With a growing international audience, the show attracted visitors from 78 different countries globally across key retail sectors. A fifth of the show’s audience (19%) was comprised of fashion, footwear and jewellery retailers, while one in eight (12%) of the retail businesses visiting the show were from the grocery sector. Other key retail verticals attending the show included general merchandise (10%); pure plays (9%); DIY, home furnishing and garden retail businesses (7%); specialist retailers (7%); and health and beauty businesses (6%).
The reinvigorated conference programme proved a key drawn from RetailEXPO’s retail audiences, with over a third (34%) saying their primary reason for visiting was to gain industry knowledge and learning though talks and presentations. The new conference programme saw six streams of insightful content, presented by leading retailers including Lego, Virgin Holidays, Naked Wines, Mamas and Papas and Asda, with keynote sessions from Justin King, CBE and ex-CEO of Sainsbury’s, and Helen Dickinson, CEO at the British Retail Consortium.
Commenting on the role of RetailEXPO, Justin King said: “[RetailEXPO is an opportunity for] real people to meet with real people to discuss the change that’s taking place. I think that’s fantastic. We spend a lot of time talking about how everyone’s going to go online and only use technology, and yet when we want to get together to discuss change, we do it real time, face-to-face. This is where you’re going to find the ideas, the opportunities, to cope with whatever the particular change is that’s facing your retail business.”
Simone Sweeney, Vice President Retail Development at The LEGO Group, added: “AtRetailEXPO I’m here to see the latest technologies, solutions, and meet the people who are driving them. The speeches, whether it’s a keynote speaker or it’s the panels, is a great way to get the temperature of the industry and what’s happening. That’s exciting, inspiring as it gets the juices flowing, and is thought provoking. It’s a fantastic way to see and learn what’s new, and also address some of niggling questions or challenges that we as retailers are facing.”
Another key draw for a further 32% of retailers attending RetailEXPO 2019 was the depth and breadth of retail solutions being exhibited. With over 341 exhibitors from technology, digital signage and retail design vendors from payments companies, like Klana, Verifone and Sage, to CX solutions including HP, Cybertill and Cegid, and signage solutions from Samsung through to start-ups including NearSt and Dotaki.
Andy Murray, Chief Customer Officer at Asda, commented: “RetailEXPO is where a lot of innovations happen, it’s at the forefront of change. You can see it by walking the floors. The technology’s happening, the digital screens and all the new stuff that’s happening. Technology is the name of the game. And it’s the highest level of that at this show that you get to see.”
Nat Kingswell, Head of Shopper Marketing & Grocery at Britvic, added: “There’s lots of companies here that are bringing new ideas to the market. It’s really important to meet new people and to network, to meet people that are going to help us deliver better campaigns for our brands, things that we haven’t thought of before and see what’s out there and what’s coming in the future, so we can be ahead of the trend! RetailEXPO is a great opportunity for us to meet new people, find out more about new technologies, and how we can evolve our campaigns and bring more exciting stuff to in-store and point of purchase.”
Matt Bradley, Event Director for RetailEXPO, concluded: “We’re delighted with the success of RetailEXPO in its new unified show format. We set out to deliver a retail trade event that delivered a single source of ideas and holistic solutions to energise retailers now and in the future – and we feel we’ve done just this, from the breadth of innovation on display to the new conference stream and other show features. Exhibitor satisfaction scores have risen 16% year-on-year, which is testament to our commitment to delivering a show that truly matches the needs of the retail industry.”