Speakers & Panellists

Please find below the list of the confirmed speakers as per date, in alphabetical order:

Mr Naoya Araki

Mr Naoya Araki

President of Hankyu Hanshin Department Stores, Japan

Mr Araki has been the President and Representative Director of Hankyu Hanshin Department Stores since March 2012. Subsequently, in June 2012, he was appointed Representative Director of H2O Retailing Group. Throughout his career, Mr Araki has held various managerial positions within the company, including General Manager of Suburban Store Development; Executive Officer of Hankyu Department Stores Inc, New Store Development; Executive Officer of Hankyu Hanshin Department Stores Inc and Director and Executive Officer of Hankyu Hanshin Department Stores Inc. Mr Araki joined Hankyu Department Stores in 1981 after graduating from Kyoto University’s Faculty of Economics.


Mr Masao Ariga

Mr Masao Ariga

President of Hermès Japon, Japan

Mr Ariga joined Hermès in 2008 as President of Hermès Japon. In 1981, he started his career as a merchandiser at Isetan Co., Ltd., where he held various positions during his 21 years tenure. As General Manager of Merchandising at Barneys Japan, and General Manager of Merchandising of Isetan Women’s Contemporary Designers department, he accumulated a wealth of business knowledge and a thorough understanding of the Japanese market as well as an expert knowledge of the European and US fashion industry. In 2002, Mr Ariga joined Coach Japan as Executive Vice President. Prior to his current role at Hermès, he was President & CEO of Loewe Japan, subsidiary of the Spanish luxury brand from 2004 to 2007. He currently also serves as Chairman of the Overseas Fashion Brand Association in Japan.


Mr Marco Bizzarri

Mr Marco Bizzarri

CEO of Gucci, Italy

Mr Bizzarri was named President and CEO of Gucci in January 2015, after serving as CEO of Kering’s Luxury – Couture & Leather Goods division, from April 2014 to January 2015, and as President and CEO of Bottega Veneta, from January 2009 to April 2014. He first joined the Kering Group in January 2005 as president and CEO of Stella McCartney. Previously, he was General Manager of Marithé et François Girbaud in Paris. He also held various positions, including General Manager of the Mandarina Duck Group from 1993 to 2004. Mr Bizzarri began his career as a consultant for Accenture. Mr Bizzarri’s mantra at Gucci has been to foster creativity in every aspect of the business and it emphasizes the importance of approaching the daily tasks of work in a different way, continually challenging and questioning the status quo and encouraging risk-taking within the framework of a learning organization. The astonishing turnaround that Gucci has achieved in the last four years – a unique case within the luxury fashion industry for a brand of its scale – has gained Mr Bizzarri a series of accolades, including the British Fashion Council’s Business Leader of the Year Award for 2016, 2017, 2018 and the WWD CEO/Creative Leadership Award for 2017. He was also the recipient of the Legion of Honour, France’s highest decoration, in December 2017.


Mr Peter Camille Borer

Mr Peter Camille Borer

COO of The Peninsula Hotels , Hong Kong

Mr Borer was appointed COO of The Peninsula Hotels and an Executive Director of The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited (HSH) in April 2004. He joined the Company in 1981, where he was successively promoted to senior executive positions, culminating in his appointment as Resident Manager of The Peninsula Hong Kong. In 1985 he was promoted to Director of Sales & Marketing at the Company’s head office and by 1990, he was appointed Senior Vice President. For the hotel extension in 1994, he returned to operations as General Manager. In 1999, he assumed wider responsibility for The Peninsula Hotels’ portfolio of Asian properties (Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok and Beijing) as Regional General Manager, and was then further promoted to Group General Manager (Asia) in 2002. Mr Borer holds a degree in hotel management from the Ecole Hôtelière Lausanne in Switzerland and is a member of the International Advisory Board of the school. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has been awarded an Adjunct Associate Professorship and Chapter Honouree of Eta Sigma Delta of the School of Hotel Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2001 and 2004 respectively.


