a significant role in enhancing and developing

said. John Butcher, Corporate Manager, Business Solutions,

business relations between the UK and France, and at Societe

added: ‘We are delighted to accept this award from the

Generale we are very pleased to be able to play an active part

French Chamber of Commerce as recognition of our work to

in helping to further promote and develop business relations

accelerate massively our presence in the UK market. We are

between our two countries.’

proud to have opened six stores in the last 18 months as well as have successfully launched a new concept here, the click

We would like to thank Eurostar and Mazars for being

and collect store, which has now been duplicated in many

the main sponsors of the event; Business France and Colas

countries internationally. We are also proud this year to have

Rail for being supporting sponsors; our press partners:

launched DECATHLON for business, which has been created

the Financial Times, French Radio London and Ici Londres;

to enable British companies to celebrate success through

Vranken Pommery for providing the Champagne for the

sport, as it is proven that fit and healthy employees perform

reception and Les Vins du Médoc and Les Vins de Pessac-

better and generate improved business results. Our mission

Léognan for the wines accompanying the dinner. I KF

Main Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors

Press Partners


- january / february 2016 - 69

70 - info - january / february 2016



How do the UK and France scale up their start-ups? Is France the new Silicon Valley? The catchy title of the latest Economic Update took its cue from John Chambers, Executive Chairman of Cisco, who, during a recent trip to Paris, remarked: ‘I see a start-up generation that will make France a digital leader of the future. I have the impression of seeing Silicon Valley in France’. Coming from the boss of a Silicon Valley giant, worth around $50 billion, which designs and sells networking technology, it was no throw-away statement. So what was behind this remark and how does France compare to the UK when it comes to scaling up its start-ups? Answering these questions at the forum was Frédéric Rombaut, Head of Corporate Development – International, Cisco UK.

is marketing of France itself, as it is not clear to investors what its strengths are. One way of achieving this is to emphasise different regional specialisations. Finally, France needs to provide a better administrative environment in terms of laws and taxes, as well as a better financing environment. How does France compare to the UK? The UK has already set up a good administrative and financing

What is behind Cisco’s endorsement of France?

environment, so it is one step ahead. For this reason, Cisco

John Chambers’ words were backed up with an announcement

committed to a $500m investment in the UK five years ago, and

that Cisco had increased its planned investment in France of

has spent $5bn on acquisitions. There is an ambition to make

up to $300 million in 2016, comprising an operational expense

the UK the technological centre of Europe, and as Sherry Coutu

commitment as well as $200m equity investment in start-ups. This

reported in ‘The Scale Up Report’, government policies, industry

compares to the $150m it is investing in UK start-ups at the same

structure, geographical placement and talent supply put the

time. One of the reasons behind this is Cisco’s belief that Europe

UK in a good position. However, it identified that the UK does

is back on the innovation scene and experiencing a renaissance

less well on growing and scaling up start-ups: those that do

in terms of both quality and quantity of its entrepreneurs, the

well are acquired early, relocate, or they simply can’t scale. The

depth of its ecosystem and the level of its venture capital funding.

gaps that need to be addressed include evidence – the right

All this is being fuelled by an increasing amount of money from

companies need to be identified; skills – marketing and business

both financial and corporate investors in the US, as well as from

development, for example; leadership – a good entrepreneur

Russia, China, the Middle East and elsewhere. For these reasons,

is not necessarily a good leader, able to take the company to

having made no start-up investments in Europe from 2004-12,

the next stage; exportation – requires best practice that can be

Cisco has now put Europe back into its investment agenda.

taught; finance – needed at the growth stage; and infrastructure. If the UK is able to help companies go through this journey it will

Why is France attractive for start-ups and investors?

see more and more companies scaling up.

One key asset is a good education system, especially in science, technology, engineering and business. Also, whereas in the past,

The difference between the US and Europe

most French entrepreneurs only considered France as their

40% of companies will die because they are not able to embrace

market, this mindset is changing and they are thinking global

digital transformation, but there is a unique opportunity to

from day one. Another factor is the large pool of available talent

make Europe the best in terms of digitalisation. The US has

in France. In comparison, Silicon Valley has become overcrowded

been extremely good in first generation Internet transformation

and has difficulties attracting new talent because of high costs.

– Amazon, Google, Facebook and Twitter are examples of which

This talent war puts France at an advantage.

