Authenticity in Retail

The ICSC European Conference has been a regular fixture on our calendar for a few years now since we visited Istanbul in 2014. This year, I was pleased to hear that it would take place in the great city of Milan.  The ICSC European Conference is an ideal event for us, it brings all of the key figures within the industry together in one room and offers a strong programme of lectures and debates by industry experts.

Authenticity in retail was the theme of the conference which is a pretty challenging topic. Being authentic isn’t always the easiest term to define. It can be subjective to each person’s different opinions and views. Combining a genuine effort to appear authentic with the pressures of commercially driven investors can also be a challenge.

From my personal point of view, the “ theory” element of how to be authentic is interesting to hear but it is the real life examples of innovation and creativity that stick in my mind once I leave. Examples include McArthurGlen’s collaboration with Universal music to produce an incredible multi faceted marketing campaign featuring Norma Jean Martine. Click here to read more about this.

Creating a customer experience has also been a very commonly used buzzword for a couple of years now, one of the best examples I have seen of this being put into practice is the Markthal project in Rotterdam. This centre is an excellent example of how to combine retail, eating, drinking and living into one memorable space. You can take a look at the website but a simple google image search will make you want book a flight to Rotterdam.

A final word on the work of Rik Eertink – outgoing Chair of the ICSC Europe Next Gen Committee. Almost 3 years  ago, I sat with Rik , Michel Zalac and Julian Long  in Munich where Rik outlined his vision for Next Gen Live. It was an ambitious plan but through his leadership and passion, we have all had the pleasure of seeing it turn into reality. As a Next Gen sponsor throughout this period, we would like to thank Rik for all of his efforts.

During May, I will be in spending time in London , Paris, San Francisco,  LA and best of all, Manchester! As someone who works in the retail sector, I can’t ask for much more than that!

Tim Forbes, Head of International Mall Management, Foundation Recruitment

tim

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