Leading economist set for iMedia Online Retail Summit 2024

With economic uncertainty persisting, the iMedia Online Retail Summit New Zealand 2024 is rolling out the experts to help retail leaders understand the factors affecting consumers and the wider economy. 

The summit, which takes place from May 13-15, will feature in-depth economic analysis and discussions with around 15 keynote speakers, headlined by Shamubeel Eaqub, one of New Zealand’s leading economists.

Eaqub says his session, ‘Unveiling Current Economic Insights in Retail’, will unpack the competing factors of strong jobs, high inflation, rising mortgage costs and low confidence on New Zealanders’ retail spending. “The picture is murkier than ever; this event will help attendees understand the push-pull factors driving customer behaviour,” he says.

“My session specifically will help the audience understand the wider economic and consumer landscape they are working in, which contextualises everything we do in business. One business or industry is not the economy, but understanding the economy is akin to understanding the water we are swimming in, so that we can act accordingly.”

While consumer spending was relatively resilient in 2023, Eaqub says we may see consumers “taking a breather” this year. “Spending volumes have slowed over the past year, and I expect consumers to pull back a bit more, especially households with rapidly rising mortgage payments, and younger folk less confident of their employment and income prospects.”

Another factor in play is a possible economic slowdown in China, which Eaqub says would be most relevant for rural New Zealand, as it affects dairy, meat and forestry. “The New Zealand economy has been treading water for the past year, so this is not just about China, but also high interest rates and slowing government spending in New Zealand.”

The iMedia Online Retail Summit New Zealand 2024 has recently been announced to take place at the new location of QT, Queenstown. This allows the event to cater to a larger audience of senior retail leaders and decision-makers from enterprise-level businesses.

Seventy professionals will be selected from all applicants to attend, with a specific group of senior professionals representing solutions and technology businesses catering to retail and eCommerce also joining the delegation of attendees.

Eaqub says the content from experts will help the audience see their businesses and roles in a new light, and hopefully help them gain new and relevant insights. However, he notes that the benefit of the event is as much about the content as it is about making connections with peers.

“Socialising with peers is often a great way to get the best of the expert content, by talking and debating. Being with peers is also a chance to understand how others see the market, risks, opportunities, and what kind of strategies others might be using. It all adds to greater understanding, greater insight, and better preparedness for business.”

Anna Cannon, Head of Marketing and Communications ANZ for global conference organiser Comexposium (who exclusively run iMedia Summits), says retailers are hungry for as much economic insight as possible from this year’s iMedia Online Retail Summit.

“Shamubeel Eaqub has long been renowned for his clear and thoughtful economic perspectives, and we’re thrilled to confirm him as part of our keynote speaking line-up. This year’s conference is themed around staying power and getting back to basics.

“With that in mind, it is important we provide the New Zealand retail professionals attending our summit with the right knowledge and insights, so they can go on to make sound strategic decisions, adapt to changing conditions, and maintain a competitive edge.”

For more information on the iMedia Online Retail Summit New Zealand 2024 and to register your interest to attend, click here: Home | iMedia Online Retail Summit NZ (imediasummits.com)

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