Ms Yuwadee Chirathivat

Ms Yuwadee Chirathivat

Chairwoman of Central Department Store, Thailand

Ms Chirathivat joined Central Department Store, a part of Central Group, in 1981 and was appointed to various positions in both the operations and merchandising departments. In 1996, she was appointed the President of Central Department Store. In 2004 until 2006, she was the first-ever woman - as well as the third-ever Asian - to be elected President of the Intercontinental Group of Department Stores (IGDS). After her Presidency, she remains active in her role in the IGDS as part of its Executive Board. Presently, Central Department Store has 21 stores throughout Thailand and Ms Chirathivat has been instrumental in its continuous growth to the present day. In 2014 Ms Chirathivat was appointed CEO of Central Department Store Group overlooking all of the Group’s department store operations in Asia (Central, Robinson, ZEN in Thailand; Central in Indonesia), and Europe (La Rinascente in Italy; Illum in Denmark; The KaDeWe Group in Germany). She has also been chosen by Forbes as one of Asia’s 50 Power Businesswomen in 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016.


Mr Jean-Baptiste Coumau

Mr Jean-Baptiste Coumau

Partner at McKinsey & Co, Japan

In May 2018, Mr Fujino was appointed Managing Executive Officer of J. Front Retailing Co., Ltd. Since May 2014, he also serves as Managing Executive Officer and Senior Executive General Manager of Management Strategy Unit at J. Front Retailing Co., Ltd. Mr Fujino has held various instrumental roles within J. Front Retailing. In 2008, he was General Manager of the Marketing Planning Promotion Division of Department Stores Coordination Division. He was later appointed Corporate Officer, Executive Store Manager of Daimaru Tokyo and Senior General Manager of Planning Office for the Phase II Expansion of the new Daimaru Tokyo Store. He was also in charge of Group Business Structural Reforms of Management Strategy Unit of J. Front Retailing Co., Ltd. as Corporate Officer.


Mr Mark Dytham

Mr Mark Dytham

Architect & Founder of Klein Dytham Architecture, Japan

Born in the UK, Mr Dytham studied architecture at the Royal College of Art in London. He travelled to Tokyo in 1989 and found work with Toyo Ito. He and Astrid Klein soon established Klein Dytham architecture, working freely across disciplines that include architecture, interiors, furniture, installations, and events. KDa’s award-winning projects, including Daikanyama T-SITE / Tsutaya Books (2011), GINZA PLACE (2016) and Open House, Bangkok (2017) have become landmarks. Mr Dytham is a frequent guest speaker at international design events and he has taught at universities in Japan. In 2000, he was awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) for services to British Design in Japan. In 2003, Mr Dytham and Ms Klein devised PechaKucha Night as an event for Tokyo designers to meet and share their work – it has now grown into an international network with events running in over 1,050 cities around the globe, inspiring creatives worldwide.


Mr Greg Gelhaus

Mr Greg Gelhaus

Head of Asia Pacific at Global Blue, Singapore

Mr Gelhaus joined Global Blue in 2014 as the Head of Asia Pacific, bringing to the company his deep and varied experience to help businesses deliver significant performance improvement and strengthen their strategic management. This includes experience across 18 industries and 17 countries in North America, Western and Eastern Europe, and Asia. Prior to joining Global Blue, Mr Gelhaus was the COO and CFO for the Kirkham Group, a group of businesses providing building and energy efficiency products and solutions to commercial and industrial clients based in South East Asia. Before, he was the Director in the Restructuring Group at Alvarez and Marsal (A&M). He also served as an Engagement Manager with Marakon Associates. Mr Gelhaus was a member of the Restructuring group at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) (now FTI Consulting) in New York advising distressed companies and creditors in both in and out-of-court restructuring situations. Mr Gelhaus holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in business Administration, with concentrations in Finance and Marketing, from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and is also a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York.


Mr Mario Grauso

Mr Mario Grauso

President of Holt Renfrew, Canada

With over 20 years of experience in fashion and retail, Mr Grauso has led some of the industry’s best-known brands. In his current position as President of Holt Renfrew, he oversees all divisions of the company including store experience, buying & merchandising, network, supply chain, and marketing. Before joining Holt Renfrew in September 2016, Mr Grauso was President of Joe Fresh from 2013 to 2016, where he led an ambitious international expansion strategy. Prior to that, he was President of Vera Wang Group from 2009 to 2013 where he worked closely with founder Vera Wang in the expansion of the brand into new global markets. Mr Grauso was President of Carolina Herrera Ltd. from 2000 to 2004 and President of Puig Fashion Group from 2004 to 2009. Earlier in his career he held senior executive positions at Céline, Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani.