Europe has no equivalent. But this could change with the Internet

But there are some challenges too. France lacks a culture

of Everything. The Internet used to be about customer-facing

of risk taking and entrepreneurship and needs to improve

transformation, but the Internet of Everything addresses the

on this. It also needs a larger European market: the European

digitalisation of everything else – business, security, education,

initiative to create a Single Digital Market is a clear advantage

healthcare, government regulation and policy, connecting

that could be leveraged in the future. And in a country where

machines not only to machines but also to business processes,

public services represent 56% of GDP, there is an opportunity

people and data. Any business will be an IT business before

for modernisation if the government were to open the door not

anything else. And Europe is in a good position to gain a

only to large companies but also small ones. What is also missing

competitive advantage in this. I KF


- january / february 2016 - 71


Tidal Lagoon Power - a new solution to an immediate problem Paul Leslie, Development Director Northern France at Tidal Lagoon Power discusses plans for a tidal lagoon industry that could transform the UK’s energy mix and help achieve a reduction in global emissions


he UK has opened a new door to help achieve a reduction

Significant French opportunity

in global emissions via a proposed tidal lagoon industry

The key requirements for the deployment of a tidal lagoon are

that will harness energy from the rise and fall of the tides. The

a high tidal range and shallow coastal waters. In France, two

Government has awarded a Development Consent Order for

regions meet these criteria: the Western Cotentin Peninsula

a ‘proof of concept’ project in Swansea Bay, Wales, developed

and la Baie de Somme, spanning Normandie and Nord Pas-

by UK company, Tidal Lagoon Power. With 320MW of installed

de-Calais Picardie regions. Tidal Lagoon Power has identified

capacity, it could power over 155,000 Welsh homes and

potential for at least 15GW of installed capacity across these

be a precursor for a fleet of six lagoons which could deliver

areas which could meet approximately one-sixth of France’s

approximately 8% of the UK’s total electricity demand.

total household demand. As well as presenting a significant new opportunity for clean energy in France, this would make a major

Renewable energy, societal benefits and positive public support

contribution to the French Government’s 2030 climate change

Local support for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon has been

by renewables.

objectives including 40% of electricity production to be delivered

overwhelming. This is because, as well as offering a clean and secure energy supply for 120 years, and a relatively quick build time, the project will deliver jobs, a European supply chain with a UK core and, more than anything, hope. Tidal Lagoon Power has worked with a broad range of local stakeholders to define a shared dream for the future and, as a result, the lagoon will also provide a range of societal benefits. Part power plant, part public amenity, it will include, amongst other things, a public walkway, an education centre and a major water sporting arena, as well as ecological benefits including a saltmarsh and mariculture centre. As a scaleable blueprint for the future, it could be a game changer, creating scope to transform the industrial economy and the UK’s energy mix.

Second lagoon offers immediate economies of scale With Swansea Bay consented and private investment in place for its development, work is also already underway on a proposed second lagoon, in Cardiff, which entered the planning system in March 2015. With 2,700MW of installed capacity, it offers immediate economies of scale and would effectively pave the

Time is short... but we have the right tools

way for the rest of the UK fleet, with European and international

The energy trilemma – to continue to deliver a secure supply of

opportunities in its wake.

energy, to meet demand, at an acceptable cost, while reducing carbon emissions – leaves us no choice but to change the energy

Tried and tested technology

landscape very quickly. We must deliver significant change

Generating power from the difference in height between high

immediately to meet climate change objectives and, more

and low tides is not new. There were tidal mills in the Middle

importantly, to reduce human impact on climate change before

Ages and modern technologies, many of which originate from

it becomes irreversible.

the hydro industry, are thoroughly tried and tested.

