Interview with Justin Opie, Managing Director of the IMRG

IMRG Interview with Justin Opie

With over 20 years’ experience launching and developing IT, digital marketing, retail and ecommerce media, including brands such as Adtech and ECommerce Expo, Justin has developed a deep understanding of these communities, and offers a broad perspective of what makes these fast moving markets tick. Now Justin is exclusively focussed on leading IMRG’s next phase of development, ensuring IMRG is well positioned to serve the e-retail community by collecting and analysing valuable market data from the membership, supporting retailers through policy work and facilitating professional development across the industry through events, reports and other media. It’s an exciting time for Justin and the team at IMRG, and D&W recently had the opportunity to find out more…

1. What’s your role at IMRG and what does your typical day look like?

MD. In essence, managing and developing IMRG’s membership proposition and the value it delivers the retail sector. My working day starts at 7.28am….the train to Waterloo where I enjoy just under an hour of “me” time to address emails and focus on the day ahead. Once at Covent Garden HQ, typically a mixture of internal development meetings, external retail meetings, conference calls with our international partners…that sort of thing. I often have to speak at or chair an event too…..this helps me keep my finger on the pulse of the sector.

2. How did you get into the world of retail, digital and ecommerce?

My business partners and I spent over 20 years launching and developing IT, digital marketing, retail and e commerce media, including brands such as Adtech and E Commerce Expo. This helped me develop a deep understanding of these communities, and what makes these fast moving markets tick. During this period we worked very closely with, and gained huge respect for IMRG.

3. For anyone who is not yet familiar with IMRG, what’s your elevator pitch?

IMRG is a membership organisation which serves the e-retail community by collecting and analysing valuable market data from the membership thus enabling performance benchmarking by sector, supporting retailers through policy work and facilitating professional development across the industry through events, reports and other media. We are renowned for the thought leadership and insight we offer retailers.

4. Which brands have stood out and excited you so far in 2014?

5. What does 2014 hold in store for IMRG?

Real time benchmarking Indexes,  X-border intelligence programme, Digital High Street initiative, the emerging dominance of the Connect conferences, rapidly growing retail membership.

6. What do you enjoy most about your job?

The variety, and the significance of what we offer the retail community. Hearing back from the membership how valuable our insight programmes are is very rewarding….makes it all worthwhile.

7. What are your top tips for others in the industry?

Don’t stand still. Retail, underpinned by digital, is evolving at lightning speed.

8. What do you think will be the next big change to hit our industry?

There are several mega-trends….Mobile, X-border, digital high street, click and collect innovation, but for me globalisation is the killer opportunity for UK merchants. We have the most sophisticated e commerce economy in the world, and the opportunity for expansion x-border is boundless.

9. What quote has most inspired you?

Carpe Diem.”

10. What has been your biggest challenge within digital?

Being able to present it as an opportunity to traditional retailers rather than simply a threat.

11. What was your dream job when you were a young boy?

To be a doctor. I stuck with that until year 2 at Med school and then finally gave in to my desire to pursue a career in business.

12. If anyone is interested in finding out more about IMRG, what do you recommend they do?

Our membership community comprises businesses of all sizes – multichannel and pureplay, SME and multinational, as well as suppliers to the industry. We support retailers through a range of activities including market tracking and intelligence, benchmarking, best practice events and policy work.

For anyone that wants to find out more, we welcome you to register your interest with us at IMRG.


That concludes our interview with Justin, many thanks for your time and insight!

Additional info: IMRG produce public white papers alongside key industry figures, including the new white paper that was created in partnership with Maginus, our parent company, titled ‘Wholesale in an online world‘. These white papers can be downloaded from the IMRG website, here you will also find details about their latest Connect events and reports.

Other posts you may also be interested in: IMRG Fashion Sector Insight Report Infographic designed by D&W and the IMRG Connect: Online Clothing and Fashion Event.

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