EuroShop 2023 – Show Director Elke Moebius Talks To ESM

By Steve Wynne-Jones
Share this article
EuroShop 2023 – Show Director Elke Moebius Talks To ESM

Ahead of EuroShop 2023, ESM caught up with Elke Moebius, director of EuroShop, to learn more about what the 2023 edition has in store. This article appeared in ESM's January/February 2023 edition.

This is the first EuroShop event since COVID-19, and EuroShop 2020 was impacted by the early stages of the global pandemic, to a certain extent. Do you feel that this is a particularly apt moment in time to hold an event like EuroShop?

EuroShop 2023 comes at just the right time, because the pandemic has faced retailers throughout the world with completely new, big challenges. Depending on the segment, these vary widely, but there is a need to act almost everywhere.

In our conversations with industry representatives, we feel there is an enormous need for people to meet in person again, on an international level. People are seeking inspiration, innovation and communication. In such turbulent times, it is therefore all the more important for retail companies to invest in their businesses with foresight, courage, and a willingness to innovate.

After all, there are many opportunities and much growth potential – even under the current circumstances – for which EuroShop offers the perfect information and networking platform, with its unique line-up of ranges.

Retailers currently have to struggle with a multitude of cost- and inflation-related challenges. How can EuroShop mitigate the pressure that retailers are under?

On the one hand, EuroShop offers many approaches for saving costs and energy – primarily, of course, by means of energy-efficient solutions in the fields of refrigeration or lighting, for example. However, many innovative systems are also offered for shopfitting. These furnishings can be used several times and are flexible, which not only makes for durable and therefore cost-saving solutions, but also often comprise sustainable materials, which, in turn, is appreciated by customers.


On the other hand, the Store Design, Retail Marketing and Retail Technology segments present numerous products and solutions that improve the attractiveness of stores and promote shopper loyalty, which, in turn, boosts sales, thereby also reducing the pressure.

Read More: EuroShop 2023 Set To Welcome Next-Generation Technology Firms

Each EuroShop is something of a barometer for retail, marking the end of a three-year cycle. Which new trends have crystallised since the last EuroShop?

EuroShop provides focus on eight ‘hot topics’, which map the current key trends in retail – the first of which is sustainability. Sustainability has become a topic of the highest strategic importance for the sector.

Experience is the second hot topic because, as digitalisation gains ground, it is all the more important to create experiences in physical spaces that wow shoppers, make them stay longer and come back. With this in mind, another hot topic, connected retail – i.e. the seamless connection of online and offline channels – will be indispensable for every retail company in the future.


Closely linked to this is customer centricity – placing shoppers and their needs centre stage. Many retail outfits seek ever-closer contacts with their end users. In this context, shoppers’ smartphones play a prominent role.

In addition, smart stores continue to be on the advance, i.e. automated store concepts where shopping processes are largely digital. Here, sensors and image recognition technologies are particularly important. EuroShop 2023 will also be setting key impulses for ‘third places’, i.e. stores turned into places where people feel at home away from home, so they not only go there for shopping. Design, materials, light, foodservice offerings, as well as digital ranges, make decisive contributions here.

Another important hot topic is energy management. Precise control and monitoring of energy consumption in retail outlets will, in the future, become an increasingly critical success factor. Here AI-based analysis and forecasting platforms offer great potential.

Last but not least, vital city centres is another hot topic – keeping and making city centres attractive and lively is one of tomorrow’s most significant societal tasks in times of increasing digitalisation. EuroShop offers retailers all the tools needed to design bricks-and-mortar stores in line with vital inner cities in the future.


EuroShop is based on eight experience dimensions. Have these changed since the previous EuroShop, and are there any that will especially come to the fore at EuroShop 2023, in your opinion?

EuroShop continues to comprise eight dimensions, but we have now added Visual Merchandising to the largest dimension, Shop Fitting & Store Design, rather than staging it separately. This means the areas that are thematically dovetailed anyway now also move closer, in terms of nomenclature and looks.

