ICSC European Conference
For two days in April, the Hilton Warsaw hosted the International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) European Conference, welcoming over 700 leaders in retail from 42 countries worldwide. Featuring 18 round tables covering every angle of the retail environment and guided retail tours around the city, the conference centred around the theme of “Building communities, fuelling economies and inspiring innovation.”
Affairs were kicked off by Dr Amlan Roy, Research Associate at LSE, who gave a keynote speech discussing the impact and risks of the last year on European economies. Focusing on a shifting world order, discontent with globalisation and a growing rejection of the status quo, Roy offered insightful demographic analysis of the changing economic, political and social trends influence the world’s retail environment.
The first day was brought to a close with the unique Howard Saunders, a Retail Futurist, who took the audience through a visual journey offering predictions for the fast-paced future of retail. Of particular focus was the impact that the future holds for communities, in addition to cities and high streets, and on the ‘experience’ of retail.
Proceedings were brought to a close by Jean-Marc Jestin, Chairman of the Executive Board at Klépierre and John Strachan, Non-Executive Director at intu Properties, who gave their thoughts on the current economic environment, as well as their experiences in dealing with the challenges faced. Especially, they gave an in depth focus on the political and consumer trends shaping retail real estate strategies today.