Blog: Europe is not the world

Petah Marian | 19 September 2012

The global retail industry is looking to London over the next three days as senior executives converge on the city to discuss the issues facing the sector at the World Retail Congress.

Of late, many of the stories about UK retail in particular have focused on doom and gloom, after the Olympics failed to provide retailers with a much anticipated sales boost.

However, in his keynote speech this morning, Sir Roger Carr, president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), emphasised "the condition of Europe is not the condition of the world".

Countries like China, India and Africa are enjoying the kind of growth that the West can only dream about, he explained.

However, the astronomical growth seen in these countries is now moderating, with Carr describing a "reduced appetite for luxury" in many of these emerging markets.

And with growth in these markets slowing, a presence here is no definite recipe for success. Regardless of which markets retailers are operating in, or looking to operate in, it is clear that they have a "fight on their hands" for consumers' hearts and minds, argued Carr.

Slowing growth is not the only challenge retailers have to contend with. As Tesco CEO Philip Clarke said in his speech this morning: "Change is increasingly complex", and includes the shift online and the pursuit of a true omnichannel offer.

These and many more issues will be discussed by some of the brightest minds in the business over the next three days - with just-style here to bring you the latest insight as it emerges.



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