With this in mind, EuroShop 2023 will see the premiere of Materials & Surfaces as a separate dimension. With this move, we are responding to the developments of the past few years and the demand in this sector.

All other dimensions will remain unchanged: Retail Technology, Retail Marketing, Lighting, Refrigeration & Energy Management, Food Service Equipment, and Expo & Event Marketing.

The Retail Technology dimension will be especially in the limelight this year because both quantum leaps in developments and the demand for this topic are so enormous that we have decided to make an additional hall available to this dimension.


Read More: Discover The Latest In Shop Fitting, Store Design And Visual Merchandising At EuroShop 2023

At EuroShop 2023, there will be a series of new events – the Future Urban Lab, Room4Senses, and the Retail Ball Game concept will all celebrate their premieres. What will they mean for this event?

The special areas of EuroShop will be brimming with ideas. They encompass exhibition areas for specialists, start-ups, for Generations X, Y and Z, for ideas, visions, and innovative products. Tried-and-tested special areas of EuroShop include the Designers’ Village, Start-Up Hub, POPAI Shop Global Village and the IFES Global Village, as well as the Italian Lighting Lounge.

The three aforementioned specials debuting at EuroShop 2023 will primarily provide food for thought for future retail scenarios and highlight the altered circumstances influencing retail in the future. They are about bringing a change in perspective, brainstorming, new terms, like ‘socio-retailing’, and encouraging active involvement of trade visitors, who can contribute their own ideas to the future of retail.

The Retail Ball Game and Room4Senses involve students of retail-related curricula in an authoritative capacity, ensuring a young, fresh, and definitely unusual take on the topic.

New insights and inspirations galore can be found everywhere at EuroShop, especially on the seven stages. These lectures and panel discussions on the latest developments, innovative trends and best practice presented amidst the trade fair activities can be attended by EuroShop visitors free of charge and without prior registration – simultaneously interpreted from German to English, English to German, or in English only.

Over the past few years, omnichannel solutions have increasingly moved centre stage, and online and offline retail have moved a lot closer together. How can EuroShop support traditional retailers in the digital transformation or improve their digital skills?

The pandemic has given digitalisation a particular boost hitherto not anticipated to this extent. As a result, many retailers have strongly accelerated their omnichannel strategies. Topics covered in the Retail Technology dimension – such as analytics, payment, connected retail, customer centricity or seamless stores – are perfectly geared to give retailers a comprehensive toolkit for digital transformation.

Among the areas of focus, AI-based sourcing decisions, range management and pricing will increase in importance. In this context, investment in analytics will be of ultimate significance over the coming years.

Elsewhere, many companies are pushing investment in self-checkout and self-scanning solutions. Here, the focus is especially on scanning and payment transactions using shoppers’ own smartphones. Autonomous stores are currently another top trend. Nearly all food retailers have already started pilots or are planning to do so over the next few years. As an immediate consequence of the COVID pandemic, we can also assume that many enterprises will ramp up their efforts to perfect their omnichannel strategies, with a view to offering their shoppers that frequently quoted ‘seamless shopping’ experience.

Due to the increased digitalisation of consumer behaviour, individualisation and personalisation in CRM will also become more important in offline retail. Finally, electronic shelf labels [ESL] have become a fixture in many retail sectors, and they will be used even more widely over the next few years.

In all of these fields, EuroShop offers a direct comparison of innovative solutions and products by international exhibitors.

Read More: EuroShop 2023 Announces Retail Technology Stage and Connected Retail Stage Lineups

On the topic of technology, do you expect next-gen technologies, such as the metaverse, to become part of EuroShop 2023?

Retailers will presumably first ‘test the waters’ with isolated metaverse pilots over the next few years – EuroShop 2023 will already provide an outlook today. As part of the supporting programme, the metaverse will also be discussed in talks delivered on the Connected Retail Stage, in EuroShop’s Hall 6.

