This week's World Retail Congress in Barcelona has attracted around 800 key executives from the apparel and footwear industries, together with other business areas. Here's a snapshot of quotes from day one of the event.
"We are reasonably confident that the US economy is going to bottom out in the next few months, and likewise in China," Ajay Kapur, chief global Asia strategist for Mirae Asset, uncovers some much-talked about green shoots.
"It is sometimes said that retail is the thermometer of the economy," Lord Alan Watson, chairman of Havas Media.
"There will be a return to growth but retailers need to be realistic as well as optimistic in dealing with the current downturn. They need to consider how different the market will be when we do return to growth," Richard Lloyd-Owen, partner at Deloitte.
"The age group between 15 and 21 has clearly never heard of the word recession," Harvey Nichols CEO Joseph Wan.
"There are more MacDonald's in London than there are in the whole of Poland even though there is four or five times the population - so there is your opportunity," Mark Olbrich, director at Komex.
"We are not 'the desert' anymore but it is hard to see a green field just yet," Mehmet Nane, general manager of Teknosa, on the Turkish retail market.
"Sir Philip Green's [Topshop] opening in New York is a fantastic move and I hope it opens the door for other UK retailers," Debenhams international director Francis McCauley.
"In this type of crisis you have to be positive; good things include reduced costs, talks with landlords and lower interest rates. The good chains will survive and the bad ones will die just as Darwin said," Isak Halfon, executive VP international expansion, Mango.