There is still time to check on last minute places in the British Shops and Stores Association's Oxford Summer School for Retail Management, which will be held from August 19 to 25. Key speakers at the event will include John Lewis chairman Sir Stuart Hampson and Tom Hunter who founded the AJT sports shop empire with just £10,000. The themes of the event are managing people, money and merchandise. Merchandising will be treated in particular depth as it occupies the entire day on the Monday. Delegates can get to grips with a subject which can make or break retail operations. "To be challenged to think outside your own particular job was one of the most exciting aspects of the course," said Selfridges food operations buying manager Stephen Wright, who attended last year's summer school. "The enthusiasm of people on the course was the most striking aspect. Everyone really got into it." Organising committee chairman Steve Kaufman added: "The summer school is the only event where people who are normally competitors can share best practice and ideas as colleagues. It also provides a huge bank of skills and experience, on which delegates can draw, learning from the captains of industry." Operating in 27 working groups for the week, delegates learn to pool their skills and resources to develop a complete retail plan by the penultimate day of the course ­ reviewing their work on the sixth and last day. A new addition this year is marketing day ­ by popular demand, according to the BSSA. Tesco and the Early Learning Centre are just two of the household name retailers sending delegates this year. To check availability of last minute places, you will need to contact the BSSA on 01295 71227. {{PEOPLE MOVES }}