While there’s no denying the challenge ahead, we have the

The commercial feasibility is also well established, not least

technical solutions and, collectively, the worldwide knowledge

via France’s own 240MW La Rance tidal barrage. Operational

to make the transition, and European collaboration on a future

for almost 50 years, the excellent performance of the turbine

tidal lagoon industry could play a significant role in achieving

technologies deployed in the marine environment is well

it. The prospect of developing a truly European industry with

demonstrated and the site has also delivered operations and

international deployment potential, centred on the significant

maintenance learning that is highly relevant to future tidal

tidal resources of the UK and France is an exciting and inspiring


challenge that Tidal Lagoon Power has fully embraced. I

72 - info - january / february 2016


Climate change adaptation: the

case of UK transportation

Over the winter of 2013/14, the UK experienced some of the most extreme weather seen for many years, which had a considerable impact on transport systems. Richard Brown CBE, former Chairman of Eurostar, Chairman of the Department for Transport Franchise Advisory Panel and Chair of the Chamber’s Climate Change Forum, led a review into the resilience of the transport network for the government, which was presented to Parliament last year. Drawing on the findings of this Transport Resilience Review, he gave a presentation to the Forum on what the impact, challenges and implications of extreme weather are for transport as well as business in the wider context Rescue workers evacuate residents from a flooded street in Carlisle, UK, following Storm Desmond on 6 December 2015

What climate change means for extreme weather

of weather or anything else causes extended disruption. Similarly,

Global warming is already starting to change weather patterns, but

the UK’s train networks are on a par with the Dutch as the most

in the future we can expect these to become more intense and

intensively used per track kilometre. With everything operating

frequent. It is all down to the physics: warm air holds more moisture,

close to capacity, the slightest hiccup causes problems. Just-in-

so more intense rainfall events are likely, producing surface water

time operations, particularly for freight and supply chains, are

and ‘flash’ flooding. What were 1 in 125 day events in the 1960s/70s

increasingly prevalent, and therefore susceptible to transport

are now 1 in 85 day events. More prolonged periods of rainfall are

disruption. In addition, an increasing dependence of transport

also expected, making winters wetter and summers drier. This will

operations on IT means that electricity failures can have extensive

produce river flooding and ground saturation, as was seen in the

repercussions, so the location of IT servers can be crucial, as

UK in 2013/14 when the Thames flooded and swathes of South

Gatwick Airport discovered when its North Terminal electricity

West England were under water for weeks. Other risks include

sub-stations were flooded, causing Christmas Eve chaos in 2013.

dam bursts, reservoirs overtopping, embankment slips and sink

Current levels of extreme weather are already disruptive, so any

holes. Strong winds and storms are likelier; 2013/14 will go down

increase will pose a real challenge for transport networks.

as the UK’s stormiest winter for 20 years. Coastal storm surges are also predicted to increase because of rising sea levels with the

Checklist for business

combination of high spring tides, low pressure and onshore winds.

The UK Environment Agency’s statutory obligations only extend to

But the biggest impact will be an increase in summer heat waves.

homes and wildlife, so it is up to businesses to put in place their

By 2040, over half of summers are projected to be warmer than

own safeguards against extreme weather. Every industry that has

2003 when the UK recorded its highest temperature of 38.5°C.

any sort of vulnerability needs to review its standards. Those with very sensitive installations should be building for a one in 1,000

Resilience of transport

year event. At the most basic level, businesses should have an

The impact of this kind of extreme weather on the UK’s transport

awareness of their own vulnerabilities so they can take measures

systems is obvious – extensive and prolonged disruption to road

to ameliorate them or build in resilience. For flooding risk,

and rail systems and airports due to flooding, wind and heat as well

Environment Agency flood risk maps and Local Authority flood risk

as to ports as a result of tidal surges. Transport can never be made

management strategies can be consulted, but local knowledge

totally resilient to extreme weather but there are ways of building

is also worth tapping into. Checks can be made on drainage

in adaptation and resilience. One is to invest in remedial measures

conditions and capacity, and the location of sensitive equipment

such as better drainage so that transport systems can keep people

such as servers, switchgear and sub-stations – anything that can

and goods moving. Just as important, for those systems that cannot

be put out of action if it comes into contact with water – should

be completely protected, recovery processes can be put in place to

be reviewed. Other considerations are road access for employees

restore normal operations as quickly as possible. And increasingly,

and supply chain vulnerabilities.

particularly for public transport, ensuring effective and timely communications to users and passengers can help minimise the

Wider impacts of climate change

impact of disruption, particularly as consumer expectations of the

The impact of climate change on transport is entirely manageable,

way these events are handled are higher than ever.

