Barcelona – The World Retail Congress 2023, held at Hotel Arts Barcelona, opened by reflecting on the major global events that have rocked the retail industry since the last show back in 2019.
The overall message of the event was one of optimism. Deloitte’s chief global economist, Ira Kalish, delivered an economic update affirming that the US is unlikely to slip into recession in 2023 and if any occur in any of the major European economies, they are expected to be mild. More interestingly, Kalish dismissed the concept that de-globalisation has begun, stressing that, instead, climate change is the biggest threat to global trade.
Jennifer Woo, chairman and CEO of The Lane Crawford Joyce Group, Asia’s premier fashion retail, brand management and distribution group, explained how the pandemic had sparked creativity, leading to training of sales staff to live-stream as content-creators. Unpacking the Chinese consumer today, she explained that the growing mainland middle class expect a hyper-personalised and emotional retail experience, something we explore in our latest macrotrend, EQ-Commerce.