Alex Ritchie is the creative director and co-founder of e2 who will speak about how creative thinking can help redefine market positions for your business.

RB: Briefly (in one or two points) explain what you'll be speaking about at the Conference?
AR: The foucs of this talk will be the role of strategic design thinking in the modern business environment. The perception of design thinking has changed over time and is no longer just for designers. Many business leaders are now considering this to be an effective approach for innovation and long-term competitive advantage. I will be dicussing how creativity can be used for competitive advantage and the importance of strategic approach to its implementation.

RB: Why do you believe this/these topic(s) are important and relevant to retailers?
AR: One design solution is never a 'be all and end all'and the same goes for strategy. The market is always changing and a business' strategy will need to continually evovle with the market. Retailers need to understand how innovative design will influence the way customers interact across both digital and physical spaces, and how this can be applied to create a long-term competitive advantage.

RB: Can you provide comment about the current state of the Australian retail sector and ONE tip you'd give to retailers?
AR: In its current state, Australia retail lacks true strategic direction and is also combating the challenges of online shopping. The end result is consumers losing interest in retail spaces and shops. One tip for retailers is to understand the customer and the 'human factors' through quantitative and qualitative research of both the tangibles and intangibles associated with a customer's end-to-end experience and act upon this.

Register here to attend Retail 2012 Expo & Conference to see Alex Ritchie live.