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John Ryan

EuroShop to Come and NRF Behind Us: Is It Worth It?

There’s reason for optimism ahead of the Dusseldorf show

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IN CASE YOU’VE missed it, EuroShop is taking place in Dusseldorf again this year, that triennial shopfitting, store design and all things related fest that takes place in the Rhineland metropolis. It’s at the end of February and last time round it wasn’t as well attended as in years past, owing to the first Covid wave about to hit.

As such you’d think it would be a must-go this time round and talk to most of those who have any connection with the business of creating new stores and this turns out to be the case. The curious thing in all of this is that we’ve just put NRF’s “Retail’s Big Show” behind us and you might be tempted to imagine that with budgets under scrutiny for many, it would be a matter of either or.

Yet walking the halls and attending the conference sessions at NRF it was as if Covid had never happened and the good times were rolling once more. In truth, NRF at the Javits, the massive event facility that overlooks the Hudson in midtown Manhattan, was full to bursting and everybody seemed excited.

They have reason to be so perhaps. Watching a webinar in which the head of economics at Deloitte was providing an overview of the way things are headed, it appears that a recovery from inflation and high interest rates is on the cards from the second half of this year. Canny operators will be investing in new stores or refurbing existing ones to catch the wave when it happens, apparently. All of which probably means that EuroShop will be just as busy and optimism-filled as NRF proved to be.

From a European perspective, making the trip to New York City was worth it, if only to get the North American view of things and to look at some new shops. There were plenty of the latter and your correspondent’s vote goes to the freshly minted Whole Foods Market down at that point in lower Manhattan where Wall Street meets Broadway: totally worth the subway hike. See you in the ’dorf’.

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