Edward Cooke - Revo Radar.
Want to know what you should be looking out for in 2018? We've been talking to industry figures on what the future holds!
Edward Cooke, Chief Executive of Revo has his say...
What will be the biggest challenge for our industry over the next 12 months?
Persuading politicians in Westminster that there is more than one game in town, and that focussing resource on the domestic policy agenda is crucial to create the environment for businesses to invest, thus making up for weaker growth figures and forecasts post the EU Referendum.
What do you think are the biggest opportunities for the next 12 months?
Retail places are evolving to fulfil an even greater and more diverse mix of functions, and those that understand what their local catchment needs and wants are, and then work with various stakeholders - including investors, occupiers, local authorities - to deliver this will create both economic and social value for their businesses and the communities they are invested in.
What is the one major challenge facing retailers in 2018?
Dealing with the increased costs of doing business, whether that’s tax, costs to employ or product costs. Doing business is becoming more expensive, and consumers’ disposable income remain under pressure.
What piece of tech do you think will make an impact in 2018?
Computer based learning products that can better personalise retail experiences, online and in-store.
Who do you admire in politics currently and why?
I’ll avoid any politicians if you don’t mind, you never know who might be in the press next week for some misdemeanour or other! But in any case, my answer would be the 1,000s of Civil Servants trying to get the best deal possible out of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
Do you have a saying or piece of wisdom which inspires you? If so, what is it?
Not so much wisdom, but an Italian political philosopher called Antonio Gramsci once said ‘I am a pessimist because of intelligence, and an optimist because of will’, along similar lines Sir Tim Smit says ‘When you spot a negative person: kill them’ – bit harsh, but at times like this we need will and positivity to help us get through the fog of political and economic uncertainty.
Who’s your mentor or someone you’d always seek advice from?
Without meaning to sound too obsequious, we have so many incredible and experienced members across our business that I very often go to, especially those on our Boards and Committees. Family too of course!
Where would your ideal holiday be to this year?
We have a couple of big celebratory dates coming up this year, so we’re off to Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique, which I’m pretty excited about!