Future of the High Street

Date and Time
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
6:30pm— 7:30pm
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Sandy Hernandez

Is the high street - as we know it - over? What might take its place?

Join the Wharton and Penn Clubs of the UK as we explore what the future of the high street might hold! We’ll be chatting with experts for some inspiring and thought-provoking discussion on future trends and examples of new business models, including ample time for your questions!


GABRIELLE HASE, WG’00, CEO at Soleberry Advisory and NED

Gabrielle Hase is a London-based digital commerce strategy consultant and CEO of Soleberry Advisory, where she helps leading consumer brands and retailers build their online presence and increase market share.

Gabrielle is a Non-Executive Director for Amplience (VC-backed SaaS content management platform), LS Retail (PE-backed point of sale software provider), Planks Clothing (UK-based skiwear business), and All Together, (pro-bono CEO to CEO Advisory platform).  She also sits on the Board of Tate Enterprises, the commercial arm of Tate Galleries, where her experience helps the cultural institution reach new and different audiences via its online presence.

Gabrielle’s achievements include managing leading leisure brand Sweaty Betty’s global eCommerce business; accelerating Hobbs’ domestic and international online sales and launching TKMaxx.com, which opened an entirely new route to market for the European retailer.  Some of Gabrielle’s other clients include The School of Life, McArthurGlen luxury outlets, Arcadia and The White Company.

She also recently co-authored the Retail Pandemic Playbook, featured here in Wharton Magazine: “10 Steps Retailers Can Take Now for Post-COVID Success


JOHN HOYLE, CEO and Founder of Sook

John is the CEO and Founder of Sook. Formerly a Property Developer with Grosvenor and Aldar Sorouh, John launched Sook in 2019 to address the challenges faced by the High Street. Sook rents shops by the hour so that that they can be used for a wide spectrum of the week and occupiers can use the digital canvas within the spaces in order to create a bespoke environment for whatever it is they want to use it for: community, amenity, wellness, retail and more. Sook will be opening more sites across the UK in 2021 as well as entering the South African, UAE and Polish markets. Prior to his career in real estate John was a British Army officer serving in Germany, Iraq and London.


SANDY HERNANDEZ, WG'07, Founder and Retail Innovation Strategist 

Sandy Hernandez is a Retail Innovation Strategist who is on a mission to inspire a better retail future filled with places, spaces and experiences that people love. She is passionate about saving the high street and helping retailers and brands build innovative (and profitable) business models, launch their first stores, and design customer experiences that pop.

Over the last 17 years, Sandy has helped clients such as Argos, Adidas, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Diageo, H&M and many more in the areas of innovation, customer experience, and store of the future design; as well as launched a 20+ brand ‘store of the future’ pop-up in London and Singapore. You can also find her on The Retail Muse Project, a brand new YouTube channel and labour of love, offering advice and ideas to ignite your retail business.



RAJESH BHARGAVE, GrW '09, Associate Professor of Marketing at Imperial College Business School

Rajesh Bhargave is Associate Professor of Marketing at Imperial College Business School. His research specialisation and areas of teaching are consumer behaviour and market research. Rajesh also works with businesses and organisations in different sectors. By drawing on principles of behavioural science and consumer psychology, he aims to help companies become more customer-centric.


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