Ms Astrid Klein

Ms Astrid Klein

Architect & Founder of Klein Dytham Architecture, Japan

Ms Klein was born in Italy to German parents, schooled in France, educated in Britain and since 1988 has lived and worked in Japan. After a Master’s degree from the Royal College of Art in London, Ms Klein was drawn to Japan by the simplicity of design, attention to detail and the freedom from traditional constraints. In Tokyo she began working for Toyo Ito and in 1991 she co-founded Klein Dytham Architecture with Mark Dytham. Ms Klein is a frequent guest at international conferences on design and architecture and has held teaching positions at universities in Japan, the UK, the USA, Australia and throughout Europe.


Ms Motoko Matsushita

Ms Motoko Matsushita

Director of Nomura Research Institute, Japan

Ms Matsushita joined NRI after finishing her Master’s in Psychology at the University of Tokyo in 1996. Since then, she has consistently studied trends of consumers, consulted on various topics in the areas of corporate marketing strategy planning, promotion effect measurement, support for formulation of advertisement strategy, brand strategy, demand forecast, and interpretation of consumers consciousness and values. She is also responsible for ‘The NRI 10,000 Consumers Survey’, which empirically analyses and presents consumer values and behaviour in Japan. Ms Matsushita is also the co-author of the books ‘Why don’t Japanese buy things?’ and ‘Why do Japanese want to buy things without thinking?’


Mr Ian Moir

Mr Ian Moir

CEO of David Jones, Australia

Mr Moir is Group Chief Executive Officer of Woolworths Holdings Limited, one of South Africa’s leading retailers of quality food and clothing. Woolworths also owns Australia’s leading premium department store David Jones and the fashion retailer Country Road. Prior to becoming Group CEO in 2010, Mr Moir was the CEO of Country Road, where he oversaw the transformation of the business into the successful, multi-brand specialty apparel group that it is today. Mr Moir has an MBA from the University of London and a Masters’ degree in Economics and Accounting.


Mr Motoi Oyama

Mr Motoi Oyama

Chairman & CEO of Asics, Japan

Mr Oyama has been part of the Asics Corporation since 1982. Before being appointed President and COO of Asics, Europe B.V. in 2001, Mr Oyama held various general manager positions within the Walking and Footwear Divisions. In April 2005, he was named Director in charge of Overseas and Senior General Manager, and was also appointed Chairman and CEO of Asics Europe B.V. In April 2008, Mr Oyama was named President and Representative Director of Asics. He currently serves as Chairman and CEO, as well as Representative Director of Asics. Mr Oyama holds the Official Post of Vice Chairman at the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry


Mr Vittorio Radice

Mr Vittorio Radice

Vice Chairman of Rinascente, Italy, Board Member of Illum, Denmark & Managing Director of The Kadewe Group, Germany

In 1980, Mr Radice joined AMC International Buying Office for Department Stores as Merchandiser, where he contributed to the successful development of the Home Furnishing Division. In 1990, he joined Habitat UK to take over the position of Managing Director, and transformed it into a larger, profitable company. From 1996 to 2003 as CEO of Selfridges, Mr Radice transformed the department store, leading it to the successful demerger of Selfridges from the Sears conglomerate. In 2003, he was headhunted by Marks & Spencer to set up a new chain of stores dedicated to home furnishings. He was appointed Chief Executive of La Rinascente in 2005. In 2011 Central Retail Group acquired La Rinascente, with the goal to develop a pan-European group of historic department stores. In 2013 la Rinascente acquired Illum of Denmark. In 2015 Central Group took the controlling stake of The Kadewe Group in Germany. Since 2012 Mr Radice has been the Vice-Chairman of la Rinascente, since 2013 a Board Member of Illum and since 2015 the Managing Director of The Kadewe Holdings.


