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Crafting the Future of Retail: EDHEC at the World Retail Congress

Discover how EDHEC’s MSc in Marketing Management students are leading innovative contributions to reduce Scope 3 downstream emissions in the fashion retail sector at the World Retail Congress 2024. 

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13 May 2024
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World Retail Congress - MSc in Marketing Management

 

 

During the World Retail Congress 2024 in Paris, students from EDHEC’s MSc in Marketing Management - Yogesh Sejwal, Antonio Paparis, and Andreea Dache - presented innovative strategies to major fashion retailers aimed at reducing Scope 3 downstream emissions. Hua Ariel Li, Programme Director, along with team member Yogesh Sejwal, share key insights about participating in the Future Retail Challenge and its impact on the students’ future careers.  

 

 

Could you start by giving us an overview of the event and this year’s focus of the Future Retail Challenge? 

 

Yogesh Sejwal: The World Retail Congress is an annual event that focuses on innovation in retail, bringing together industry leaders from various sectors. This year, the Future Retail Challenge was on how retailers can positively impact the environment, particularly through reducing Scope 3 emissions. Only four schools were invited to present at the event: EDHEC Business School, the University of Amsterdam, the London Fashion School, and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. 

 

Hua Ariel LI, MSc in Marketing Management Programme Director: Since 2021, our MSc in Marketing Management programme has had the privilege of participating in the Future Retail Challenge organized by the World Retail Congress. This integration is part of our continuous effort to bridge academia and industry, offering a comprehensive learning experience that blends academic rigor with practical relevance. Each year, the Congress welcomes six to seven student teams from top universities in the world to tackle pressing issues facing the retail industry. 

 

 

How did you come to participate in this event? 

 

Yogesh: As part of our MSc in Marketing Management at EDHEC, we had the option to engage in a consulting project. My teammates, Antonio Paparis, Andreea Dache, and I chose this project and submitted an application. After an internal selection by EDHEC based on our report, we were chosen to represent our school at the World Retail Congress. 

 

Hua Ariel: By choosing this competition as their Master Project topic, students embark on a transformative learning experience, where they tackle real-world challenges defined by global retail leaders. This immersive experience not only sharpens their analytical and problem-solving skills but also fosters a deep understanding of the ever-evolving retail landscape. 

 

 

What specific challenge did your project address, and what were the key innovations? 

 

Yogesh: We tackled reducing downstream Scope 3 emissions in fashion retail. Our focus was on creating consumer-facing solutions that make sustainability understandable and actionable for the average shopper. 

Our project introduced two main innovations: the "Sustain-a-Label," a digital label that rates clothing sustainability similar to food's Nutri-Score, and the "Lacoste Vintage Club," a loyalty programme that encourages recycling old clothing and collaborates with artists to create a monthly 'Vintage Capsule' collection. 

 

Hua Ariel: What sets the Future Retail Challenge apart is its focus on addressing pressing issues deemed crucial by industry leaders. This year, the spotlight is on the task of reducing Scope 3 emissions in the retail sector—a challenge that demands innovative solutions and forward-thinking strategies. 

 

 

Yogesh, how did it feel to present your project at such a prestigious event? 

 

The experience was both nerve-wracking and exhilarating. Presenting our solutions in front of top executives from major global companies and hundreds of attendees was challenging, yet incredibly rewarding. Although we didn’t win, the feedback and connections we made were invaluable.  

 

 

What were some key takeaways from the event for you? 

 

Yogesh: A significant learning was the complexity and size of the retail industry, which was much bigger than we initially perceived. The discussions and sessions at the World Retail Congress provided insights into various aspects of retail that went beyond our academic studies. This experience has broadened my understanding of the industry and highlighted the importance of innovation and sustainability in shaping the future of retail. 

 

Hua Ariel: In my role as programme director, this presents a unique opportunity to engage with retailers as potential future employers of our students. It allows us to gain deeper insights into their evolving needs and expectations for talent, thereby enabling us to align our curriculum with the ever-changing demands of the market sector. 

 

 

Yogesh, looking forward, how do you see this experience influencing your career path? 

 

The event solidified my interest in pursuing a career in marketing within the FMCG sector, ideally in a role that allows me to leverage my understanding of sustainability issues. The networking opportunities and insights gained are invaluable as I continue to seek job opportunities, particularly within France, where I've established a network and familiarity with the professional landscape. 

 

 

Can you share a unique moment from the event that particularly inspired you? 

 

Yogesh: One of the most inspiring moments came from a conference by Alain Goudsmet, a renowned Olympic coach. He talked about the progression from participants to legends in sports, and how this can be applied to business to improve team dynamics and achieve success. His story of coaching a team from just being happy to qualify for the Olympics to becoming champions resonated deeply with me. It highlighted the power of mindset shifts and strategic thinking—principles that can be applied to tackling environmental challenges in retail. 

 

Hua Ariel: Engaging with senior leadership from prominent retail brands and industry pioneers offers invaluable insights and networking opportunities. For instance, the 2024 roster of speakers includes CEOs from leading retail giants such as Carrefour, Printemps, Zalando, and Sephora, alongside representatives from esteemed consulting firms like BCG, McKinsey, and Deloitte, as well as retail tech companies such as Google, SymphonyAI, and Snowflake. Interacting with these industry leaders equips us with firsthand knowledge of the latest trends, challenges, and innovations shaping the retail sector.  

 

 

Lastly, any advice for students who might participate in future events like this? 

 

For future participants, I recommend focusing on clarity and impact in both written reports and presentations. It’s important to not go to deep into details; you need to step back to ensure a coherent overall strategy. Engaging storytelling and a strong narrative can set your presentation apart. 

 

 

 

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World Retail Congress - MSc in Marketing Management
13 May 2024
Crafting the Future of Retail: EDHEC at the World Retail Congress
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🌍 Leading the Charge in Sustainable Fashion! 🌟 At the 2024 World Retail Congress in Paris, EDHEC's MSc in Marketing Management students, Yogesh Sejwal, Antonio Paparis, and Andreea Dache, showcased groundbreaking strategies to combat Scope 3 emissions in the fashion industry. 🌱✨

Their innovations, including the "Sustain-a-Label" and "Lacoste Vintage Club," are redefining sustainable shopping, making it easy and trendy for everyone. 🏷️👗 This experience enhanced their understanding of the retail world and also set a new standard for environmental responsibility in fashion retail.

🔗 Discover more about how EDHEC is bridging the gap between academia and real-world impact: [https://shorturl.at/lov35] 🎓🔍

#EDHEC #FutureRetailChallenge #SustainableFashion #InnovationInRetail #Scope3 #RetailCongress2024 #MarketingMasters #ThinkGreen #EcoFriendlyFashion #TransformingRetail

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