A BROMSGROVE student will be travelling to Paris to take on rivals from across the world for the Retail Futures Challenge competition.
Backed by Sir Philip Green, the owner of the Arcadia Group which includes Top Shop and BHS, Dan Swanepoel will be challenging people from New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Ancona.
The 23-year-old, who is originally from South Africa, will be joined by a team of three others chosen to represent London’s Fashion Retail Academy at the World Retail Congress in Paris next week.
Dan was selected as one of the top graduates from 700 pupils.
The World Retail Congress, which is now in its sixth year and will take place from Monday (September 29) until Wednesday (October 1), is also supported by big brands such as Marks and Spencer, Tesco and Next.
For the event, the team will be presenting blueprints of their vision of a Samsung store of the future to more than 1,000 retail executives.
The Samsung Life Store must demonstrate how technology can make people’s home lives more comfortable, productive and entertaining.
It is expected to meet the needs of shoppers wanting to buy not just in stores but online, through their mobile and social media.
Dan Said: “When I first found out I was obviously quite excited.
“The last week or so I have been a bit nervous but I think when I get there I will be more excited than nervous.
“I am so proud to be representing the UK with my designs.
“My parents are also excited for me and I am sure they are quite proud too.”
Sir Philip said he wished the students good luck but urged them to make sure they had ‘done their homework’.
He added: “They need to make sure they have thought of everything which would make shopping in the store a great experience but it also needs to be commercial.
“If they win, it could be the springboard to bright futures in retail.”
Ian McGarrigle, the World Retail Congress’s chairman, said: “We are very pleased London is going to be represented again at the Retail Futures Challenge.
“The competition has grown to become one of the high points of the WRC and it is fantastic to see these future leaders of retailing setting out their ideas in front of an audience of retail professionals.
“I wish them the best of luck for the final.”