06 September 2019

Brexit, Technology and the Future of Retail Experience

Continuing with our series of talks and workshops in support of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), on 5 September we focussed on technology, retail experience and Brexit. The speakers were Adam Mansell from the UK Fashion and Textile Association, Lynne Murray from the Digital Anthropology Lab, UAL, and Jonathan Chippindale from Holition.

Adam discussed how Brexit is already affecting the fashion industry and what brands can do now to prepare themselves for manufacturing and exporting after Brexit. Adam discussed how VAT, intellectual property, movement of people and tariffs would effect the fashion and textiles industry in a no deal Brexit scenario. For instance, the trade of samples would be subject to tariffs, and the paperwork needed to import and export would require additional administration work.

Lynne Murray talked about how an emerging ‘Digital Nostalgia’ will impact on retail and consumer trends including notions of truth and image-making, craft, virtual luxury, technology translations and drivers for innovation. Lynne is director of the Digital Anthropology Lab, a research centre based at UAL, which works across industry and academia through the lens of fashion and tech, challenging the material and cultures of digital.

Jonathan co-founded Holition a decade ago as a venture start-up to explore and expand the ever-evolving role that technology plays in communicating narrative to today’s consumer, which resulted in a synthesis of mathematicians, scientists, technologists and artists. Jonathan discussed how large sets of data can be analysed to reveal patterns and trends relating to buying in retail and how Holition is helping brands to gain access to those meaningful insights. As more data is becoming accessible to everyone, it is also enhancing the consumer and retail experience.