albeit costly. But there are wider strategic implications of climate

The UK’s transport networks are amongst the most intensively

change – human migration, spiralling adaptation and recovery

utilised in the world. For example, Heathrow is the busiest two-

costs as well as market disruption, species migration causing

runway airport in the world in terms of aircraft movements and

ecosystem disruption and risks to food supply – that will pose

operates at 98% of capacity, so the slightest perturbation because

much more of an existential threat to business and society. I KF


- january / february 2016 - 73

FORUMS & CLUBS - Cross - Cultur al Debate

- 9 November

Cultivating the art of cultural understanding


he annual Cross-Cultural Debate usually puts the interaction

between French and British cultures under scrutiny, but

this time there was more of a cultural melange with Warner Rootliep, the Dutch General Manager of Air France-KLM for UK & Ireland, and Tanuja Randery, the Indian-born, US-educated Zone President UK & Ireland of Schneider Electric, providing some fresh, multi-faceted perspectives on the intersection of national culture, multicultural work environments and corporate culture. As moderator, Peter Alfandary, Chair of the Cross-Cultural Relations Forum and Senior Vice President of the French Chamber, provided context with his insights into cultural intelligence. He began with observations on the ‘myth of globalisation’ and the misunderstandings often caused by the widespread use of English in the world of business, which has made it easy to fall into assumptions that we understand each other. ‘There is still

Warner Rootliep and Tanuja Randery discuss cross-cultural challenges and successes

a lot to learn from each other,’ he said, ‘but it is useful to think about who we are more than who others are.’ One of the strongest points to come out of the debate, which

different cultures can be complementary in a business situation, and striking a balance between them benefits the company.

took place under the Chatham House rule, was that companies

The key messages were the importance of self-awareness

themselves may even on occasion create ‘uber’ cultures that

– being conscious of how people perceive you, combined with a

transcend national cultures, where there is an acceptance of

deeper understanding of different cultural norms. The impact of

difference overarched by a common goal and mutual values.

embracing diversity in all its forms is huge and makes for culturally

Although there are very few truly global companies, those that

aware and capable companies.

are ‘glocal’ – operating with both global and local dimensions

Commenting on the evening, which was hosted by the French

– tend to be more successful. Leadership was singled out as

Ambassador, HE Ms Sylvie Bermann, at the French Residence,

being key because it is responsible for breaking down barriers.

Peter Alfandary said: ‘Top speakers, a full house in a prestigious

Communication styles, concepts of hierarchy and attitudes to

setting and a subject of increasingly critical importance – this was

risk-taking and failure were all discussed, with the consensus that

again the Chamber at its best.’ I KF


- 26 November


embers of the Luxury Club breakfasting in the beautiful Maison Assouline, surrounded by the sophisticated book collection and carefully curated décor and furnishings that define the brand’s savoir vivre, could easily

have imagined they were in the library of a stately home. Described as ‘a temple to considered taste’, Maison Assouline occupies a building on Piccadilly, designed by Sir Edward Lutyens in 1922, which was once a bank. Paul Lorraine, UK General Manager Longchamp and President of the Regent Street Association, chaired the event on this occasion. The guest speakers were Gordon Clark, VP Head of Commercial UK & Ireland at Global Blue, who gave a presentation on luxury traveller shopping trends globally, and Nick Pope, Fashion & Luxury Lead at Deloitte UK, who spoke about the trends, challenges and opportunities presented by overseas luxury consumers in the UK (see the article on page 35). Both gave facts, figures and fascinating insights into the luxury shopping habits and preferences of different nationality profiles, where they are spending their money and why. Luxury spend dampeners, such as the decline in Russian spending, foreign exchange rates, visas and even the impact the Paris attacks might have on the world’s number one shopping destination, were addressed, including the chance that France might opt out of the Schengen agreement. Despite these headwinds, there are still good prospects for the luxury market in Europe and opportunities in the UK include making more of the transit channel, tapping into the Chinese graduate market, the American traveller and the expatriate population. Our thanks to Aida Bayoud, Vice President Global Retail and Marketing at Assouline Publishing, for hosting the breakfast , giving a private tour of Maison Assouline and providing every one with a goodie bag. I KF 74 - info - january / february 2016

FORUMS & CLUBS - sme s & entr e pr eneur s club

What would BREXIT mean for UK employment law? Gary Freer, Partner and Head of the Employment Team at Bryan Cave considers how employment law might change if Britain were to leave the EU If the UK were to leave the EU, one significant advantage which

Possible targets for reform

is often cited (by those who wish it to leave) is the recovery of

High on the list would probably be the Working Time Regulations.

control over its own employment law. Throughout the history

Employers have found the obligations to keep records

of the UK’s membership, the influence of EU legislation and

burdensome and unnecessary. There is continued concern that

case law has steadily grown. A ‘Brexit’ would, on the face of

the UK’s opt out from the 48 hour maximum average working

it, leave the UK free to reshape a significant proportion of its

week will eventually be removed, which survey evidence suggests

employment legislation. However, in practice, the position may

would be deeply unpopular with a majority of the workers it

not be nearly so clear and simple.

claims to protect. Brexit would also enable the UK to limit the accrual of holiday entitlement during long periods of sick leave,

How long would it take?

including the right to carry it forward each year.

