From 10 to 12 September 2018 Paris will once again be the trendsetting meeting place for all retail professionals with the fourth edition of Paris Retail Week being held at the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Center.

Sophie Lubet, Director of the Retail Department at Comexposium Group, tells us what the 2018 event has in store.

1/ Paris Retail Week launches its 4th edition from 10 to 12 September 2018. , could you present the event to us?

Paris Retail Week 2018, which will take place next September, is the major European professional event devoted to 360° retail commerce. We will be very happy to welcome the players of the retail and e-commerce sectors, who will be able to exchange views on the issues of their sector and find specific solutions to optimise their activity. We expect approximately 800 exhibitors and are counting on around 40,000 professional visitors.

We hope to see you on 10, 11 and 12 September at Porte de Versailles to experience together three intense days of business and networking and to discuss the e-commerce sector, dedicated to solutions for e-retailers, from logistics to digital marketing, and the Store / Equipmag sector, dedicated to physical commerce and distribution.

Paris Retail Week is much more than a trade fair for several reasons.

First, it is a unique opportunity to attend high-level conferences free of charge:            Solutions Workshops organised by the exhibitors as well as Plenary Conferences and Keynotes that give the floor to renowned French and international experts. In all, nearly 250 sessions with free access will be offered during the 3 days. It is a concentrate of knowledge on the physical and on-line retail trade that is not to be missed! Every year, we also have the privilege of welcoming the FEVAD, which exclusively presents the latest market figures from the e-commerce sector at the opening of the fair. The conferences themselves have enabled our visitors to benefit from feedback from the major players of physical and on-line trade, including Starbucks, Amazon, FNAC Darty, Le BonCoin and international players like Costco, Facebook, Juma, BrandAlley, Twitter, etc.

It is also the time for the Paris Retail Awards, which recognise the best innovations in the sector. It is important to know that our Awards are open to non-exhibitors, the objective being to highlight the most innovative companies in the sector. The “Rookie of the Year” prize specifically rewards the start-up of the year.

In order to go even further and to specifically highlight real-life trade, we also organise the Paris Retail Tours to enable some of our visitors to visit those Parisian shops that are at the cutting edge of technology and design. In fact, we hope to shed light on the reality of retail trade today and put the innovations of the sector into perspective. It is also the reason why we have created our blog, which enables us to give the floor to experts on different issues throughout the year and to share with our audiences, both exhibitors and visitors, the thoughts of French and international experts on the challenges of retail trade today and tomorrow.  We are also very present on social media all through the year, where we also present a large amount of information on the sector and share it with the greatest number.

We are concocting even more new features, but it is still too early to talk about them!

2/ This year Paris Retail Week puts the spotlight on Smart Phygital, can you explain the concept of this guiding thread?

Each year, Paris Retail Week presents a new concept which reflects the evolutions in the retail market. This year we decided to highlight SmartPhygital, the global and agile ecosystem for several reasons.

Retailers are experts in organic revolution! From brick and mortar to pure players, not to mention m- and s-commerce, retailers have shown their unfailing sense of adaptation and anticipation! When CRM, omni-channel and bots facilitate the path to purchase, data, services and virtual and augmented reality herald the arrival of the purchase experience…
Retail is continuously reinventing itself and is capable of thinking out of the box. This ability to learn from past experience recalls the mechanics of machine learning that enables artificial intelligence to learn in an automatic and systematic manner.

Today, retail is SMART. Artificial intelligence seems to lie at the heart of all the trends that are stirring the retail industry. With the appearance of IoT, robotics, virtual or augmented reality, can AI be the link between all these emerging tools and innovations? Will it finally enable us to merge off- and on-line experiences rather than allowing them simply to co-exist?

This intelligence demonstrated by the stakeholders of the retail sector naturally reflects the major mutations of society. In 2017 we spoke of Live Retail, authentic and human commerce. This trend goes even further with a real return to essentials – the search for meaning and value, even in the purchasing process. We speak of a purchase process rather than an act – the product has as much value as the positioning and the state of mind of the salesperson. Retailers have well understood this and today they propose shops that are designed “like at home”, they take the ecological footprint into account when optimising their supply chain, craftsmen have become the new stars of the marketplace, etc.

