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Resilience in retail is everything

World Retail Congress 2023 focused heavily on resilience – not just in terms of the retail industry banding together to face whatever challenges are on the horizon, but also in terms of individual retailers surviving and thriving

Pandemic, war and inflation – no wonder the rallying cry at World Retail Congress 2023 was to dig deep on the resilience front. But there were other themes that emerged too.

‘Purpose' was one. It was dominated by the theme of sustainability and its place in modern retail. The event referenced the expense of food and energy waste, and how measures like fridge doors or efficient lighting can enhance responsibility goals and save money – directly impacting the bottom line. But the need to educate customers was also discussed.

What is more, the retailers present outlined the need for 'transformation', even if their perception of what it entailed varied. Being 'customer-focused' was mentioned in almost all talks – often obliquely. And the thorny issue of talent was much discussed in this forum, as in most others.

Despite the challenges and recurrence of the ‘resilience’ theme, there was optimism and a belief in the power of retail to inspire customers, contribute to the economy and provide jobs.

Read VMLY&R Commerce’s roundup of the event: A wrap-up of CEO’s perspectives from World Retail Congress

Charlie Wade


published on

08 June 2023



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