In 2019 a group of talented young students from Turin Campus was selected to represent ESCP at one of the world's leading events in the retail industry, The Future Retail Challenge.

ESCP’s team, tutored by Marketing Professor Isabella Maggioni, was made up of four students, all of them in there second year of the Bachelor in Management: Anastasia Bocchino, Alexa Motte, Luigi Oddera, and Maximilian Schmitt.
The event, organised by the World Retail Congress, was held in Amsterdam last May.

During the competition, university teams from across the globe presented there ideas in response to the future retail challenge brief to a judging panel of senior retail executives and experts.  

This year's Future Retail Challenge required the student teams to compete in the creation of a retail brand that brought together the rebellious approach of the 60s and 70s culture with the digital technology of today” – said Marketing Professor Isabella Maggioni. “The ESCP team presented a fresh and exciting retail concept proposing a format blending personalisation, self-expression, community and fashion. They competed against other 5 teams from all over the world and the judges found the quality of this year's projects outstanding and highly valued the creativity demonstrated by all the teams”.

This contest was an excellent opportunity for growth for our students. We met the team and asked some questions about this great experience:

Tell us about the retail concept you presented at the future retail challenge.

Our concept was Made in YOU: an extremely specific retail store where customers can discover the inner self and express it with clothes, with the help of our customization team of tailors and designers and technology, as well as an interactive and unique customer journey that includes a common area, a stage, a bar and an educational path”, explained Luigi Oddera.

Our retail concept was a store, that combined the values of Vivienne Westwood, focusing on self-expression, with the technologies of today, data collection. This is how we created an experience through which you find the most suitable clothes customized to you as well as an open-minded community where you can be your true self”, continued Alexa Motte.

Which part of the contest was the most challenging for you?

Meeting up and aligning on the concept was really tough during the first months. We all had the same concept in mind but some differences and we tried to combine everything, so it is a true group project”, affirmed Maximilian Schmitt. 

However, for Anastasia Bocchino the most challenging part “was organizing the presentation that had to perfectly explain the concept in a short amount of time and to be visually understood by the audience and the judges”.

What did you learn from this experience?

I learned to present in front of very successful people, to network with the representatives of the companies as well as with the other university teams and to be in an environment that is unknown to us”, said Alexa.

How to work under pressure and do a thorough research, how to fully concentrate on the concept and the idea in order to overcome the stress of presenting in front of an audience as well as being supportive within the team”, declared Anastasia.

What did you like most about the challenge?

The opportunity to interact with various students and retailers from all over the world and exchange ideas. From this big mix of different perspectives, the best ideas are born”, stated Luigi.

My team members, simply because it brought all of us closer together, by challenging all of us to think beyond lectures. Also, the support of ESCP, especially our mentor Isabella Maggioni and, also, Professor Francesco Rattalino, was great; without them, we could not have made it that far”, concluded Maximilian. 

The Future Retail Challenge was a great opportunity to learn how the next generation of retailers is solving real-world industry challenges.