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EuroShop 2017: Spotlight On Innovation

The organisers of EuroShop, Messe Düsseldorf, describe it as ‘the world’s leading retail trade fair’, and when you consider the scale of this mammoth, triennial event, it’s hard to argue with that point.

EuroShop 2017, which takes place from 5 to 9 March, is set to occupy 120,000 square metres of space at Messe Düsseldorf, covering 18 halls - up from 16 at the last event in 2014.

Some 2,500 exhibitors will showcase the latest innovations and new product developments across seven ‘Experience Dimensions’, tailored to specific areas of expertise: POP Marketing, Expo & Event Marketing, Retail Technology, Lighting, Visual Merchandising, Shop Fitting & Store Design, and Food Tech & Energy Management. Around 110,000 visitors are expected to pour through the doors over the five days of the event.

Leading The Way

Ahead of this year’s show, which is the 19th hosting of EuroShop, ESM had the chance to catch up with Elke Moebius, global head of retail and director EuroShop at Messe Düsseldorf. As she explains, EuroShop is more than just a trade show - it is a coming together of the best retail expertise and innovation in the world.

Indeed, many firms use the show as a launchpad for their latest product launches, while the delegate list is comprised of key decision makers seeking to do business.

According to Moebius, EuroShop is a “major meeting place for the Who’s Who of the industry, because we’ve tailored it so clearly towards the needs of the retail trade.

“Nowhere else can retailers experience such a broad spectrum of developments, solutions and innovations, compare them on an international scale and enter into discussions with experts. Nearly all international top suppliers can be found in each of the dimensions.

“In addition, EuroShop has numerous special events and presentation forums showcasing best practice examples. These provide a good deal of added value.”

“When retail decision-makers come to EuroShop every three years, they want to enter into a direct dialogue and also find specific suppliers and new business partners.”

This is the first year in which the show has been divided into seven ‘Experience Dimensions’ (previously, the show boasted four), and Moebius believes that this will be of great assistance to visitors seeking to target a specific sector.

“We offer retailers an ideal decision-making platform which maps the entire range of factors they need for investment decisions,” she says. “The seven dimensions allow for pre-segmentation, making it easier to arrive at informed choices.”

Knowledge and Insight

As well as boasting an enviable range of exhibitors, EuroShop is also renowned as a knowledge centre, with a comprehensive range of forums, debates and lectures taking place over the five days.

Amongst the high profile events set to take place concurrently are the EuroShop Architecture & Design Forum, the EuroCIS Forum, the POPAI-Forum, the OmniChannel Forum, the ECOpark Forum and the new Expo & Event Forum. To make life easier for visitors, all corresponding events are simultaneously interpreted from/into German and English and can be attended by trade visitors free of charge and without prior registration.

Also taking place concurrently are a number of awards programmes, including the EuroShop Retail Design Awards, which acknowledge the world’s best store concepts as well as the presentation of the renowned Retail Technology Awards Europe, or ‘reta’ awards, which recognise the innovative use of information technology in retail. Both awards are presented jointly by Messe Düsseldorf and the EHI Retail Institute.

In addition, EuroShop boasts a number of interactive portals through which attendees can prepare for their visit ahead of the event. The EuroShop web portal ( is a one-stop shop for those planning to visit Düsseldorf this spring, while during the trade fair itself, the EuroShop App, available for both IOS and Android, offers an additional ‘Geofencing’ service, providing guests with key information as soon as they arrive at the airport, train station or at the Messe Düsseldorf car parks.

The Build Up

Planning for a show this large begins as soon as the curtains close on the previous event - in this case EuroShop 2014, which welcomed around 109,000 delegates through its doors in February of that year. One of the highlights of the build-up is ‘EuroShop On Tour’, which sees the EuroShop team travel the world as part of a global marketing drive.

In 2016 alone, the team travelled over 170,000 kilometres (about four times around the globe), visiting markets as diverse as South Africa and Colombia.

“These trips are very important,” says Moebius. “First of all, face-to-face communication is always more efficient for explaining such a complex trade fair as EuroShop. But secondly, if we travel to those countries ourselves, it’s a good way to show our appreciation of the various markets and their retailers.

“For us, these trips are always extremely interesting, because they deliver valuable input for EuroShop. First of all, it’s really nice to see how important EuroShop has become for the industry around the globe, and secondly, it’s exciting to open up new markets.”

Under the motto, ‘EuroShop is moving ahead’, the last stop of EuroShop On Tour was in the Netherlands last November, and to mark the occasion, Moebius took to the road and covered the entire distance from Düsseldorf to the press conference in Rotterdam by bicycle – in a single day. Not something for the faint-hearted.

“It was very stormy and rainy, but a pleasant challenge,” she explains. “It originally started as a bit of a mad idea at the last EuroShop, with a nice get-together among colleagues, and then the idea turned into reality: going to a EuroShop press conference by bicycle. Luckily, it was the Netherlands and not Shanghai!

“Road cycling is my passion – and so is EuroShop. Getting to the finishing line is the icing on the cake for a road cyclist, just as, for EuroShop, the trade fair itself is the crowning glory after several years of preparation.”

EuroShop: 50 Years Of Heritage

EuroShop 2017 marks an important milestone in the history of the exhibition. Last year, 2016, marked the 50th anniversary of the first EuroShop event, which took place from 11 to 15 June 1966.

A total of 331 exhibitors took part in the inaugural event, 55 of which came from outside Germany, with guests marveling at displays such as ‘The Modern Drugstore’, ‘Frozen Goods: The Merchandise of the Future’ and ‘Selling Textiles Up to Date’.

The period was particularly notable in the history of modern retail, with self-service supermarkets making their first appearance across Europe, and the Albrecht brothers launching their revolutionary discount model, which we know today as Aldi.

Those days were uncharted territory for both retailers and shoppers alike; up until then, it had been customary for shoppers to have to wait at the counter until it was their turn and the sales assistant personally picked, portioned and weighed the produce. But from the 1960s onwards, open goods displays and shop windows gained tremendous importance.

By 1968, and the second EuroShop, the trends and innovations showcased had already gained international acclaim, with one report at the time noting how “the uniformity of the stand designs […] has given way to the courage to try something new to an extent that even experts had not expected to find.” In 1972, the show moved to a three year cycle, due to the medium-term nature of new innovations in store design; a cycle it maintains to this day.

In the years since, the event has become a launchpad for a number of sister events, such as EuroCIS, born in 1997 as a EuroShop offshoot, and C-Star, a leading international trade fair in Shanghai. The year 2017 marks the latest evolution of the show, with the previous subdivision of four segments giving way to a sophisticated system aimed at maximising visitors’ experience.

This means EuroShop can provide a more flexible framework, and offer plenty of scope for presenting forward-looking developments and innovative products to global retail.

For further information, visit

Or read more at: Eco-Friendly Thinking At EuroShop: ECOpark.

© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Click subscribe to sign-up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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