The first practical point is that there could be few immediate

The complicated and unpopular TUPE Regulations would

changes: realistically a Brexit could not take effect in fewer

also be a target, making it easier and simpler for employers and

than three years from the date of the Referendum, and a large

workers to harmonise terms and conditions after employers

number of technical issues would need to be solved first, and

have changed or combined – but it is interesting to reflect that

new legislation put in place.

the UK has in some respects passed legislation which has gone further than the EU Directive requires of it.

What would the UK’s relationship with the EU look like?

Changes to discrimination law would be highly sensitive

Much will depend on whether the UK would join the European

– and it is important to remember that the UK had much

Economic Area (like Norway) and/or the European Free Trade

discrimination law in place even before it joined the European

Association (like Switzerland). As part of these, the countries’

Community (as it was then). One possible change after Brexit

negotiated arrangements for access to the EU single market, each

would be to re-impose a maximum cap on damages awarded

had to agree to grant free movement of EU nationals and comply

in discrimination cases – a cap which was ruled unlawful by the

with EU employment law. The UK, as a larger economy, might be

European Court of Justice.

able to negotiate different arrangements, but it also opens up the

Of course, at this stage, we can only speculate what the effect

possibility that the UK could suffer the worst of all worlds: having

of a Brexit might be: my own best guess is that, whatever the

to remain bound by EU employment law, and without the benefit

politicians’ rhetoric may be, the practical effect of any changes

of the (limited) opt outs which it enjoys at present.

made to employment law in the aftermath will be fairly limited. I

Breakfast in a bookshop: members of the Luxury Club convene in Maison Assouline


- january / february 2016 - 75


HR Forum - By application only

Legal Forum - By application only

Chair: Michael Whitlow, Human Resources Director, Europe

Chair: Olivier Morel, Partner, Cripps

at International SOS

Deputy Chair: Ken Morrison, Legal Director, Eurotunnel

When: 21 January, 8.30am – 10.00am

When: 10 February, 9.00am – 12.00pm

Theme: ‘The Great Generational Shift: why the differences

Theme: ‘The outsourcing chain of supply’

between generations will reshape your workplace’

Speaker: Melanie Stancliffe, Partner at Thomas Eggar part of

Speaker: Alexis de Bretteville, CEO Europe, Hudson and

Irwin Mitchell and another speaker TBC

Tim Drake, Head of Talent Management, Hudson

Climate Change Forum - By application only

Finance Forum - By application only Co-chairs: Rob Guyler, CFO at EDF Energy and John Peachey,

Chair: Richard Brown CBE, former Chairman & CEO of

Managing Director - CFO Global Markets, HSBC Bank Plc

Eurostar, Chairman, Department for Transport Franchising

When: 2 March, 8.30am – 10.00am

Advisory Panel

Theme: ‘HR Management for a CFO: challenges and best

Deputy Chair: Jean-Philippe Verdier, Managing Director,

practice, off-shoring from a HR perspective’

Jefferies International. When: 9 February, 10.00am – 12.00pm Theme: TBC

All sessions take place at the French Chamber

CHAMBE R HA PPE NINGS - forthcoming events

11 Jan

08.00 - 10.00

! NEW DATE  BREAKFAST WITH JACQUES ATTALI Where: At the Four Seasons Hotel at Park Lane Guest speaker: Jacques Attali, President of Positive Planet Cost: £40+VAT per person; £60+VAT special price for 2 Jacques Attali will comment on current events and present the work of Positive Planet About Jacques Attali Professor, writer, Special Advisor to the President of the Republic of France from 1981 to 1991, founder and first President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London from 1991 to 1993, Jacques Attali is the co-founder of PlaNet Finance, now called Positive Planet, and has been President since 1998. He also founded Action Against Hunger in 1980.

