World Retail Congress 2017 kicks off in Dubai


April 4, 2017 | By RetailME Bureau

The 11th edition of the World Retail Congress (WRC) is taking place from April 4-6 at Madinat Jumeriah for the second time, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai.

“We are delighted to welcome WRC in Dubai for the second consecutive year, and we look forward to informative and insightful discussions that will take place here. We are also honoured to welcome many leading industry experts from around the world, who will share the wisdom of their extensive experience with us. WRC offers an ideal platform for local, regional and global companies and experts to share insights and knowledge on key developments within the sector and learn more about what the UAE can offer as a leading hub for retail, trade and investment,” says Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz AlShehhi, undersecretary for economic affairs – UAE Ministry of Economy.

“Dubai is an ideal host city for the WRC, given its status as a preferred shopping destination that continues to attract retailers and tourists from around the world…The future of the emirate’s retail sector looks bright driven by key trends such as growing economic prosperity, steady population growth, increase in tourist numbers, rising incomes and Expo 2020, which will support expansion in the sector going forward,” emphasises Majid Saif Al Ghurair, chairman, Dubai Chamber.

The three-day event taking place under the theme ‘Reimagining the customer experience’ has brought together global retail leaders to discuss some key trends and ideas shaping the current retail industry. WRC aims to identify key areas of growth and the technological tools of the future, enabling retailers to adjust their own strategy and move their businesses forward.

“With 0.64 cents of every dollar spent in retail stores being digitally influenced, our current retail ecosystem is rapidly evolving,” stresses WRC chairman Ian McGarrigle. “To be successful and build long-term fruitful relationships with their customers, retailers must now examine every part of the experience they offer, which is why the theme of this year’s Congress is ‘reimagining the customer experience’. Ultimately, consumers have so many choices now that it is important to create brand differentiation at every level of retail.”

“Furthermore, a recent survey of retail CEOs by JDA Software that is being presented at WRC this week found that 69% of retailers plan to increase investment in digital transformation and yet 52% of retailers have not yet implemented a digital strategy. We see the role of WRC is to help shape the future of global retailing by bringing together the greatest minds within the retail world to transform our multi-faceted industry.”

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