Mr Doug Stephens

Mr Doug Stephens

Retail Futurist of Retail Prophet, Canada

Mr Stephens is one of the world’s foremost retail industry futurists. His intellectual work and thinking have influenced many of the world’s best-known retailers, agencies and brands including Walmart, Google, Home Depot, Disney, BMW, Citibank, and Intel. He is also listed as one of retail’s top global influencers by Vend.com. Prior to founding Retail Prophet, Mr Stephens spent over 20 years in the retail industry, holding senior international roles including the leadership of one of New York City’s most historic retail chains. He is the author of two groundbreaking books - The Retail Revival: Re-Imagining Business for the New Age of Consumerism (2013) and Reengineering Retail: The Future of Selling in a PostDigital World (2017) Mr Stephens is also the nationally syndicated retail columnist for CBC Radio and sits on the advisory boards of the Dx3 Digital Conference and the David Sobey Centre for Innovation in Retail & Services at St. Mary’s University. His unique perspectives on retailing, business and consumer behavior have been featured in many of the world’s leading publications and media outlets including The New York Times, The BBC, Bloomberg Business News, TechCrunch, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and Fast Company. Doug speaks regularly to major brands and organizations across North and South America, Europe, Asia, The Middle East and Australia.


Mr Kei Suzuki

Mr Kei Suzuki

Director at MUJI / Ryohin Keikaku, Japan

Mr Suzuki is the Director of Ryohin Keikaku Co., Ltd. known for MUJI. He currently holds the position of HR & General Affairs Division, Legal & Intellectual Property Division, as well as Internal Audit Office. Mr Suzuki began his career in 1987 at the Overseas Trading Division of the Seibu Department Stores, Limited (currently Sogo & Seibu Co., Ltd.). In 1995, he joined the Overseas Business Division of Ryohin Keikaku Co., Ltd. In 1998, he moved to London where he headed MUJI business in Europe. In 2007, he returned to Tokyo and became the head of Human Resources, Finance, and Strategy Planning. From 2011 to 2017, he served as the head of Household Division, the biggest product category in MUJI. He was the head of Asia and Oceania businesses just before taking the current role. Mr Suzuki holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.


Mr Hiroyuki Takagi

Mr Hiroyuki Takagi

Research Director at Nomura Research Institute, Japan

Mr Takagi joined Nomura Research Institute, after graduating from the Economics department of Keio University in 1989. He is involved in the areas of Group Business Strategy Development, Business Process Reengineering, Introducing IT systems, Revitalization, Marketing, Logistics and Internal support. His has been in charge of many projects for retail companies and his area of expertise covers Department stores, Hypermarkets, Supermarkets, Convenience stores, Specialty stores, COOP, E-commerce companies and Retail Conglomerates in Asian countries, USA and Europe.


Mr Ewan Venters

Mr Ewan Venters

CEO of Fortnum & Mason, England

As CEO of Fortnum & Mason, Mr Venters has led one of Britain’s iconic retail businesses to a succession of major achievements during his six years in the job. Under his leadership, Fortnum’s has achieved record sales and profits. and has also expanded beyond their historic London home in Piccadilly into new locations. Fortnum’s also has a presence in Hong Kong and South Korea, and opens its festive arcade at Somerset House each winter. Mr Venters is passionate about the creation of innovative products and in taking the Fortnum & Mason brand worldwide through its dynamic digital platform. A renowned foodie, Mr Venters works tirelessly to promote locally produced and artisanal foods and was recently made an ambassador for the GREAT Britain campaign.


Ms Naomi Yamakawa

Ms Naomi Yamakawa

Partner at McKinsey & Co, Japan

Ms Yamakawa is an Expert Associate Partner at McKinsey. Based in Tokyo and covering broader Asia Pacific region with a focus on consumer driven growth, she has supported clients in Apparel, Fashion and Luxury, as well as packaged goods and retail. Ms Yamakawa is a core member of McKinsey’s Marketing & Sales group with in-depth experience and knowledge on consumer insights and branding.


Mr Tatsuya Yoshimoto

Mr Tatsuya Yoshimoto

President of Daimaru-Matsuzakaya , Japan

Mr Yoshimoto is the President of Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores and Director and Representative Managing Executive Officer of J. Front Retailing. He began his career in Daimaru in January 2008 as the General Manager of the Tokyo Store. Within months he took over the position of Corporate Officer and General Manager. He later became the Corporate Officer and General Manager of Sales Planning Promotion Division and Marketing Planning Promotion Division of Department Stores Coordination Division of J. Front Retailing. Mr Yoshimoto was appointed Corporate Officer and Senior General Manager of Management Planning Division of Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores in May 2010, and two years later he became the Director and Corporate Officer of the company. April 2013, he was named President and Representative Director of Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores, as well as Director of J. Front Retailing.