Cambridge BID debates ‘The Future High Street’ at AGM


02-07-2018

The Cambridge BID Summer Business Event and AGM will take place on Thursday 12th July at The DoubleTree by Hilton on Granta Place, starting with registration and drinks reception from 6pm. At 6.30pm its formal AGM, review of the year and keynote speeches will take place until 8pm, with networking until 9pm.

Amazon Director, David Hardcastle will be the keynote speaker at the Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID) AGM.

Mr Hardcastle, who oversees global projects such as Amazon Alexa and Prime Air at the Cambridge Development Centre, will be sharing his thoughts on the growth of omnichannel - and revealing how, contrary to popular belief, the world’s largest online retailer and multi-billion tech giant can support the High Street.

He will also be revealing why Amazon chose to open its new Development Centre at One Station Square and discussing the importance of Cambridge as a global business location.

Mr Hardcastle said: “Cambridge is a key part of Amazon’s global brain power, with teams here delivering highly innovative products to our customers around the world. Last year, we ramped up our investment in Cambridge, opening a new Development Centre in the heart of the city, which, when at full capacity, will house over 400 highly-skilled employees including machine learning scientists, knowledge engineers, data scientists, mathematical modellers, speech scientists and software engineers. Cambridge is a fantastic place to live and work and a great hub for science and innovation.”

Jonathan Burnett, High Street Account Manager with analytics firm Springboard will also speak at the AGM about footfall and trends on the High Street, both nationally and locally.

Mr Burnett commented: “Whilst the news in recent weeks has been dominated by the trading failures of a number of our well-known retailers, Cambridge has been successful in harnessing the growing demand of consumers for experience. 

“BIDs such as the one in Cambridge are at the front line in providing a high street landscape that is sufficiently flexible to absorb the vagaries of market conditions and which continues to thrill consumers, and we are excited and to support them in their efforts.”

 The event, entitled‘The Future High Street, will also give BID businesses the unique opportunity of a lively Q&A session with a panel of guests, which includes: Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council and board member of Greater Cambridge Partnership; Simon Pollard, owner of Millers Music on Trinity Street and Independent Retailer of the Year 2018 (Cambridge News Business Excellence Awards); Roger Allen, Centre Manager for Lion Yard and Cambridge BID board director; and Ian James, General Manager of University Arms Cambridge.

Simon Pollard said: “Physical retail still constitutes more than 82% of total retail sales in the UK. Just look at Waterstones who have just posted record profits and Primark who still do not have a transactional website.

“Retail technology will continue to change with new platforms and ways to sell, and I have no doubt there will be further integration of offline and online sales, especially with the proliferation of smart technology. But the fundamental proposition of retail, which is to provide fulfilment of customer requirements, will not. Retailers who fail to differentiate, fail to deliver real value for their customers or fail to understand or anticipate their customer's needs will continue to fail. But there is plenty of opportunity for those that do meet the changes.”

Cambridge BID CEO, Ian Sandison will additionally outline how the organisation will be making a £4.5million investment in the city over the next five years.

Mr Sandison said: “We are delighted to be welcoming such a diverse group of speakers and panellists this year, and look forward to what promises to be a fascinating evening.  Exploring how best to shape our future High Street against the growing backdrop of online shopping and a digital world is an especially hot topic for all our BID businesses.

“On the night, we will additionally be giving a review of what Cambridge BID has accomplished over the last year as well as detailing some of the exciting projects we have planned over the next five years.”

All businesses and organisations are invited to attend the event, which will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton hotel at 6.30pm on Thursday July 12th 2018.  Drinks and canapes will be available from 6.00pm.

Please email becky.burrell@cambridgebid.co.uk for more information or to confirm attendance.

 

Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID) consists of 1,200 city centre businesses, working together to promote the city to visitors, residents and workers, while ensuring they experience a welcoming and vibrant street scene that is both clean and safe.

Cambridge BID Limited