Retail Futurist & The Sound Agency – Speaker bios

Retail brands across the globe are rightly worried when all we hear from the media is that the High Street is severely wounded. That department stores and supermarkets are in decline, while AI and robotics threaten to redefine the way we live, work and consume forever. One thing is certain: the age of retail disruption has only just begun. Retail Futurist, Howard Saunders, takes us on a high-energy, jargon-free journey into the future of retail and explains how we can best prepare for the hurdles that lie ahead.

This year, our annual event held at Huckletree West will bring to the stage Howard Saunders and Managing Director of The Sound Agency, Jonny Round.

Retail Futurist Howard Saunders

The Retail Futurist, otherwise known as Howard Saunders, is a writer and speaker whose job it is to see beyond retail’s currently choppy waters.

Howard spent the first twenty-five years of his career at some of London’s most renowned retail design agencies, including Fitch & Company, where he created concepts, strategies and identities for dozens of British high street brands.

In 2003 he founded trend-hunting agency, Echochamber, inspiring his clients with new and innovative store designs from across the globe.

Howard relocated to New York in 2012 where the energetic regeneration of Brooklyn inspired his book, Brooklynization, published in 2017. His newfound role as a champion for retail’s future in our town and city centres gave rise to the title The Retail Futurist.

Howard has been interviewed on numerous television and radio programs and podcasts for BBC Radio 4, BBC Scotland, the British Retail Consortium, Sky News Australia and TVNZ, New Zealand.

His talks are hi-energy, jargon-free journeys that explore the exciting, if not terrifying, retail landscape that lies ahead.

When not in retail mode, Howard has recorded, literally, thousands of digital music masterpieces, most of which remain, thankfully, unheard.

Howard Saunders and Jonny Round are speaking at The New Age of Retail Disruption

Introductory talk by Jonny Round

Jonny will discuss how sound affects the human body, how our senses interact with one another, and how multi-sensory branding is key to forming an emotional connection between brands and clients.

Jonny has worked in audio branding for the past seven years. After working as Head of Audio for Pearl DME, Jonny joined The Sound Agency in 2016 and currently manages the agency and its key clients around the world, from the US and Europe to the UAE.

Jonny previously worked as a music composer. His work has been used by TV shows such as Supergirl, Limitless and NCIS, and he has scored and provided sound design for several feature films as well as appearing on albums alongside the likes of Stanton Warriors and Gary Numan. His extensive musical vocabulary allows him to consult and advise on pioneering sound branding projects, ensuring the final project is harmonious with the vision and values of any particular brand.

The Sound Agency is the world leader in audio branding. They work with brands to create award-winning strategies and deliver on their clients’ measurable goals. Their work has consistently raised sales, customer satisfaction and brand value. The beneficial impact of our work has made international headlines in business and community applications… They’ve even used sound to decrease crime rates.


To join us on Thursday 10th October, please book your place here or RSVP to