He is the author of 65 books, translated into more than 20 languages with 8 million copies sold around the world, including essays (on subjects ranging from mathematical economics to music), biographies, novels, children’s stories and theatre plays. Jacques Attali has a Ph.D in Economics, and is a graduate of l’Ecole Polytechnique, l’Ecole des Mines, l’Institut des Etudes Politiques and l’Ecole Nationale d’Administration. Contact at or 0207 092 6642

13 Jan

18.00 - 20.00

PA Club at PAUL UK Where: At Le Restaurant de Paul, Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, Ground Floor, London EC2N 1HQ Dress code: Lounge suit Organised exclusively for Personal Assistants – by invitation only – free of charge Indulge in wine and canapés at the new PAUL restaurant which recently opened in the City of London. This event will be the perfect opportunity to network with your professional counterparts whilst sampling a selection from the restaurant menu as well as their corporate catering menu, designed for office deliveries and large events. Contact Anne-Claire Lo Bianco at or 0207 092 6643

76 - info - january / february 2016

CHAMBE R HAPPE NINGS - forthcoming events


Cross-Cultural Quiz Evening - sponsored by PwC Where: At PwC Embankment Place Offices


19.00 - 22.30

Announcement of the winner of the Intercultural Trophy - sponsored by AXA Cost: £800+VAT for a table of 10; £80+VAT for individuals Dress code: Smart casual

A chance to impress friends and colleagues with your cultural knowledge or to gain a better understanding of our different cultures whilst building your network and having fun! This quintessentially Franco-British event will feature a standing reception followed by a Franco-British-themed buffet seated dinner, a live quiz and the announcement of the 2016 Intercultural trophy winner. Book a table for your French and British staff and/or clients to increase your odds of winning on the night! It is the ideal teambuilding activity! Contact at or 0207 092 6642

Momentum, last year’s winning team

The 18th


will be awarded on the night sponsored by:

sponsored by:

patron events

8 Feb

08.00 - 10.00

Breakfast at Christie’s Where: Christie’s London, King Street, Saleroom, 8 King Street Hosted by Patricia Barbizet, CEO and

11 Feb

18.45 - 22.00

Cirque du Soleil Amaluna Where: The Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP

Chairwoman of Christie’s Organised exclusively for Patron Members (main

Organised exclusively for Patron Members (main

representatives only)

representatives only)

This exclusive breakfast at Christie’s will be followed by a

The French Chamber of Great Britain and The Royal Albert Hall

private view of the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening

are delighted to invite Patron members to an unforgettable

and Day Auctions, with an introduction by Edmond Francey,

performance of Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna.

Head of Department, Post-War & Contemporary Art, London.

Contact Sonia Olsen at or

Contact Anne-Claire Lo Bianco at

0207 092 6642

or 0207 092 6643


- january / february 2016 - 77

Patron Members of the French Chamber in Great Britain


78 - info - january / february 2016


- january / february 2016 - 79

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Our 11,000 employees are passionate about helping you put Duty of Care into practice. With us, multinational corporate clients, governments and NGOs can mitigate risks for their people working remotely or overseas.



With our local experts available globally, you can speak to us in any language, anytime 24/7.

An accredited, integrated network of 56 clinics and 850 medical sites around the world. Practising a supervised international standard of medicine – in developed and

5,600 MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS Immediate access to experts with extensive experience in all fields of medicine coupled with a thorough knowledge of the local environment and healthcare system.


77,000 ACCREDITED PROVIDERS A network of accredited healthcare, aviation and security providers ensuring we provide you with the best logistics in the air, on the ground and at sea.

24/7 access to travel security reporting, analysis and expert advice from our security consultants, analysts and tracking experts around the world.

Š photo credits: VINCI, Crossrail, BBMV and MVB photo libraries

CONSTRUCTING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE At VINCI Construction Grands Projets, we engineer solutions that are not only financially competitive, but also work in a way that is sustainable for the planet. Sustainability goes beyond the care we take in protecting our people and our environment. It’s also a commitment to offer new solutions to our clients and stakeholders. We nurture Innovation. Every two years, the VINCI Innovation Awards get increased entries, reaching 2,075 in 2013. These awards reflect the core values of the group and we are proud at VINCI Construction Grands Projets that the Lee Tunnel project (Thames Water) was awarded the Grand Prize in the UK & Ireland. To learn more please visit

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