In focus: digitalisation, omnichannel and emotionalisation of the shopping experience +++
Accompanying forums very highly attended
After five days, Thursday (9 March 2017) saw the world’s largest trade fair for retail investment requirements, EuroShop 2017, draw to a close in Düsseldorf with the best result in its 50-year history: the 2,368 exhibitors from 61 nations report unanimously on very good to excellent contacts and business deals. Furthermore, very lively post-fair business is anticipated. Over 113,000 visitors (round about 4% over the last event) came to the Rhine to gather information on the range of products, trends and concepts for retailers and their partners on display here in the 18 exhibition halls extending over 127,000 m² of net exhibition space.
Hans Werner Reinhard, Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf, is delighted: “EuroShop 2017 has further exceeded all the top scores achieved at EuroShop 2014. At its anniversary event it was able to once again show how young and creative the sector and its trade fair are.”
The exhibitors across all exhibition areas spent months preparing for EuroShop 2017 so as to be able to meet the competition with convincing innovations. And they encountered an outstanding response: trade visitors were delighted with product variety and the level of innovation at the stands as well as with the excellent quality and great creativity of the stand presentations.
A total of 138 countries were represented on the visitor side. Commenting on this Reinhard said: “We could not be happier with the trade visitor breakdown. We are recording a constantly high level of demand from Germany and a significant rise in interest from abroad. Throughout the world it is known that EuroShop in Düsseldorf is the global No.1 trade show in the sector demonstrating what the future of retail looks like.”
Held every three years, EuroShop 2017 kicked off with a completely new concept. Its refined profile with seven clearly defined dimensions (POP Marketing, Expo & Event Marketing, Retail Technology, Lighting, Visual Merchandising, Shop Fitting & Store Design and Food Tech & Energy Management) went down well with exhibitors and visitors alike – because this meant exhibitors could be positioned in their optimum segment while visitors conveniently found the suppliers they needed according to area of interest.
The dominant themes at EuroShop 2017 were the continuing digitalisation in retail, tailor-made omnichannel solutions and emotionalisation of the shopping experience in the store.
Online retail is currently fuelling investment in physical stores in the sector. This is because competition from suppliers online means retailers have to make their stores ever more attractive. At the same time, the dovetailing of physical and online stores is generating new retail and interior design concepts. Modern information technology is becoming ever more important here.
“Customers expect both – on the one hand the shopping experience on site in the store and, on the other, delivery to their own front door. Conventional physical retail is now increasingly developing it online activities and large online retailers are looking more and more to opening their own stores. EuroShop has managed to bring both worlds together,” explained Michael Gerling, Managing Director of the EHI Retail Institute, adding: “Physical stores and online retail are growing ever closer together, which is why at EuroShop the exhibition segments of shop fitting and technology are increasingly merging.”
EuroShop 2017 also highlighted that the top priority for stores themselves was unadulterated emotionalisation! Storytelling was at the forefront of many concepts, solutions and products at EuroShop 2017. Whether it was architecture, design, lighting or the embedding of state-of-the-art media in the shop fitting, everything has to follow a joint dramaturgy to give customers that certain kick. So it comes as no surprise that visual merchandising is continuing to gain great significance in the custom design of retail spaces. Here retailers’ willingness to invest in Germany has virtually doubled, according to an EHI study presented at EuroShop.
However, retail is also investing heavily in LED technology and refrigeration technology. This was not just another result from the EHI study, it was also visible in the halls of the exhibition centre. Here energy saving and sustainability are top priorities for retailers – which is why EuroShop Special Ecopark with its accompanying forum met with such a great response.
Overall, the accompanying lecture forums on the different EuroShop dimensions were avidly attended and many EuroShop visitors took valuable ideas home with them from the international line-up of practice-focused lectures, be this from the Architecture & Design Forum, the EuroCIS Forum, the Omnichannel Forum, the POPAI Forum or the Expo & Event Forum.
The next EuroShop will be held in Düsseldorf from 16 to 20 February 2020 and the next EuroCIS, as an annual event focusing on retail technology themes, will already run from 27 February to 1 March 2018.