hands making card payment with card reader

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



Related Topics

Showing up for the shopper

More in Commerce

Abstract data cubes connection

Commerce in APAC: a greater risk appetite

Helen McRae of WPP’s Mindshare in APAC explains how a willingness to try new things has created a standout environment for commerce in APAC

Tag neon icon for discount

How Black Friday ate Boxing Day

Jon Bird of WPP’s VMLY&R explains why commerce trumps culture across the holiday shopping season

Over the shoulder view of young woman wrapping Christmas presents

Consumer optimism up, but pragmatism rules

Holiday season 2023 purchasing is looking intentional and practical, says Tyler Murray, US CEO of WPP’s VMLY&R Commerce