ICSC European Conference – Barcelona

We are very excited to be attending the ICSC European Conference in Barcelona at the end of the month!

During the event, different professionals from the Real Estate industry will connect and share inputs regarding the latest trends in the sector and discuss how technology is having a great impact on the investment and management of Real Estate assets across the world.

One talk I am particularly interested in hearing is regarding global trends and how this can shape local tendencies. It’s no great secret that we live in an increasingly globalised world, everyone benefits from some aspects of globalisation and unfortunately, some factors result in negative effects. Globalisation is both a process and an event which has meant that everything is now more connected. All of this has affected the way we act and see the world.

With players like Amazon expanding their services, it is clear that there will be many disruptions to the retail world; however, experts remain positive, believing that physical stores will not be eradicated. The part that involves discovering products, socialising with others or just enjoying the experience, will still continue to happen and hold importance to consumers.

20 years ago, the Harvard Business Review published a paper that still resonates loudly with us today. The title was ‘Welcome to the Experience Economy‘. More recently, Deloitte published an article regarding a similar message, discussing retail trends and the experimental side of it based on these points:

  1. Reimagine stores: I recently went to Amsterdam with a friend and realised how most of the stores have an experimental side, from creating your own colourful earrings to exploring a concept-store while having a warm coffee. Retailers need to ensure that their stores remain relevant and are places that consumers want to keep coming back to and enjoy spending time in.
  2. Experiment with experience: I understand retailers need to invest in digital to grow their businesses, online is forever expanding and developing so brands need to be present and should be utilising the opportunity. However, I believe the offline experience is crucial for the retail industry to survive and online experiences can’t provide comparable benefits to those generated in-store. The really interesting and successful campaigns for me personally, are those integrating technology in-stores, linking online and offline together to create unique, personalised experiences. Technology developments such as artificial intelligence allow retailers to personalise the shopping experience at scale utilising large amounts of data.
  3. Transform your business: Brand authenticity and sustainability are becoming increasingly important in retail. Consumers want to associate themselves with brands that have a sense of purpose; examples like Stella McCartney considered a “Vegetarian brand” that doesn’t utilise feathers, leather or animal skin to create their luxury products.

We are really looking forward to the upcoming ICSC European Conference, to hear more about the current market trends and future predictions. Please get in touch if you’re attending, it’s always great to meet new and old faces to hear business growth plans and developments!

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