Paris Retail Week was a partner of the NRFrench Party, the French–American gathering of retailers and e-merchants which was held in New York on 15th January.

Retailers, e-retailers and a selection of French and American start-ups whose innovations are aimed at the retail sector, gathered at the French Consulate to discuss the trends and innovations set to shape the future of retail.

The floor is given to Augustin Chavanne, Head of Corporate Venture at La Redoute.

Augustin, what did you think about the NRFrench Party?

It was a relaxed, informal, and well-balanced evening, and the fact that it took place in the Consulate really brought the different attendees together.

My feeling? Proud to be French and to be in New York!

My three major impressions from the event:

  • there is a new way of doing retail
  • a very content-rich meeting, with high-quality discussions
  • conviviality & networking
Welcome by Anne-Claire LEGENDRE, Consul General of France in New York
Welcome by Anne-Claire LEGENDRE, Consul General of France in New York
What would you say are the major current trends?
  • Curation
  • Hyper customisation
  • Using community to strengthen brands
  • The solicitation of experts and influencers
  • Finally, the various experiences shared and discussed throughout the event showed that the U.S. is far ahead of us!
What did you take away from your meetings with the start-ups and the discussions between the big groups and start-ups?
  • The discussion with Mirakl and their ambition to expand in the U.S.
  • Meeting several start-ups who are exporting the French flag
  • The discussion with Content Square who is expanding in the U.S.
  • The meeting with François Loviton of Google (a partner of La Redoute), and our conversation about connected stores. La Redoute intends to open new stores, especially focused on ‘la maison’ (our home collection) and François Loviton gave me quite a lot of insight on digital experience, which is one of La Redoute’s strong ambitions.
What were the key lessons you learned at the NRFrench Party?

There are quite a few lessons I learned from this evening, which did not consist of long speeches, but rather gave lots of time to networking and discussions about the new trends in retail.

I would like to point out the interesting testimonial from Target, who has created their own accelerator program. All C-level executives are mobilised to work with the startups in the incubator.

This is a new way to transform the company and a really exciting, remarkable Open Innovation experience that gets the whole company involved!

Target’s feedback was very instructive to La Redoute, as we are currently in a stage of complete cultural transformation. Target has found the best way to change the way the company functions on an unprecedented scale. So often innovation is only happening within the innovation cell, whereas Target describes it as a systematic experiment which is conducted on a completely new scale.

Nathan ADKISSON, Director of Strategy at Local ProjectsTarget
Nathan ADKISSON, Director of Strategy at Local Projects

Finally, I would like to congratulate the organisers for the success of the NRFrench Party, especially the bright and beaming Catherine Barba!

The NRFrench Party in a nutshell:

  • 300 participants versus 120 people scheduled
  • The Speakers: The Consul General of France in New York, Isai, Carrefour, Google, Local Projects, Mirakl, Techstars, XRC Labs
  • More than 15 CEOs / GMs of French retail companies present – retailers and e-merchants – such as Boulanger, But, Carrefour, Darty, Decathlon,  Norauto, Pimkie, Solstiss, Vente-Privée, Vilebrequin, Yves Rocher, …
  • 10 French start-ups sourced by Business France / French Tech
  • 6 US start-ups sourced by XRC Labs
  • The leaders of the FCD (French Federation of Commerce and Distribution), Perifem
  • 10 journalists
  • 3 techno sponsors: Bizerba, Ingenico and SES-imagotag
  • 3 media partners: BFM Business, LSA and the Paris Retail Week blog

All details on the NRFrench Party on:

For more photos click-here