ThisIsRetail’s 2016 Wipe

As the year draws to a close, it appears that the fashionable thing to do is to lament 2016, cry despondently at the great cull of treasured celebrities, bemoan the geo-political upheaval, and consign the year to the dustbin of history as a classic of the annus horribilis genre, never to be mentioned again.

Broadway, NYC

Our year kicked off at the ‘Retail’s Big Show’ (an NRF production) in New York – a fascinating glimpse into the absolute cutting-edge of online and bricks-and-mortar retailing. We had the benefit of hearing a number of the industry’s top thought leaders speak and, it goes without saying that the Big Apple is always a pretty fun town to be in too. I highly recommend open mic night at the famous Café Wah in the village should you get the opportunity.

In the Summer, our MD, James Logie, and our Senior Consultant, Morven Reid Kay, made a tour of the Middle East taking in Doha and Dubai. They met a number of our key client partners as well as seeing new and exciting clients for the first time, touched-base with successful placements, and visited some of the latest developments in the region. We followed-up this with a further visit to the Middle East in October.

This was my first visit to Dubai and a particularly rewarding one as I was able to reconnect with a number of candidates I placed during my time with RMC, and it was a genuine pleasure to see them established in a new country and thriving in positions with our clients. I also put a face to the name of many of the people I have been speaking to at length over the past year. It was really great to meet you all and I am most grateful for your hospitality.

La mer…

A consistent highlight to our year is MAPIC, held annually in the South of France. As well as being frankly the most beautiful and commodious setting for a conference, it really is a fantastic showcase for the very latest commercial and retail real estate developments. It is important to recognise the power and the effort put into this conference, it is quite something and of course the sacrifice our MD makes in order to make it to the Riviera each year. True commitment.

Across all our four services this has been another great year for RMC. We’ve completed Recruitment projects in the USA, across Europe, UAE, Libya, Malta… and Berkshire, amongst many others. Meanwhile our wonderfully talented network of Consultants continues shine, supporting an array of retailers and brands dotted around the globe – your sterling work is greatly appreciated, as always.

Our Connections division (again) has had a bumper year with brands being launched and over 100 stores opening across 13 countries including Libya, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Hong Kong. A remarkable achievement, and one we hope to repeat as we enter 2017.

We also recently embarked upon an exciting Insights project to create a franchise framework for an R&D-led household name that will see stores open in a number of tier-one cities around the world. We look forward to updating you on this when we can, but for now, mum’s the word!

We’ve lots to be getting on with, but to everyone who: we’ve met, had a drink with, shared a taxi, conducted a contract negotiation with in the pouring rain while a fire alarm goes off, gave us VIP passes to the ultra-exclusive bit of the party, did us the honour of inviting us to speak at their event, gave up their time for some advice, went the extra yard to make it to interview, politely pointed out that this was a ladies only train carriage, got us tickets to see the Beach Boys, or picked up the phone just to say hello, a heartfelt thank you. It wouldn’t have been as good a 2016 without you!

Ian Ross, Consultant

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