EuroShop trade press day stirs up anticipation for the trade show from Feb. 26 to March 2, 2023
by Julia Pott (exclusively for EuroShop.mag)
This year, anticipation will spread its energy beyond Christmas, because at the end of February, the new year holds a highlight that many in the retail industry have been looking forward to for three years: from February 26 to March 02, 2023, EuroShop will take place.
As a foretaste of what visitors can expect there and which topics are currently being discussed a lot in the retail industry, the EuroShop trade press day took place on 15.12.2022 at the C. Bechstein Centrum in Düsseldorf. A short presentation was followed by a store tour along the Kö, the popular luxury shopping mile.
Review: Difficult conditions for industry, retail and the trade show landscape
First, Elke Moebius, Director EuroShop/EuroCIS at Messe Düsseldorf, gave a brief look back at the difficult three years since EuroShop was held in February 2020. Like many industries, the retail sector and its partners have had to contend with challenges such as the COVID pandemic, faltering supply chains, increased energy costs, staff shortages and the war in Ukraine. Some of these hurdles were also felt in the planning and execution of Messe Düsseldorf’s events, Moebius recounted.
Outlook: Expectation of a positive trade show year
But Elke Moebius quickly arrived at a heartening message: things are looking up! UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, expects the trade show landscape to recover worldwide in 2023 and the number of events to increase to pre-Corona pandemic levels of 80 to 90 percent.
Moebius sums up this sentiment after three years of uncertainty among trade show organizers, exhibitors and attendees: “Trade shows are back and trade shows are wanted.” And one of these great trade fairs will be EuroShop 2023, which will impress with a wide range of products, highly topical themes and many specials.
The eight product ranges or experience dimensions include everything that is of importance to the trade:
• Shopfitting, Store Design & Visual Merchandising
• Materials & Surfaces
• Retail Technology
• Retail Marketing
• Expo & Event Marketing
• Food Service Equipment
• Refrigeration & Energy Management
Varied supporting program at EuroShop 2023
A number of awards ceremonies will again be held as part of EuroShop. The coveted awards will honor innovations and outstanding examples from the fields of store design and store concept, technology, science and trade show booth design.
Particularly exciting highlights will be the special areas where, in addition to well-known and appreciated formats such as the Start-up Hub, completely new and innovative formats will also be celebrating their premiere, for example the Future Urban Lab or the Retail Ball Game, in which visitors can actively participate.
Hot Topics at EuroShop 2023 – What moves the industry
The last few years have seen a lot of change in the retail industry, with the development of major trends – accelerated by factors such as digitalization, technological advancement, pandemic, climate change and many more – setting a fast pace. At the trade press day, Ulrich Spaan, member of the management board of the EHI Retail Institute, presented eight buzzwords that are on everyone’s lips in the retail industry right now: Experience, Third Places, Vital City Centers, Customer Centricity, Connected Retail, Smart Stores, Sustainability and Energy Management are the Hot Topics that will also be on everyone’s lips at EuroShop 2023.
Ulrich Spaan used practical retail use cases from all over the world to illustrate the extent to which these topics are currently shaping the industry and the ways in which retailers, restaurateurs and shopping center operators are implementing new trends in their locations.
Local and customer-centric
According to Spaan, the first thing to observe is that the trend is moving away from large-scale megastores outside the city toward small, inner-city formats. IKEA, for example, is working with small stores in metropolises such as Paris, Nike is making efforts to get close to its community with compact formats, and in grocery retailing, too, there is a return to local suppliers in both inner-city and rural areas, who often equip their stores with state-of-the-art technology such as self-scanning and grab & go.
Awareness of sustainability is increasingly on the rise, and this is having an impact not only on retail assortments and product manufacturing, but also on store design, Spaan explained. Natural materials, reuse and recycling are becoming increasingly important in store design. And in grocery in particular, he said, sustainability is evident in trends such as energy efficiency, indoor farming and unpackaged offerings. One example that combines many of these factors is the REWE Green Farming supermarket in Wiesbaden-Erbenheim.
Using the example of the consumer electronics sector, Spaan showed that retailers have to come up with something to bring consumers to the store, because the online share of purchases is over 50 percent. MediaMarktSaturn with its Tech Village in Berlin shows how this can be done. The store is designed like an indoor marketplace for brands. According to Spaan, the Mercato Centrale in Milan functions in a similar way, reviving the traditional market hall atmosphere in a modern way and offering many gastronomic experiences. This attracts tourists and locals alike, he said. Another example was Freitag’s stores, which show production and allow items to be personalized according to customers’ wishes.
Smart and connected: retail technology
New technology is playing an increasingly important role in stores, Spaan told us, and is also the dimension of growth par excellence at EuroShop. Spaan brought many examples, from Burberry’s Social Retail Store in Shenzhen to Obi’s Kurts toolbox, where customers can borrow tools via app, to stores with autonomous checkout. The use of these technologies does not catch on in the long term in every application example, Spaan admitted, but the stores serve as an experimental area for companies to test customer acceptance of services and gain valuable experience.
Many more examples can be viewed among the nominees for the EuroShop RetailDesign Award 2022 and, of course, experienced first-hand at EuroShop 2023.