On February 25, the NACDS Retail Advisory Board will travel to London with some very timely educational goals. The team of 64 manufacturers, retailers and suppliers will focus on key marketplace trends, including multigenerational retailing, how the Omni-channel is creating a better shopping experience, increasingly urban retailing and managing over-the-counter medications.

Why London? According to Bryan Stuke, chairman of the NACDS Retail Advisory Board and Procter & Gamble vice president of customer business development, England’s population is aging a few years ahead of the American population, so the opportunity to observe how British retailers are managing the needs of aging consumers is relevant, especially given the baby boomer juggernaut that’s seemingly affecting every aspect of life in the U.S. Another good reason to choose London is its centuries-long reputation as a thriving, diverse, populous European capital. Stuke says a big trend in the U.S. right now is to become more urbanized rather than suburban or rural, so London fits the bill.

This popular market immersion trip will be the fourth for the Retail Advisory Board so far. Past trips have been to Toronto, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Austin, Texas. The group will travel to Boston in May. Stuke says the objective is to identify places where new ideas are being generated and new retail formats exist. He said the trips “allow retailers and manufacturers to walk a store together to discover new ideas on how they can merchandise their stores, product categories, adjacencies or product lines better.”

Beyond merchandising, supply chain and store operations, the group will also look at how British retailers are becoming  Omni channel—utilizing Internet, mobile and the physical store to help the consumer shop whenever they want and pick up merchandise wherever they want to pick it up.

Stuke says, “There’s a nice mix of retailers and manufacturers on the trip, so there’s going to be quite a bit of interaction between the retailers and the manufacturers in a non-traditional setting. It’s pure learning and sharing.”

The group will have the opportunity to tour several stores, including Boots, Burberry’s, Marks & Spencer and Tesco. A speaker will provide an overview of English history, putting into perspective the ways the English government and healthcare systems have evolved. A speaker from Nielson will also present on the English retail market, contrasting the differences between British and U.S. stores. As part of the comprehensive agenda, representatives from the U.S. embassy will address policy issues in the U.K. and E.U., such as privacy concerns and how the embassy can help U.S. companies in England.

The NACDS Retail Advisory Board market immersion trips take brainstorming beyond the confines of the conference room and out into the world, for interactive, real-time results