Taking the world by storm

The RLI Connect deal-making forum, to be held at Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea Football Club, on 5 June provides for the first time a sustained platform for doing business and building value through strategic partnerships, on a truly global scale. Jayne Rafter, Publisher of RLI Magazine and Founder of RLI Connect, says: “Based on several recent conversations with developers, finding the right mix of retailers and leisure operators to fill their new and existing shopping malls is becoming one of the biggest challenges they face. They are looking for new and innovative concepts to enhance the shopping experience.

“Throughout my career I have always put a strong emphasis on face-to-face interaction to forge stronger synergistic relationships, and this is what RLI Connect will do.” RLI Connect aims to attract the largest number of actively growing retail and leisure concepts internationally, as well as the hottest up-and coming concepts. Instead of weeks of impersonal emails and phone, goals can be accomplished in a single day, resulting in long-lasting, profitable relationships and that all-important deal! There will be no conference or panel sessions at the RLI Connect event, just a focused, high-energy forum for networking and deal-making, with the combination of moving existing deals along and being introduced to new deals, and the opportunity to collaborate and share knowledge with top performers in the retail and leisure real estate industry Sands Retail, part of Las Vegas Sands Corporation and a world leader in the development of integrated resort destinations, is Headline Sponsor of the event, whilst Silver Sponsor is Red Sea Mall of Saudi Arabia.

In April, RLI announced a new partnership with UK Trade & Investment for the RLI Connect event, following the launch in March of a new International Retail Action plan by UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable. Produced by UKTI, the new plan pledges government support for those UK companies starting out internationally and to others who already have a global presence. It sets out three major campaigns, including omni-channel retail, luxury brands and the experience economy. It also looks at government support in helping to break down trade barriers, re-engineer supply chains and find the best methods to take advantage of trade agreements. UKTI are keen to see more of the world’s leading retail brands set up here in the UK. By building on London’s status as the world’s shopping capital, the plan sets out how UKTI will use its global network to retain these brands and attract more. The partnership with RLI Connect will enhance the opportunities available to international retailers seeking to invest in the UK as part of their brand expansion plan, as well as UK retailers looking to expand their concept internationally.

Jayne Rafter said: “I am excited at the prospect of working with UKTI, which works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets, and encourage the best overseas companies to look to the UK as their global partner of choice.” UKTI has professional advisers both within the UK and across more than 100 international markets.

Other industry partners are: BCSC, FDS Limited and Global Retail Forum. In these challenging times, achieving effective results demands a paradigm shift that can only be realised with exposure to new thoughts and ideas. RLI Connect will provide an unparalleled networking and deal-making forum, comprising of retailers, leisure operators, franchise partners, developers, owners, landlords, investors and brokers associated with the industry.

A selection of retail brands attending the RLI Connect deal-making event include: Aftershock London, AmRest SE, Apaz Food & Energy, Aspinal of London, Attirance, Aurora, Beauty Bazaar, BHS, Boux Avenue, Calzedonia, Carmen Steffens, Crepe Affaire, Debenhams, Deichmann, Delice Delikatessen, Desigual, Destination Maternity, Dolce & Gabbana, Dune International, Esprit, Funky Fish, George, Giordano, Gromart SPA, Hard Rock International, Harvey Nichols, Hotel Chocolat, Karen Millen, KidZania, Kiddieland, Links of London, List, Lush, The Light Cinemas, Mac 88 SRL, Maison, Mango, Marina Home Interiors, Maya Maya, NAU Spa, Okku, Parfois, Pepe Jeans, PPR Group (Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Boucheron, Girard Perregaux, JeanRichard, Sergio Rossi and Stella McCartney, the Sport & Lifestyle brands (Puma, Volcom, Cobra, Electric and Tretorn), Fnac and Redcats), Timberland, Terra Futura int, Urban Adventure, VF International, Watsons Retail China, White Gallery, WHSmith, YO! Sushi and Za Za. Developers attending the event include: Sands Retail, CapitaMalls Asia, Red Sea Mall, Thor Equities, Swire Properties, MAF Properties and Intu Properties.

In these fast-paced markets, key players have an entrepreneurial opportunity to search for a best-fi t match for their project, if you are ready, willing and able to do deals, then this is the event for you. RLI Connect will be held alongside the world renowned Global RLI Awards, which will be held at the Natural History Museum on the 6 June. The Global RLI Awards is now in its eighth year and continuing to attract key global industry figures.