A UTTOXETER fashion student is set to fly to Paris to take part in a business competition, where she will take on rival teams from around the world.
Nicola Wheeler, 21, from Uttoxeter, along with her team Danielle Caveney, Claire Lacey and Charlotte Newman, will compete in an Apprentice-style challenge at the World Retail Congress in Paris.
The girls, who study at the Fashion Retail Academy in London, are backed by Topshop boss Philip Green as they take part in the Retail Futures Challenge against teams from New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Milan.
The four were chosen from 700 students at the Fashion Retail Academy, which is supported by retail giants including Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Next and Philip Green’s Arcadia.
They will present their vision for ‘exporting’ Mrs Kibble’s Olde Sweet Shoppe, a family-run store just off London’s Oxford Street, to Paris.
It must meet all the demands of today’s consumers who expect to be able to shop via physical stores, online, mobile, or social media.
They will present their blueprint to over 1,000 retail executives who will gather in the French capital for the 7th annual WRC.
The judging panel will include retail industry experts including the CEO of American Eagle, the chief executive of Galeries Lafayette and the managing director of Lux Advisory.
Karen Dennison, principal of the Fashion Retail Academy, said: “I really think this could be our year.
“London teams have come quite close to winning in recent years: hopefully we’ll get over the line this time.”
Ian McGarrigle, chairman of the World Retail Congress said: “We are very pleased that 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 World Retail Congress 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 all the very best of luck for the final.”