Retailers are currently indicating that they are open to entering into the metaverse. Now the ball is in the court of metaverse platforms and service providers. These suppliers have to become concrete now, and draw up realistic and value-adding examples for retail companies, in order to convince them. In doing so, they are expected to develop viable and realistic forecasts for profitability.

In addition, they have to create the technical prerequisites – at affordable prices – provide sales staff with the required expertise, and capture consumers for the metaverse. I am curious myself to see whether the exhibitors in the Retail Technology dimension will already bring mature, realistic metaverse platforms.

Sustainability is a particularly important factor for companies and consumers alike. How does EuroShop ensure that it operates as sustainably as possible, and what improvements have you undertaken in this context?

More and more companies in retail and along their value chain want to be climate neutral because sustainable acting has gained enormous relevance to profitability and/or livelihood in retail. At EuroShop, exhibitors are focused on the forward-looking orientation of their products and services, and this will be showcased in all eight dimensions at EuroShop.

Messe Düsseldorf ensures all this is given a suitable framework. For more than a decade, Messe Düsseldorf has enshrined the promotion of environmental and climate protection in its corporate governance code – and done much more than just paying lip service.

Be it the three photovoltaic systems that generate 550,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually – covering the need of 138 households – the combined heat and power plant, the automated refrigeration compound operation, or the demand-driven switching of ventilation systems, heating and lighting installations, we have invested heavily.

The result? Despite growing our exhibition space, the trade fair company succeeded in saving between 4,200 and 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, compared to the reference year.

This roughly corresponds to the annual per-capita consumption of 500 people – and this is just the beginning.

In October 2021, Messe Düsseldorf joined the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative of the global event management industry, under which it has set itself the aim of halving its emissions by 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

The message is that Messe Düsseldorf and its state-of-the-art infrastructures offer the perfect environment for events that are sustainable across the board and geared towards innovation. EuroShop, in turn, will be a milestone on this road map.

How has EuroShop developed its service further after the last event, and which tools for initiating business after the end of the trade fair do you offer?

Experiencing EuroShop in Düsseldorf live is, of course, beyond compare, but we also offer the possibility to benefit from EuroShop know-how digitally – either as preparation beforehand, as a follow-up afterwards, or if you don’t have the time to listen to all the stage lectures during the event itself.

On the one hand, there is the exhibitor profile, where our exhibitors can upload not only their contact details, but also news or product videos – visitors to the exhibitor database can filter the ranges by personal interests. On the other, our matchmaking tool allows everyone to also find their contacts digitally and make appointments during the trade fair and beyond.

All they need to do is enter their interests, along with their search parameters. Thanks to a quick matching of interests, recommendations and personalised proposals pop up immediately.

The backbone of our digital ranges for EuroShop 2023 is our live coverage. During the entire trade fair, it will be possible to also attend EuroShop live, at, and on social media, thanks to numerous video features with interviews, reports, and highlight tours broadcast live from the exhibition halls. Four of the EuroShop stages will be streamed, and their content will also be available on demand after the trade fair.

What do you expect from EuroShop 2023? What impression do you want it to leave on visitors?

After the many months of the pandemic, where trade fairs were almost declared dead, it is very important to me to demonstrate that trade fairs are indispensable, and nothing can replace personal exchange. To my mind, trust cannot be built digitally, but trust is one of the key foundations for business – after all, you don’t make major investments by clicking on a button.

EuroShop is like the retail trade itself: experiences and emotions rank very high. I am convinced that we will be able to offer a plethora of ideas and inspirations with the coming edition. My goal would be achieved if visitors returned home with the impression that their visit was worthwhile, and if some of the ideas presented at our event were implemented.­

EuroShop is open to trade visitors from Sunday 26 February to Thursday 2 March 2023, daily, from 10am to 6pm. For more information, visit

© 2023 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

Get the week's top grocery retail news

The most important stories from European grocery retail direct to your inbox every Thursday

Processing your request...

Thanks! please check your email to confirm your subscription.

By signing up you are agreeing to our terms & conditions and privacy policy. You can unsubscribe at any time.