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Retail Week Tech. Conference – Blog from Boots Graduate, Tilly Newell

24 September 2018
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Hi my name is Tilly and I am a Supply Chain Graduate for Boots UK. I am writing this blog to tell you about my recent trip to an amazing retail conference in London all thanks to Boots Talent Programmes.

So… I have had an insightful two days at Retail Week’s Tech. Conference learning about the pressures and drivers the retail sector is currently experiencing and how customer expectations are higher than ever and how can we adapt to this.

The conference was split over two days with different workshops, talks, stands and demonstrations going on across the venue, this meant I could choose those I wanted to attend and plan my time appropriately which was useful! I attended the conference with four other Boots graduates and four Year in Industry students which gave me the opportunity to network with fellow Boots colleagues and I now have contacts in IT, digital and marketing.

My favourite talk was by Starbuck’s President, Martin Brok, who explained their digital transformation journey and how they use both a customer lens and a partner (employee) lens to create their unique customer experience. We also saw how robots and electronics are changing the face of retail as well as the growth of e-commerce and online spending which was very interesting. Did you know that 35% of all online spend in the UK is done on Amazon? I didn’t either!

Throughout both days we were given lots of freebies including moleskin notebooks, wireless chargers and even free ice-cream and milkshakes. The second day came to a close with VIP drinks sponsored by Hermes and Google Cloud (the canapés were divine). It was then onto the Tech. Awards hosted by the hilarious comedian Adam Rowe. The conference was nicely finished with an after party headlined by The Shapeshifters. There was free food and drinks and lots of dancing. This was another chance to network with senior leaders from a host of different technology companies. We even had a photo with the Managing Director of Retail Week, Chris Brook-Carter.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Tech. conference and gained valuable knowledge of the retail industry and the how technology is revolutionizing e-commerce, customer experience and supply chain optimisation.



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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023