by Ulrich Spaan, Board Member at EHI Retail Institute
The entire global retail sector faces its biggest challenges in post-war history. Massively rising energy prices place a special burden on food retailers, who especially struggle with high energy costs due to refrigeration, deep freezing, the size of their sales areas and opening hours. However, rising raw material prices and transport costs as well as highly disrupted supply chains for many products also burden retail companies to a hitherto unseen extent. Add to this, a pronounced consumer reticence caused by the current global political turmoil as well as high inflation rate, labour shortage and a pandemic that we have still not overcome.
In such turbulent times retail companies are all called upon more than ever to invest in the future of their businesses with foresight, courage and a willingness to innovate. Despite the current climate there are also many opportunities and growth potential for which EuroShop offers the perfect information and networking platform with its versatile and worldwide unique line-up of ranges.
EuroShop has identified eight “hot topics” which mirror the currently crucial trends in retail:
For the entire retail sector sustainability has become a highly relevant strategic topic. Many retail companies work towards achieving climate neutrality along the complete value chain. In line with this, sustainability is firmly embedded in all EuroShop Dimensions and will play a prominent role in our exhibitors’ product and services ranges. From Shop Fitting and Expo & Event construction to Lighting and Visual Merchandising as well as Retail Technology, Refrigeration, Energy Management and Food Service Equipment – sustainability will characterise EuroShop 2023 as strongly as ever.
When designing any kind of physical retail space in times of increasing digitalisation, it is more important than ever to create experiences that “wow” shoppers and prompt them to while away their time and come back. Important components here are the stimulation of the senses and the creation of a feelgood atmosphere but also the seamless integration of all digital channels to generate a holistic, positive customer journey. Many trade fair stands at EuroShop create exactly this kind of experience making the trade fair visit unforgettable.
The fusion of online and offline retail has been given an additional boost by the Covid pandemic. Click&Collect Services have become a standard for consumers, many retailers have merged their loyalty systems from the on- and offline world thereby allowing shoppers a 360° view of their purchases made. The seamless connection between digital and physical channels will in future be indispensable for any retail company.
Shoppers and their needs are centre stage. Many retail companies seek to establish ever closer contacts with end consumers with a view to offering them personalised and individualised digital customer services. Customers’ smartphones play an important role in this context. The buzzwords are digital shopping assistant, personalised offers, digital coupons and loyalty systems.
The digitalisation of the retail industry, which has been advancing at a rapid pace in recent years, has also led to equipping physical stores with more and more technological intelligence. Versatile automated store concepts have emerged where the shopping process is largely digitalised. Sensors and image recognition technologies play a significant role but are also deployed in conjunction with other applications such as “smart” shelves that monitor stocks and identify out-of-stock items, intelligent electronic shelf labelling and displays or also scales.
For offline retail concepts to be successful it is often no longer sufficient to confine oneself to purely a sales function. Instead, it is about turning the store into a place where people feel at home, love to spend some time and not only turn to because of shopping proper. Design, materials, light, food service but also digital offerings decisively contribute to the success of such Third Places and make EuroShop an important impulse generator.
Precise control and monitoring of energy consumption in retail outlets will in future become an increasingly critical success factor for each retail company in view of energy market trends. Innovative and smart technology applications will play a decisive role for using lighting, refrigeration and air-conditioning efficiently and in a customer-focused manner at the same time. Also holding a high potential here is the use of AI-based analysis and forecasting platforms.
Lively Inner Cities
Making inner cities attractive and lively in times of increasing digitalisation is one of society’s most relevant tasks for the future. EuroShop offers retailers all the tools to design bricks-and-mortar businesses in such a way that they also ensure lively city centres in future. At the Future Urban Lab visitors will have the opportunity to realise their vision of a city of tomorrow themselves.
EuroShop 2023 promises to become highly exciting precisely because of these topics. We look forward to it.
EuroShop 2023 is open daily to trade visitors from Sunday, 26 February to Thursday, 2 March 2023, from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm. Admission tickets are only available online at www.euroshop.de/2130 from November 2022. 1-day tickets cost Euro 70, 2-day tickets Euro 120, and the season ticket is Euro 165.
For more information visit www.euroshop-tradefair.com. The online magazine of EuroShop can be found here: mag.euroshop.de/en/