And the shop among all that? Written off rather too early, shops are undergoing a particularly successful face-lift and are also finding a new lease on life by going back to the essentials: the sensory. Obviously, equipment is the cornerstone of this phenomenon; no successful shop experience can exist without fittings designed for the purpose. Shop layout is dead – long live scenography! To go even further, these sensations are enhanced by digital technology, an association that promotes a total and useful purchase experience that takes into account the needs (thanks to data) and offers true added value, notably through service. By digitalising, shops are rehumanising the purchase: CRM enables the personalisation of offers, sales staff equipped with tablets accompany the customer, the transaction becomes invisible, and click and collect reconciles off- and on-line retail.

In short, 2018 will seal the union between the physical shop and the digital. Welcome to the Smart Phygital era!

What are the key moments of this event?

Once again, there will be a great deal of interesting content this year!

  • The FEVAD’s pre-opening conference which will be held on the first day and present the latest trade figures for the e-commerce sector.
  • Our plenary conferences, a series of debates where the professionals of the sector, including marketing and logistics managers, business leaders, omni-channel managers, customer experience managers, etc., will compare their experiences and strategic points of view.
  • The keynote sessions led by international experts including internet giants such as Facebook, Google, Twitter
  • The Paris Retail Awards ceremony on Monday 10th September – a real moment of consecration for solution providers, brands and e-retailers.
  • The Store Tours organised in Paris providing an insight in a selection of the most innovative Parisian concept stores.

Business will also be at the heart of Paris Retail Week

The mission of Paris Retail Week is indeed to act as a business accelerator. This is traditionally carried out on the stands and we have decided to optimise exhibitors’ ROI by organising Business Meetings. As for the Paris Retail Awards, here too the objective is to put the spotlight on innovative companies to assist them with their development and thus bring them to the attention of the players of the sector. We also try to promote exchanges beyond Porte de Versailles: we will thus organise an event next May that will invite exhibitors, visitors, journalists and all those who are interested in our themes. It is also the case for operations such as our store tours or the evening event that we have planned during the fair. The guiding line is always the same: the meeting between supply and demand!

Our Commercial Department is available to companies that want to exhibit during the fair. We are still offering an early bird rate until 15 March to e-commerce exhibitors that want to benefit from our exceptional discount! We would be honoured to count them among our exhibitors.

I invite all professionals of the retail sector to join us in September for a week that, I hope, will be rich in new encounters and business! In the meantime, you can, of course, find Paris Retail Week on the social media.

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Save the date for the next Paris Retail Week show from 10 to 12 September 2018

For its 4th edition, the biggest European trade event will take its full scope and will gather in Pavilion 1 of Paris expo Porte de Versaillethe e-commerce sector, dedicated to solutions for e-retailers, ranging from digital marketing to logistics, and the Store / Equipmag sector, dedicated to physical commerce and distribution.

Pour sa quatrième édition le plus grand événement retail européen de la rentrée prendra toute son envergure et réunira dans le Pavillion 1 de la Porte de Versailles le secteur E-Commerce, dédié aux solutions e-commerce, du digital marketing à la logistique et du secteur Store / Equipmag, dédié au commerce physique et à la distribution.

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Sophie LUBET graduated in art history, completed a Master in Communication and a Postgraduate degree in New Media from the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. In 1992, she immersed in the universe of events after a transit in BDDP agency. Sophie Lubet then joined the COMEXPOSIUM group, one of the world leaders in the organization of events involved in more than 170 BtoC and Bto events and worked on various French and international leading exhibitions around new technologies, design, specialty retail, industry and services. In 2014 Sophie LUBET became Director of the Retail division at Comexposium. This division includes Paris Retail Week, the One-To-One Monaco e-commerce event and I-Media Brand Summit Biarritz. Save the date for the next Paris Retail Week event: 10 to 12 September 2018 -